Call for Research Grant Application: 2023-2024 Cultivating the Humanities and Social Science Research


The Association for Asian Studies is now accepting applications for its 2023-2024 Cultivating the Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) Research Grants.

The Cultivating the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grants are made possible thanks to the generous support of Sweden. This grant program is part of a collaborative transnational project that aims at enhancing the research capabilities of scholars and local institutions, especially in post-conflict and conflict areas, while helping to reduce the social and economic vulnerabilities of South and Southeast Asian countries through policy-relevant research.

The project focuses on junior faculty, graduate students, senior and independent scholars, women, and ethnic minority groups in particular. Cultivating the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grants are available for short- (up to 2 months), medium- (2-6 months), and long-term (12 months) research projects that advance the fields of the humanities and social sciences in South and Southeast Asia.

The Association for Asian Studies invites applications from low- and lower middle-income countries of Southeast Asia (e.g., Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) as well as from less economically advantaged countries and areas of South Asia (e.g., Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India). When evaluating proposals from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and India, the review committee will prioritize applicants who come from regions and/or institutions with resource and infrastructure constraints. Applications from the Maldives will also be considered.

We also encourage collaborative projects, especially those that partner scholars from under-resourced institutions with colleagues at institutions that offer more resources and infrastructure to support their work.

Recipients of CHSS grants will be invited to submit a panel proposal at an AAS-in-Asia conference, where they will have the opportunity to share the results of their research projects, participate in skill-building workshops, and discuss publishing prospects with our partners based in Asia, Europe, and the U.S.

Who Is Eligible?

  • Graduate students (both MA and Ph.D.), junior scholars, and senior scholars are eligible and welcome to apply.
  • Under-represented constituents of the transnational Asian Studies community, or those from or living in post-conflict areas or in areas where conflicts are ongoing.
  • People living in low and lower-middle income areas of South and Southeast Asia.
  • Masters’ students who may not be able to continue on a Ph.D. track due to circumstances beyond their control are also encouraged to apply.
  • AAS membership is not a requirement.

Program Overview

The CHSS grant program encourages both individual and group projects (such as those bringing senior and junior scholars together) that will explore the subjects of i) development, ii) democracy, iii) human rights, iv) gender, v) the environment, and vi) forest conservation in the Philippines (see below). These themes may be researched on their own, or in combination with one another, or in ways that cut across the humanities and social sciences. Preference will be given to applicants who have never received a research grant in the past and/or who are based in an under-resourced institution.

The program also welcomes proposals for special initiatives aim at the recording, preservation, and dissemination of endangered languages, oral histories, and traditional knowledge.

The Forest Foundation Philippines is a non-profit organization that provides grants and technical assistance to organizations and individuals that empower the people to protect the forests. A special funding through its small grants program will be made available by the Forest Foundation Philippines to Filipino scholars with projects related to forest conservation and restoration, forest communities and sustainable livelihoods, indigenous knowledge systems, forest policy and governance, (counter)mapping forest landscapes, and other approaches that foster knowledge co-creation and transdisciplinary knowledge-making in any discipline of humanities and social sciences. Under-represented scholars, including indigenous scholars, women, and early-career researchers, especially from Palawan, Sierra Madre, Samar and Leyte, and Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental, are invited to apply. For more information about the programs of the Forest Foundation Philippines, visit their website at

CHSS grants typically range from $2,000 for a short-term project to $12,000 for long-term.

The grants will be awarded with the understanding that within two years of completion of their project, the recipients will present the results of their research at an AAS-in-Asia conference, or a similar international conference, with acknowledgement of the award. Any publication based on the funded research should also acknowledge the AAS-Sweden Cultivating the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grants or the Forest Foundation Philippines.

What Funding May Be Used For

  • Research essential for postdoctoral scholars and PhD and Master’s students theses, dissertation, and/or book projects, or for manuscript revisions and journal articles in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Small scholarly seminars and pedagogical workshops.
  • Translation, curriculum development, and textbooks projects.
  • Documentary films and visual arts projects.

What Funding May Not Be Used For

  • Travel and accommodation expenses to attend a professional conference.
  • The funding may not be used in conjunction with another research grant.

How to Apply

All applications must be submitted through the AAS application portal by September 1, 2023. Your application should include:

  • cover letter outlining: 1) how the research grant will be used; 2) how it will contribute to the applicant’s professional development and academic career; 3) how this will contribute to the field of South or Southeast Asian studies in general; 4) how this project or applicant is related to low-income or less economically advantaged regions of South or Southeast Asia.
  • A two-page curriculum vitae, as well as the curriculum vitae of any team members or co-primary investigators (if applicable).
  • proposal of 800-1,000 words (including footnotes) on the research project
  • budget, detailing anticipated project expenses.
  • timeline for the project.
  • sample of the applicant’s work. (No minimum length, but ideally 2,000 – 2,500 words)
  • One recommendation letter by a referee who is familiar with the applicant’s field of research. Preference will be given to applicants who have never received a research grant in the past and/or who are based in an under-resourced institution. Each applicant must request that the letters be submitted via the online portal by September 1, 2023. Please contact the Grants Manager at if any difficulties arise on this step.

Applicants will be notified in December 2023 of funding decisions.