Discover Your Niche

The R-Adhikarya “Niche” Award (RANA) empowers students to pursue innovative thinking in their studies and careers. This annual prize to a graduate student in Global Development recognizes young visionaries who dare to think differently.

Established by Ronny Adhikarya and his wife, Mee-Ching, the RANA Prize aims to encourage, motivate, and increase the confidence of promising students to explore unique, unusual and not “more-of-the-same” competencies and future careers. The $10,000 prize will provide financial assistance to either a Ph.D. or professional master's (MPS) student in the Department of Global Development who is interested in studying and solving important contemporary problems and/or futuristic societal needs/wants not currently being considered or significantly addressed by others. Preference will be given to those who have strong affinity to Indonesia, and those who demonstrate vision, interests or experiences in pursuing a “Niche” area(s) of study and professional career.

  • Recognizes smart, innovative and competitive students who wish to pursue their dreams to learn, explore and apply disruptive ideas, and “niche” innovative thinking, in their studies and future careers
  • Students from or with interests in ASEAN are encouraged to apply
  • Applications will be reviewed by a committee within the Department of Global Development that includes the department chair, the director of Graduate Studies for Global Development (MPS) and the director of Graduate Studies for Development Sociology (PhD)
  • The prize will be given each year to an admitted graduate student in Global Development
  • Application deadline is March 15, 2022

An unconventional career in development

Dr. Ronny Adhikarya, born in Bogor, Indonesia, was a student activist and a journalist in Indonesia until he went to the US for his studies: Cornell for his Masters (1971-72) and Stanford for his Ph.D. (1977-80). He was fortunate to obtain full-fellowships (including stipends for living costs) from the two universities. He worked as a research staff at the East-West Center (EWC) starting in 1972, where he met pioneers and international luminaries in his field of expertise — education & communication — who mentored and provided him with invaluable “tacit” knowledge and intellectual capital to continue his international development assistance career, mainly with the United Nations/FAO and the World Bank, and other institutions for more than 45 years.

The competitive Award will be offered annually to students at three world-class U.S. educational institutions: the East-West Center (EWC), Stanford University, and Cornell University. These institutions were part of Dr. Ronny Adhikarya’s academic journey before continuing his extensive career in international development assistance.