Call for Applications for Overseas Research Assistants

Chien-Wen Kung's picture

Reconceptualizing the Cold War: On-the-ground Experiences in Asia (RCW) is a Singapore Ministry of Education-funded research project based in the Department of History at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and directed by A/P Masuda Hajimu. This project aims to build a digital database of oral interviews, for use by both researchers and students, that captures the emotions, enthusiasms, and fears of ordinary peoples who experienced the post-World War II decades in East, Southeast, and South Asia. As practitioners of social and cultural history, we aim to draw attention to the diverse local struggles and to the class, gender, ethnic, cultural, and religious tensions that diplomatic, great power-focused narratives of the Cold War often obscure.

To this end, we intend to partially fund up to ten overseas research assistants (ORAs) to conduct interviews for incorporation into RCW’s database. We anticipate that each ORA will receive around SGD2,500 to cover the costs of housing, transport, food, and other expenses; additional money may be available on a case-by-case basis. ORAs may use this sum to supplement existing funding.

In accordance with NUS policy, all ORAs will be awarded renewable contracts of up to one year and reimbursed at the conclusion of their research, upon provision of:

  1. Basic biographical information on their interviewees and
  2. Transcripts of their interviews (in either local languages or in English translation) and English summaries of these interviews.

We particularly encourage M.A. and Ph.D. students and independent researchers in Asia who are working on existing projects with an oral fieldwork dimension to apply for these research assistantships. Applicants should submit the following materials, in one PDF file, to by January 31, 2021:

  1. CV
  2. Research proposal (up to 1,000 words). This should explain the stakes of the research project in relation to existing scholarship and how oral interviews will contribute to the project. Please also describe any prior experience with conducting interviews and fieldwork.  
  3. Research schedule. This should lay out a realistic time frame for conducting the interviews, bearing in mind the Covid-19 situation and the time that is often needed to establish rapport with interviewees and conduct follow-up interviews.
  4. Budget. Please be as detailed as possible and convert all sums of money into Singapore dollars.

Please direct all inquiries about RCW and the research assistantship to:

Dr. KUNG Chien Wen

Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of History

National University of Singapore