AAS Awards 25 “Cultivating the Humanities and Social Sciences” Grants in 2023-24 Competition

In partnership with Sweden, the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) has launched a four-year initiative to help reduce the social and economic vulnerabilities of Southeast and South Asian low and lower-middle-income countries. The “Cultivating the Humanities and Social Sciences and Supporting Under-Represented Scholars of Asia” (CHSS) project aims to strengthen the research capacity of underserved universities while enhancing the academic knowledge, research skills, experience, and resources of their scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

One of the major components of this $2.68-million transnational project is to stimulate knowledge production and policy-relevant research by offering research grants to junior faculty, graduate students, senior, and independent scholars, especially to women and ethnic minority groups located in post-conflict and conflict areas.

The competition for 2023-2024 has resulted in a total of 25 grants, 21 of which are awarded to individual scholars and teams of researchers across different regions and disciplines under the CHSS program. These short and long-term grants are made possible thanks to Sweden with the ultimate goal of contributing to poverty reduction and building sustainable societies. With this objective in mind, AAS has partnered with the Forest Foundation Philippines (FFP) to sponsor Filipino scholars whose research relates to forestry issues in the Philippines. With their support, an additional 4 grant awards have been made that otherwise would not have been possible. Established in 2002, under two bilateral agreements between the governments of the United States of America and the Philippines, the Forest Foundation Philippines is a non-profit organization that provides grants to individuals and organizations that protect and conserve the forests.

Meet the 2024-25 CHSS Grantees and Their Research Projects


Kajalie Shehreen Islam, University of Dhaka, “Discourses of the Disappeared: Media coverage and public discourse around enforced disappearances in Bangladesh”


Dorji Wangchuk, Ministry of Education and Skills Development, “Yak Herders’ Adaptation Strategies to Depleting Himalayan Environments and Challenges in Upholding the Traditional Herding Practices”


Phally Ngoeum, Impact Story, “Double Jeopardy”


Manshi Asher, Independent Scholar, “Knowledge and Resource Contestations in Himalayan Climate and Disaster Discourses”

Camellia Biswas, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhingar, “Knotted Lives: Decolonial Practices and Artistic Interpretations of Multispecies Coexistence in the Sundarban”

Dixita Deka, North Eastern Social Research Centre, “Underground Women: Oral Histories of ULFA’s Women Rebels”

Nimisha John, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, “Ration card as invoking ‘Identity crisis’: Narratives from Transgender People in Kerala”

Roluahpuia, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, “Border Precarity: Conflict, Migration, and Displacement in the Indo-Myanmar Borderlands”

Mushtaq Ahmad Malla, Iqbal Sonaullah, & Raveena Kousar, Department of Higher Education, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, “Democracy and Social Harmony: Examining the Impact of Local Governance in Jammu and Kashmir”


Sommore PanyavongKhammanh Siphanxay & Bouathong Xaimaly, National University of Laos, “Negotiating Communities: Language and Ritual within Inter-ethnic Relations in the Uplands of Laos”

Somphone Soukhathammavong, SKILL CAP, “Learning And Sharing Capacity Building And Skills From Youth To Improve Alternative Learning To Employment Opportunities”


Krishna Pandey, Purbanchal University, Centre for Population and Development, “Climate change impact on the livelihood of the Madheshi Dalit Women of Nepal”

Ranju Yadav, Tribhuvan University, “Madheshi Women and the Feminist Movement in Nepal”


Qaisar Abbas, Independent Researcher, “Theatre of Colonial Lahore (1900-1947)”

Ashraf Kakar, Independent Scholar, “Pashto Folk Music and Dance Heritage Conservation”

Ibrahim Buriro, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, “Exploring the Impact of Development Interventions on the Interplay between Community Livelihoods, Cultural Practices, and Environmental Degradation at Hamal Lake, Sindh, Pakistan”


Ayshia KuntingTirmizy E Abdullah, & Ariel C. Lopez, Western Mindanao State University, “Surat Jawi from Sulu and Mindanao at the National Archives of the Philippines: Preliminary Catalog and Critical Study”

Sri Lanka

Maya Silva, Independent Scholar, “Urban Transitions and Socioeconomic Trajectories: Tracing the Shift from Watta to High-Rise Communities in Colombo, Sri Lanka”


Puangchon Unchanam, Naresuan University, & Khorapin Phuaphansawat, Chulalongkorn University, “Silence is King: Political Persecutions of Monarchy Reform Activists in Thailand”


Martinho Borromeu, Universidade Nacional Timor-Lorosa’e, “Environmental Perceptions and Practices of Farmers and Community Members in Timor-Leste: A philosophical approach”


Thi Minh Tran, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, & Thi Hà Phạm, Hanoi National University of Education, “Empowering Academic Voices: A Pilot Study on Enhancing Vietnamese Academic Writing”

Forest Foundation Philippines Grantees

Estrella Y. Dacillo, Central Mindanao University, “Folk Narratives and Art Media: Towards a Theoretical Model of Cultural and Environmental Restoration among the Bukidnons”

Ma. Zenia Dulce, University of the Philippines Tacloban College and UP Baguio, “Semiotics and Cultural Logic of the Mamanwa Rituals through Dance as Embodied Knowledge”

Agnes Beatrice Silva, Far Eastern University, “The ‘Normalisation of Inconvenience’: A Study on the Philippines’ Sustainability of Climate Change Policies and its Effects on Women Post-Typhoon Rai (Odette)”

Eden Hulipas-Terol, University of the Philippines, “The Sierra Madre Ayta Youths’ Perception on Environmental Conservation and Management Strategies on Ecotourism in their Ancestral Domain in the Province of Aurora”

The AAS Secretariat will be closed on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day