Call for Applications: Myanmar Research Fellows

The Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD), Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University, is delighted to launch a new call for Myanmar Research Fellows. RCSD is looking to support emerging Myanmar scholars who have a strong research background and a plan to undertake a project which can produce critical knowledge for building inclusive communities for the future of Myanmar.

Research Fellows need to be able to travel and primarily reside in Chiang Mai for a period of one year, beginning March 1, 2024. Fellows will be provided with visa support, a monthly fellowship payment, medical insurance, the cost of travel to Thailand, a working space and visa support. They will also receive tailored research trainings, the opportunity to join academic events, conferences and field trips, and access to facilities at the university. RCSD envisions fellows playing an active role in our work, particularly in building the Myanmar scholarly community and contributing to our network of Thai, Myanmar, and international scholars.

The essential criteria for a Myanmar Research Fellow include:

  • Experience in conducting academic research at postgraduate level or as an independent researcher. At least a master’s degree (or PhD) is desirable, but exceptions may be made in the case of proven experience in academic research.
  • A clearly articulated plan for a one year research project, with stated outputs, including the ability to describe the significance and potential contribution of the research to the scholarship on Myanmar.
  • The willingness to be an active member of RCSD and our Myanmar scholarly network, able to contribute to various projects and needs as they arise.
  • Some evidence that the scholar’s ability to continue to engage in research or efforts to support inclusion in Myanmar has been impacted by ongoing events inside the country.
  • Robust spoken and written skills in both Myanmar and English language are a requirement. Additional ethnic language skills are desirable.

Research priorities: As a small research center, we are committed to the production of grounded, community-engaged knowledge on development in our region, and we hope fellows will continue in this tradition. Our new strategic priority on Myanmar is geared towards harnessing emerging forms of community response, social protection and movements from below. We see RCSD as contributing to the co-production of knowledge, dialogue, and action to support Myanmar people’s envisioning of a “new commons”, understanding the assemblages of the future, and rethinking communities after the state. Key themes which fall under this strategic priority include; emergent forms of governance and civilian protection, livelihoods and food systems under conflict and climate change, resilience and localisation in service provision and the equitable distribution of resources, and new discourses and practices of ethnicity, territoriality and belonging. Research plans are expected to speak to this agenda.

Further information: In accepting the fellowship, researchers need to commit to producing at least one manuscript ready for publication within the fellowship period. Additionally, part of the fellowship includes agreeing to a specific involvement in RCSD’s ongoing research and work. While this is a full-time position, RCSD acknowledges that in the present context fellows may have other ongoing commitments. We encourage this work to continue and seek ways to integrate it with RCSD and their research activities, but this must be appropriately balanced with their work with RCSD. The awarding of fellowships will be competitively assessed based on the above criteria.

To apply: please send a CV and statement of purpose to The statement (max. 3 pages) should include a description of your background, including past research experience and your current situation. It should also include a clear articulation of the planned research which you wish to engage in during your time in Chiang Mai, including its significance and scholarly contribution. We are unable to consider applications which do not include this. Applications are now open and will close on 5pm on 15 February 2024 (Thailand time). Interviews with shortlisted candidates will take place at the end of February, with fellows expected to arrive in Chiang Mai during March.