Council on Southeast Asia Studies Grant

Council on Southeast Asia Studies Grant

An endowment from the Ford Foundation allows CSEAS to provide limited support for the research-related purposes of Yale University graduate (up to $5000) and undergraduate students (up to $3000) with a demonstrated commitment to the field of Southeast Asian studies (Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, East Timor, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam). 


Appropriate purposes for support include (but are not limited to) language training*, masters thesis summer research, pre-dissertation research field work, and funding supplements required to bring a research project to fruition. We do not fund long-term, basic dissertation research, nor do we consider applications for funding of activities connected with dissertation write-up.

Requests for funding of brief visits (< 4 weeks) to fieldwork locales are considered to be minimally productive, and will generally not be funded. The Council strongly favors study or field research durations of at least six weeks or more.

We expect other sources of funding to be pursued before and/or in addition to SEAS application if possible, and such effort will be considered positively by the award selection committee. To Search for grants at Yale click here >> (* Note: As the best strategy for acquiring full funding, we recommend that students request maximum amounts allowed by each funding source in all applications, rather than dividing their total budget among potential funding sources. See YALE AWARD OVERLAPS below.)

NOTE TO UNDERGRADUATES: If you are applying for an International Summer Award (ISA) during the grant period, full disclosure is required.  Please include this information in the project description of your CSEAS application.  CIPE considers study abroad programs to be the student’s “primary activity” when ISA support is provided.  If your CSEAS fellowship application is for a separate research project to be carried out while you are concurrently enrolled in a summer study abroad program, please clarify your ability to do both within the same time frame, along with all potential budget/funding overlaps.

*Undergraduates seeking Yale credit for summer language study abroad, click here>>


Deadline for submission of 2024 Summer applications (including all supporting materials and recommendation letters) is February 29, 2024. Applications for academic 2024/2025 semester projects should also be submitted at this time. We will consider applications for up to $5000 for graduate students and up to $3,000 for undergraduate students, in keeping with our effort to provide minimal funding for training and research necessary to a student’s program and otherwise not available.

Please calculate your budget carefully: post-award revisions in total amount are not permitted.

Any graduate or undergraduate student currently enrolled at Yale may apply. Applicants who will graduate before the proposed project takes place will not be funded.

Please complete the Language Self Evaluation with care. NOTE: The Council strongly favors applicants who have pursued relevant language training rather than (or in addition to) using translators and interpreters. Applicants judged to be lacking appropriate language preparation to effectively complete their project, while deepening their understanding of the region and culture, will not be competitive.  Lacking that (preferred) preparation, applicants should plan and budget for formal language training during their stay in the destination country, either prior to or concurrent with conducting their project.  Documentation of this formal training may be requested.


All application materials must be submitted electronically through the Yale Student Grants Database
(>> CLICK HERE to access the SGDB site)

Please expect to include the following in each application:

  1. Project proposal (~2 pages) succinctly specifying the request, and justifying its importance
  2. Budget: including details of how money is to be spent, other funds received and/or other funding applications pending.  See >> Yale College Budget Preparation suggestions (note: we do not typically fund purchase of mobile phone)
  3. Copy of transcript can be downloaded on the application website
  4. One letter of recommendation (from the faculty member most directly relevant to the project).
    -> Writers of recommendations should submit letters to the SGDB application site via file upload. You will be able to monitor upload completions, and it will be your responsibility see that the submission deadline is met by your recommender.
  5. Attestation of language proficiency-> Language Proficiency Evaluation Form from relevant language instructor, or personal statement regarding native language proficiency/training. These materials should also be submitted via the SGDB site. (If you believe that non-native language proficiency skills are not necessary for your project, space for justification will be provided within the application).

    Project proposals should: (a) clearly state the planned dates of the project; (b) provide some background on the topic, indicating its significance and demonstrating the applicant’s understanding of the relevant contexts; (c) describe the methods to be used when carrying out the project along with the applicant’s experience with or plan for learning the proposed methods.

    Special note on projects that propose working with people: Projects involving research with human subjects, including interviews, photography, video, and recording of any sort, should provide some discussion of ethical considerations, including how study participants will be recruited and how the researcher will maintain high ethical standards for the research. Students should also review the General FAQs for Student Research to understand whether their research is subject to review by the Yale Human Subjects Protection Program. In all cases where applicants will be involved with interviewing or documenting the activities of living people, applicants should always add a short discussion of the ethical principles that inform their proposed work, even if they believe that their project does not need to undergo a human subject review based on the criteria in the General FAQs.

Yale University policy requires that certain types of research projects involving human subjects be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to the start of the study to ensure that the project meets University Policy and any other applicable regulations.  There are required training modules for faculty advisors and students undertaking certain projects involving human subjects. Should your project require IRB review, the SGDB application will guide you to that process. 

NOTE: The SEAS Council recommends that all applicants who may be working with human subjects carefully consider whether a review of their project is needed. The Council may request an IRB review as a condition of an award.  *Delays in confirmation of IRB approval could mean delay in release of your fellowship funds.  Although you cannot apply for IRB review before you have been awarded funding, any funds awarded to you will not be released until IRB exemption or approval has been granted.  It is therefore recommended that you review requirements and begin preparation of the application material before you have been awarded funding in order to speed up the submission and approval process if your fellowship application is successful.


> Overview of Human Subjects Committee and IRB Review Process
> HSC guidelines pertaining to student research projects
> View IRB Decision Tree

The Human Subjects Committee (HSC) can provide assistance in determining if a given project must be reviewed under Yale policy. Send an email to providing a brief description of your project or call 785-4688.


YALE AWARD OVERLAPS: Although the Council initially reviews and ranks all CSEAS applications, final awards are not determined until after a “Student Grant Overlap Meeting,” usually held in mid-April. At this time, representatives from a majority of grant and fellowship sources throughout the University convene to coordinate funding for students who may be recipients of more than one award. A process of negotiation for sharing or relinquishing awards for individual students aims to eliminate any overfunding, and thus free up program resources for full or partial awards to selected students who may be underfunded. Awards and negotiations are based on the Total Project Budget as presented in the application(s), and recorded in the database. (Barring appropriate explanation, an applicant’s Total Budget for a particular project should be the same for each application).

We hope to notify all applicants of CSEAS awards on or before May 1.

**Should full funding or over-funding of the total project budget occur through additional sources, you will be expected to decline or reimburse any CSEAS award amounts over that total.

As per University policy:

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS traveling with CSEAS funds must register your travel and complete all of the required forms on the CIPE - Yale College Fellowships and Independent Activities Registration page prior to receiving your award. (See Yale’s International Travel Policy for Yale College Students).

GRADUATE STUDENTS must submit a signed Assumption of Risk Form. >>Click here to download

ALL STUDENTS are encouraged to REGISTER your travel in case of emergency. >>Click here to access the Yale Travel Registration site.

We also strongly urge all U.S. citizens to register with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country(s) you are traveling to as part of your grant or fellowship through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.  For more information and to register go to  STEP Program, DOS

See Yale’s International Travel Guidelines


A brief written report summarizing the results of your project, and how your funds were used is required at completion. Report forms will be available through the CSEAS office. Please note that if you are traveling, you will need to submit your used airline ticket as part of your report. If the cost of the ticket is significantly lower than budgeted in your application, you may be asked to submit documentation showing how the surplus funds were used. CSEAS reserves the right to audit your use of awarded funds. You are advised to keep a log of all expenses associated with this project, and to save receipts in case an audit is requested for any reason.

Should you fail to undertake or complete your project as planned and presented in your application, immediate notification is required. Full or partial return of awarded funds may be expected.

Please address any questions to the Program Manager for the Southeast Asia Council.

P.O. Box 208206
New Haven, CT 06520-8206
Campus Address: Luce Hall
34 Hillhouse Avenue, Room 311
Tel: 432-3431; Fax: 432-3432