Two MA studentships for the research project “Creation and Analysis of a Digital Asset with the Gibson-Hill Photographic Collection” , Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Kiu-wai Chu's picture

We are offering TWO funded two-year MA studentships commencing August 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter. Selected candidates will be required to undertake Master research as part of a research project funded by Singapore MOE Academic Research Fund (AcRF) Tier 2.

This research project centers around the photography of the Gibson-Hill archive, which captures the liminal period of late 1940s to early 1960s and documents a time of a new political era and nation-building in both Malaysia and Singapore, seen through the eyes of an expatriate.  The Gibson-Hill archive constitutes a significant cultural heritage asset that holds key data for multiple disciplines including environmental and urban history, zoology, architecture, art, and photography.


By investigating the Gibson-Hill archives, the project highlights photography, technology, history and culture, and aims to achieve three major goals: i) to develop various lines of inquiries present in the collection, such as their significance, innovation, and impact in natural and urban histories of Singapore, history of photography, and environmental humanities; ii) to explore how digitalization and new technological use of photography (e.g. AR, VR, re-photography and mobile app technologies) could enrich our knowledge and rebuild our memories of the period, and reconnect Singapore’s colonial past with the present; iii) to find innovative ways to display work of arts, historical artefacts and research findings in attractive ways that could raise interest and educate the general public.  


We are looking for two highly motivated candidates who could assist in one or more of the above areas of inquiries. Candidates who have knowledge and interest in early history of photography in southeast asia, immersive digital experience, colonial and environmental history of Singapore, Southeast Asian history and global/transnational history, environmental humanities, human-animal studies, are particularly encouraged to apply.


The project is headed by principal investigator Asso Prof Oh Soon-hwa and co-principal investigator Asst Prof Kiu-wai Chu. Selected candidates will be expected to produce their MA dissertations related to the project under the investigators’ supervision. They will have opportunities to assist in organising and participating in related research and public activities, and getting involved in related publication projects.

Application procedure: Please apply in writing to Associate Professor Soon-hwa Oh (School of Art, Design and Media, ADM) via, and Assistant Professor Kiu-wai Chu (School of Humanities, SoH) via with a 2-page research proposal (including previous expertise in related areas, a summary of some key literature, study aims and research method), a curriculum vitae, as well as a personal statement of no more than 1 page of your suitability for the studentship.

Requirement: The successful applicant should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject area. S/he should have, or be near to completing an undergraduate qualification or equivalent.

Scholarship funding: Scholarship funding is available for suitable candidates. Details to be discussed later.

Duration of MA proogramme: 2 years

Closing date: 5 November 2021

Start date of MA programme: 8 August 2022