< Return to Research Awards


The Asia New Zealand Foundation initiated the Postgraduate Research Award Programme in 1997 and has generously funded it since then

Chair of Malay Studies


Victoria University

The Chair of Malay Studies at Victoria University of Wellington was inaugurated in March 1996. In 2002, the Malay Studies programme joined the Asia:NZ - NZASIA Research Awards Scheme and provides scholarships to postgraduate students working on topics related to the Malay World.

Previous Winners


Winners in 2005 of Asia:NZ - NZASIA Research Awards and Malay Studies Scholarships

Selver Buldanlioglu Sahin
Francis Collins
Lorena Gibson
Donna Hendry
Stephen McDowall
Imogen Neale
Nor Zarifah Binti Maliki
Nordin Mohamed

Selver Buldanlioglu SahinSelver Buldanlioglu Sahin

Selver is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the University of Canterbury. She is making a comparative study of post-conflict reconstruction in Kosovo and East Timor in terms of the creation of state institutions and national identity. She worked as an international observer in the first parliamentary elections in Kosovo in 2001. A visit to East Timor will enable her to conduct interviews with governmental, non-governmental and international agencies based in Dili. The data she collects will enable her to test theoretical approaches to state and nation building, and to build a 'Timorese perspective' into her analysis. She has been awarded $3100 to support a three-week visit to East Timor in January 2006.


Francis CollinsFrancis Collins

Francis is working towards a doctorate in Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Auckland. He is exploring the experiences and practices of South Korean international students as they travel from their home cities and towns in South Korea to Auckland and then back home again. Among other things, his work identifies the myriad social and cultural borders that are produced, maintained and crossed in the everyday lives of students before, during and after their stay in Auckland. A month-long visit to Seoul in August-September 2005 will enable Francis to interview returned students and explore their experience of re-entry into South Korea. He will also attend two international education fairs, providing an opportunity to observe the way in which Auckland and New Zealand are represented to potential students. A Research Award of $4000 will support this fieldwork.


Lorena GibsonLorena Gibson

Lorena is enrolled for a PhD in Social Anthropology at Massey University. She is making a comparative study of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and grassroots development initiatives among the poor in two cities — one in India (Kolkata, formerly Calcutta) and the other in Papua New Guinea (Lae). Specifically, she is investigating initiatives aimed at alleviating poverty and improving women's well-being in the slum areas of those two cities. A fieldwork visit to Kolkata will enable her to make a close study of Rehnuma-e-Niswaan, a grassroots organisation initiated by poor Muslim women that is currently seeking to establish a free, non-formal school for slum children and a sewing business enterprise. Her Research Award of $3100 will help fund this fieldwork.


Donna HendryDonna Hendry

Donna is doing a PhD in Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. She is making a study of Buddhism in Myanmar (Burma) and the way in which religion, politics and ethnicity intersect in the construction of ethnic identity. She is particularly interested in the political impact on non-Burman ethnic groups of the process of 'Burmanisation' - the state's attempt to eliminate ethnic differences, and in Buddhism's role in this process. She plans a five-week fieldtrip to Myanmar in November-December 2005, and hopes to carry out interviews with non-Buddhist community members at various sites around Myanmar and on the Thai-Burmese border. Her $3200 Research Award will contribute to the costs of this fieldwork.


Stephen McDowallStephen McDowall

Stephen is studying for a PhD in Classical Chinese Literature at the Victoria University of Wellington. He is making a study of the portrayal of Yellow Mountain (Huangshan) by the late-Ming scholar Qian Qianyi (1582 - 1664). Specifically, he is exploring the range of literary and artistic influences that shaped Qian's depiction of the famous mountain. Stephen's annotated translation of Qian's 1642 "Record of My Travels at Yellow Mountain" will serve as the basis of his thesis. He plans visits to the two Yellow Mountain museums in Anhui province in order to examine early-Qing ink drawings of the mountain. And he will visit the Shanghai Museum to read important works by Qian's contemporaries. A Research Award of $4000 will support the three-week visit to China in November-December 2005.


Imogen Neale

Imogen is a Masters student in Sociology at the University of Auckland. She is studying the state of theatre and performing arts in contemporary Singapore. To counter the predominant quantitative methodologies that compute arts and culture as percentages, attendance figures and profit margins, Imogen aims to make a qualitative assessment by analysing the experiences and opinions of arts practitioners and their audiences. She spent four weeks in June - July 2005 as a participant observer at Singapore's Substation, the city-state's only independent arts institution. A Research Award of $3100 helped suppport this fieldwork.


Malay Studies Scholarships, 2005

Nor Zarifah Binti MalikiNor Zarifah Binti Maliki

Zarifah is working towards a doctorate in the field of Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University. She is investigating the meaning of rural kampung (village) landscape to rural-urban migrants in Malaysia. Her study is based on two case studies, Kuala Lumpur and Alor Setar, and involves the participation of rural-urban migrants from the rural kampung in Kedah. An aim of the project is to design strategies that will help 'ground' rural-urban migrants in urban areas. Zarifah plans a four-month period of fieldwork from November 2005 to February 2006. A Malay Studies Scholarship of $3000 will help support that fieldwork.


Nordin MohamedNordin Mohamed

Nordin is studying towards a PhD in Information Science at Victoria University of Wellington. He is analysing the relationship between knowledge management applications and the criminal investigation process in the Criminal Investigation Department of the Royal Malaysia Police. During a period of fieldwork in Malaysia (September 2005 to January 2006), he will conduct interviews with investigators in their work settings, observe the investigators at work, and examine case files and other documents relevant to the criminal investigation process. His $3000 Malay Studies Scholarship will contribute to his fieldwork costs.