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Southeast Asia Student Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

SEAC offers a Student Dissertation Fieldwork grant for current LSE undergraduate and taught master’s students for field research in the Southeast Asia region as part of their assessed dissertation. This is a new scheme launched by the Centre in the 2018/19 academic year. The funding may contribute towards travel expenses and on-site research expenses, up to a maximum of £500 per applicant.

"My fieldwork to Mindanao, Philippines was made possible through SEAC’s Student Dissertation Grant. This research is groundbreaking in its scope as this is the first academic research conducted with the Bangsamoro Islamic Women’s Auxiliary Brigade (BIWAB). Since BIWAB’s inception in the 1970s, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) concealed BIWAB’s existence, and access to them was restricted. Through SEAC’s grant I was able to meet the founders of BIWAB in Cotabato City in Southern Mindanao, and conducted an interview with them, to learn about their life histories. Through the face-to-face interview, I was able to document the history of BIWAB and gathered valuable data that shed light to their experiences as child soldiers, their contribution to the liberation movement and their current roles in the post-conflict context."

- Rio Grace Otara, awardee of 2018/19 SEAC Student Dissertation Fieldwork Grant


2019/20 Funding Round: application guidelines

SEAC considers applicants from any discipline, using any methodology and selecting any site within the Southeast Asia region (normally classified as countries that are member states of ASEAN) in which the fieldwork is to be conducted. The primary academic criterion beyond the quality of the proposal itself is that the research should align with one or more of the Centre’s research themes of urbanisation, connectivity and governance

The application deadline is 21st February 2020 and decisions will be returned by 3rd April 2020.


  • For taught postgraduate students, applicants must be currently enrolled at LSE and due to undertake dissertation fieldwork in the 2019/20 academic year.
  • For undergraduate students, applicants can either be second or third year undergraduates currently enrolled at LSE and who are due to take an assessed final year dissertation as part of their degree. For second year undergraduates, proposed fieldwork can take place at any time until the start of Lent Term in the 2020/21 Academic Year (18th January 2021).

Application instructions

Interested students should submit a completed SEAC Dissertation Fieldwork Grant Application Form to SEAC Centre Manager Dr Lee Mager (seac.admin@lse.ac.uk) by 21st February 2020.  

Important notes

  • SEAC will be contacting your Dissertation Supervisor during the review process to acquire their confirmation of your forthcoming overseas field research. We would encourage you to approach your Dissertation Supervisor when preparing your application so that they are aware in advance.
  • Please also note that fieldwork is likely to involve the submission of Health and Safety Risk assessments as well as an ethics review. It is the responsibility of the applicant and the applicant’s Department to ensure that those processes have been completed before fieldwork commences.


2019/20 awardees

Important note from SEAC:

While any in-person fieldwork will inevitably be reconsidered, including cancellation, due to the current pandemic, we would like to congratulate the 10 successful applicants of SEAC’s 2019/20 LSE Southeast Asia Student Dissertation Fieldwork Grant based on their original proposals. Awardees have been assured that SEAC is very much aware of significant restrictions and that we will be sympathetic to any changes to the nature, scope and timing of their proposed research, including researching remotely if appropriate. Awardees have also been encouraged to pay close attention to LSE and governmental news and health and safety updates, in and in liaison with their dissertation supervisors, in order that appropriate duty of care, for both themselves and any research participants, is ensured.

dg Anggraini

Rahma Anggraini

Degree: MSc International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies
Proposed fieldwork location: Indonesia
Topic: Contestation within Civil Society and Policy Changes: Examining the Impact of Advocacy by Different Women Groups to the Bill Legalization Process in Indonesia

dg Chiu

Hayli Chiu

Degree: BSc Environment and Development 
Proposed fieldwork location: Malaysia
Topic: Individual Decisions in Agent-Based Models: An Analysis of the Influence of Southeast Asian Haze Episodes on the Migration Patterns in Malaysia 

dg formella

Jonathan Formella

Degree: Columbia-LSE Dual MA/MSc in International and World History
Proposed fieldwork location: Vietnam
Topic: Exhumed Furies: Maoist Radicalism in the Chinese and Vietnamese Revolutions

dg gupta

Saanjh Gupta 

Degree: MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation
Proposed fieldwork location: Singapore
Topic: Hawker Centre Redevelopment and Singaporean National Identity, 1968-86

dg Lim

Zhen Jun Al Lim

Degree: MSc Urbanisation and Development 
Proposed fieldwork location: Thailand
Topic: Phuket’s Smart City Surveillance: an investigation of its Eagle Eyes CCTV Network 

dg look

Woon Wei Look

Degree: MSc City Design and Social Science
Proposed fieldwork location: Singapore
Topic: What is homelessness? Defining homelessness and a critical examination of governmental responses in Singapore

dg menon

Rishik Elias Menon

Degree: MSc Criminal Justice Policy 
Proposed fieldwork location: Singapore
Topic: Crime Prevention and the Compliance-Industrial Complex: Analysing the Ideas, Interests and Institutions which Influence Singapore’s Anti-Money Laundering Regime 

dg ong

Cheyenne Ong 

Degree: BSc in History and International Relations
Proposed fieldwork location: Singapore and Malaysia
Topic: The extent to which Chinese communists influenced student and labour politics in Singapore from 1955-1963

dg Sajor

Leanne Sajor 

Degree: MSc Inequalities and Social Science
Proposed fieldwork location: Philippines
Topic: Topographies of resistance: implications of the Human Rights Impact Assessment on movements against inequalities in the Manila Bay Project 

dg Sutton

Johanna Sutton 

Degree: MSc Urbanisation and Development 
Proposed fieldwork location: Singapore
Topic: Making cities more resilient: blue-green infrastructure and governance


Previous awardees



Tiffany Bennett

Degree: MSc Development Management
Fieldwork location: Cambodia
Topic: Belonging on the Margins: Exploring National Identity Among Cham Muslims in Rangsei Village, Cambodia


Lazarus Chok

Degree: BA Geography
Fieldwork location: Singapore
TopicTerminal estates: An ethnographic study of planned obsolescence in public housing estates in Singapore


Ming Kit Lim

Degree: MSc Public Administration and Government
Fieldwork location: Singapore
Topic: Engendering Participatory Governance in Paternalistic States: A Case Study of ‘Our Singapore Conversation’ 


Rio Grace Otara

Degree: MSc in Gender, Development and Globalization
Fieldwork location: Philippines
TopicLife Histories of Muslim Women Leaders of the Bangsamoro Islamic Women’s Auxiliary Brigade in the Philippines


Katie Parkinson

Degree: MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies
Fieldwork location: Thailand
TopicConstructing ‘Home’ in Exile: Perspectives of Shan Refugees in Thailand