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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 2006 of Asia:NZ - NZASIA Research Awards and Malay Studies Scholarships

Shahzad Sammyh Khan
Karishma Kripilani
Deborah Rhode
Sinnith Sittirak
Bryce Wakefield
Aidah Abdul Karim
Nik Aloesnita Nik Mohd. Alwi


Shahzad Sammyh KhanShahzad Sammyh Khan

Sammyh Khan is a doctoral candidate in the School of Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington. Sammyh’s project investigates the social-psychological implications of the Hindu nationalist movement in India. As he notes, the lack of psychological research on the ideology of Hindutva is remarkable considering the great appeal that the pre-independence phenomenon has had over the last two decades. He has been awarded $3,500 to conduct fieldwork in India, where he will work in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Delhi and the University of Allahabad.


Karishma KripalaniKarishma Kripalani

Karishma is an MA student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Auckland. She is working on a thesis exploring the production of culture in transnational call centres in India. There are around 245, 000 transnational call centres in India, and Karishma is interested in exploring some of the cultural implications associated with this increasingly prominent feature of the globalised economy. She will focus her work on a number of call centres in Mumbai. Karishma has been awarded $4,000 to help her conduct the research she needs to undertake in India.


Deborah RhodeDeborah Rhode

Deborah is working on a MA in Anthropology at the University of Canterbury. Her thesis, tentatively titled ‘Performing the Nation’, is a study of the relationship between the performance of Naadam and the maintenance of Mongolian unity and national identity. Naadam is an historic and uniquely Mongolian tradition which has been staged for centuries. The National Naadam Festival in Ulaanbaatar is now an annual celebration, held to mark the founding of the Mongolian People’s Republic in 1922. This year also marks the 800th Anniversary of the founding of the Mongolian Empire in 1206. Deborah has been awarded $4,000 to support her fieldwork in Mongolia.


Sinnith SittirakSinnith Sittirak

Sinith is a doctoral student in Human Geography and Development Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, where she is writing a thesis on the politics of knowledge production in the Thai women’s movement. In particular, she is exploring the archive related to Pornpet Meuansri, a deceased land-rights activist. Sinith has been awarded $4,000, which she will use to support her research in Thailand.


Bryce WakefieldBryce Wakefield

Bryce is undertaking a PhD project exploring Japanese foreign policy in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Auckland. His research focuses on the views of two prominent politicians, Ishihara Shintaro and Ozawa Ichiro, comparing their views to those of policymakers and analysts active in the area of foreign policy. Bryce has been awarded $4500 to support his travel to Japan so that he can conduct interviews with Japanese policymakers and analysts.


Malay Studies Scholarships, 2006

Aidah Abdul KarimAidah Abdul Karim

Aidah Karim is a doctoral student in the School of Information Management at Victoria University of Wellington. Her dissertation involves a study of information literacy education in Malaysian universities. In particular, she will be looking at how cultural dimensions affect the teaching and learning process of information literacy education programmes at seven Malaysian public universities. Aidah has been awarded $4,500 to support the research for her dissertation.


Nik Aloesnita Nik Mohd. AlwiNik Aloesnita Nik Mohd. Alwi

Ms Mohd. Alwi is undertaking a PhD in Applied Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington. In her dissertation she is exploring the role of computer-mediated communication in second language teaching and learning. Research on education technology, especially on the viability of computer-mediated communication in promoting language learning, is crucial for a country like Malaysia. She will undertake her research at University College of Engineering and Technology in Peninsula Malaysia, and has been awarded $2,500 to support her fieldwork.