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Funded by Bringing Southeast Asia Home, an initiative sponsored by the Henry Luce Foundation Initiative on Southeast Asia, these awards are intended to facilitate graduate students whose work is focused on Southeast Asia to undertake research that will ultimately inform their dissertation. These funds may be used to undertake pre-dissertation research in order to enhance major research proposals that might be funded by other sources, including Fulbright, SSRC, NEH, etc. They can be used to conduct research in Southeast Asia or at institutions or archives with relevant Southeast Asian materials but cannot be used for conference expenses, for course development, or for dissertation completion. Applicants may request up to $5,000. Please keep in mind that students are likely to receive these funds at most one time during their graduate career, especially if they are requesting a large amount, so please consider carefully the timing of your request. These funds may be applied for in mid-August, mid-December and mid-April.

The next deadline to apply for these funds is December 9, 2022. Applications can be submitted to the CAC’s Associate Director, Kevin Fogg.

To apply for a Dissertation Research Award, please submit:

  • A two-page description of the research to be undertaken. Please explain the theoretical motivation for this project and demonstrate how this moment in your graduate career is an appropriate moment to conduct a research project of this scale. Clearly show this work is necessary for the successful completion of your dissertation.
  • A one-page CV
  • Detailed budget, justifying the requested amount
  • Timeline of the activities to be undertaken


Within two weeks of completion of activities funded by the award, you must submit a one-page report summarizing and evaluating the research activity with consideration of future directions. You are also required to present the work undertaken at the next annual Southeast Asia workshop, which is held in mid-May each year. Participation at the workshop should be cost neutral for you, so if you are outside of the Chapel Hill area, either travel funds will be provided or you may attend virtually. This can be determined on a case-by-case basis with the assistance of the Assistant Director for Southeast Asian Initiatives.

Candidates for funding should be UNC students focused on one or more of the eleven countries of Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam) or a Southeast Asian diaspora community.