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2023 SSEAC Grants Scheme winners announced

29 November 2023
Fostering research on Southeast Asia and developing researchers' skills
SSEAC awards 2023 Grants Scheme funding to early- and mid-career researchers and collaborative research projects.

The Sydney Southeast Asia Centre is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 SSEAC Grants Scheme, awarded across four programs – ­SSEAC Collaborative Research Grants, EMCR Seed Grants, Workshop Grants and Writing Fellowships.

The grants cover a range of research areas. Collaborative projects include  a survey of Japanese encephalitis (JE) in the Philippines aimed at informing a mathematical model for predicting high-risk periods of JE virus, a pilot study of  smartphone-based mobile health (mHealth) technologies to improve tuberculosis adherence in Vietnam and a gender-based approach to exploring the linkages between working in agriculture and health and nutrition outcomes for women in rural Laos.

SSEAC has seen seed grants grow into significant studies over the years. Seed grant projects awarded in 2023 include an examination of waste management policies and practices in Timor-Leste, the social and cultural forces behind an increase in Caesarean sections in Northern Thailand and the social impacts of transforming empty multi-purpose ground floors (or void decks) in Singapore’s high-density housing projects to shared spaces.

Several workshop grants, including on feminist writings in Southeast Asian Art, and two writing fellowships have also been awarded.

Congratulations to this year’s recipients, including those from the University of Sydney's Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, School of Architecture, Design and Planning, and Conservatorium of Music, and internationally. 

SSEAC is excited to see all of the successful Grants Scheme projects develop.  

The SSEAC Collaborative Research Grant provides a pathway to quality applications to the NHMRC, ACIAR, ARC Discovery and Linkage schemes. The program provides grants of up to $20,000 for use in 2023–25. 

Collaborative Research Grants have been awarded to:

  • Dr Victoria Brookes (Chief investigator, University of Sydney) and Dr Francesco Baldini and Erin Johnston (University of Glasgow)

    Project: Optimising local surveillance and control of Japanese encephalitis using mathematical modelling

  • Dr Elizabeth Kirkwood (Chief investigator) and Associate Professor Neeloy Alam (University of Sydney), and Anthony Glanville and Ajit Parida (CARE International in Lao PDR)

    Project: A gender-based analysis of women’s livelihoods and the impact on their health and nutrition status in rural Lao PDR

  • Dr Alexandra McCormick (Chief investigator, University of Sydney), Professor Tejendra Pherali (University College London), Gregory Tyrosvoutis (Inclusive Education Foundation) and Dr Daniel Couch (University of Sydney)

    Project: Equity and learning on the Thai/Myanmar borders: Generating lessons from civil societies’ work with Myanmar refugees and migrants on education policy and practice for democracy, peace and reconciliation

  • Dr Marnee McKay (Chief investigator), Associate Professor Claire Hiller and Dr Edward Gorgon (University of Sydney), Associate Professor Aila Nica Bandong, Assistant Professor Kristofferson Mendoza and Professor Maria Eliza Aguila (University of the Philippines Manila), and Professor Joshua Burns (University of Sydney)

    Project: Determining the impact of ethnogeographic variation on physical function through the establishment of the Australia-Philippines 1000 Norms Project

  • Dr Anh Tran (Chief investigator, NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre), Professor Greg Fox (University of Sydney), Professor Thu Anh Nguyen (University of Sydney/Woolcock Institute of Medical Research) and Professor Rachael Morton (University of Sydney)

    Project: Preference for and Economic evaluation of M-health In multidrug-reSistant tubErculosis management in Vietnam (PREMISE) – A pilot study

The SSEAC EMCR Seed Grant provides early- and mid-career researchers a pathway for new academic projects in/about Southeast Asia including scholars engaging in the region for the first time. The program provides grants of up to $10,000 for use in 2023–25 for projects related to one of the five SSEAC research clusters – economic and social development, environment and resources, health, heritage and the arts, and state and society. 

EMCR Seed Grants have been awarded to:

  • Dr Sophie Chao (University of Sydney) and Dr Li-Li Chen and Dr Laurentina ‘Mica’ Barreto Soares (Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa’e)

    : Waste management in Timor-Leste: A case study of women’s livelihoods, environmental health, and sustainable development at the Tibar landfill

  • Dr Anjalee Cohen

    Project: Changing childbirth practices in Northern Thailand: The social and cultural forces behind rising Caesarean sections

  • Dr Hannes Frykholm

    Project: After flexibility: Change and permanence in Singapore’s void decks

  • Dr Edward Gorgon (University of Sydney), Maribeth Anne Gelisanga (Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Philippine General Hospital), and Dr Aila Nica Bandong, Dr Yves Palad and Dr Sharon Ignacio (University of the Philippines Manilla)

    : Co-development of locally informed back pain education resources for Filipinos

  • Dr Zhengqiang Jiang, Dr Yun Trieu and Professor Sarah Lewis (University of Sydney)

    : Applying artificial intelligence to improve radiologists’ performance in detecting breast cancer in Vietnam (VIETRAD-AI)

  • Dr Lian Sinclair (University of Sydney), Dr Dianto Bachriadi (Agrarian Resource Centre, Bandung) and Dr Luqman Nul Hakim (Universitas Gadjah Mada)

    : The nickel boom and electric vehicle global production networks (EV-GPNs) – new strategies for advocacy

The SSEAC Workshop Grant supports international workshops that lead to a special journal edition or edited book on a topic related to Southeast Asia. The program provides grants of up to $20,000 for use in 2023­–25 for projects related to one of the five SSEAC research clusters – economic and social development, environment and resources, health, heritage and the arts, and state and society.

Workshop Grants have been awarded to:

  • Professor Jun Huang and Dr Lizhuo Wang (University of Sydney)

    : Australia-SEA workshop on nano-catalysis for pioneering sustainability in energy and environment

  • Dr Cathy Little and Professor David Evans (University of Sydney) and Dr Hasrul bin Hosshan (Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris)

    : Collaborations in education: Perspectives and experiences from Malaysia and Australia

  • Dr Yvonne Low (University of Sydney) and Dr Roger Nelson (Nanyang Technology University, Singapore)

    : Feminist writings in Southeast Asian Art (circa 1920–2020)

The SSEAC Writing Fellowship is designed to support outstanding early-career academics to write an article related to Southeast Asia based on their PhD work.

Writing Fellowships have been awarded to:

  • Dr Adam King, a researcher, musician and music educator known for his interest and sustained engagement with Balinese music. His article will present an investigation of the traditional Balinese music pedagogical system meguru panngul (literally ‘teaching/ learning from the mallet’): its use in Bali across multiple levels of musical proficiency as well as insights from a cross-cultural perspective.

  • Dr Chieh-Ming Lai’s research focuses on urban greening programs in Bangkok. His article ‘From imitative urbanism to introspective learning: Bangkok’s journey towards global arboricultural expertise’ will examine the trajectory of Bangkok’s urban greening practices and policies and crucial lessons learned along the way.

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