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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). 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.

Rio Grace Otara, SEAC Student Dissertation Fieldwork Grant Awardee 2018/19



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.


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