ASEAN Research Program
Number of recipients
In addition to being a prestigious academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of other nations and to promote international understanding and cooperation. To support this mission, Fulbright Scholars may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities.
Conduct collaborative research in an area of specialization on an issue of priority to ASEAN or to the U.S.-ASEAN relationship in 2-3 ASEAN countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam. Project statement must include a detailed description of proposed research and the relevance of the research to the broader ASEAN region, as well as the justification for each specific country included, duration and dates in each country, host institutions and planned site(s) to be visited.
Affiliations with universities, think tanks, nongovernmental organizations and research centers in the selected host countries may be considered.
Three to six months. Award activity must be undertaken in a single period of residence abroad. Applicants may propose travel to each country no more than once.
Research grants may start any time beginning August 2024 and must be completed by September 30, 2025.
Applications in the following specializations are particularly sought: ASEAN studies, comparative politics, dispute settlement and negotiation, economic integration and trade policy, educational policy (including technical and vocational education), environmental science/studies, human migration and trafficking, international law, international relations, marine conservation, public health, public policy, regional security, and wildlife trafficking.
Fulbright East Asia Pacific Regional Travel Program
As conditions allow, Fulbright Scholars in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region may have the opportunity to apply for funds to support short-term (3-14 days) travel to other countries in the EAP region for activities such as lectures, workshops, graduate or faculty seminars, master classes or recitals, curricular advising, or panel presentations. EAP Regional Travel Program funding covers transportation only. Regional Travel Program activities/host sites should not be included in the initial Fulbright application. Scholars may start the process of seeking out invitations for short-term activities in other EAP countries once notified that they have been selected for a Fulbright grant but will only be able to apply for travel program funds, conditions permitting, once they have actively started their Fulbright grant in their host country. Scholars on Flex grants are not eligible for the regional travel grant.
Applicants are encouraged to have identified potential host institutions. Applicants should inquire with the East Asia and the Pacific Team with questions about invitation requirements for specific countries.
English is the official language of ASEAN. Applicants are not required to submit a language proficiency evaluation. However, proficiency in the local language may be recommended for some research topics, depending on the country. If applicants do not have local language skills, they should explicitly address the issue when discussing the feasibility of the project in their project statement.
These awards are for individuals who seek to establish a focus on U.S.-ASEAN relations in their work or to undertake research on a comparative project that has implications for the ASEAN region or the U.S.-ASEAN relationship.
Ph.D. is preferred, but applicants with master's degrees will be considered. Applications from established scholars as well as from candidates who are early in their careers are encouraged. Ph.D. candidates must attain a doctoral degree by the start of the grant (indicate expected date of conferral in application and project statement).
Short-listed applicants may be invited to telephone or Skype interviews.
Tracks with research awards from each country.
Initial travel tracks with first country of award; additional intraregional travel to second or third country is $500 per trip.
Dependent travel: travel for up to two accompanying dependents, based on the country
$800 research allowance
Please refer to the figures above for an estimate of total monthly Fulbright award benefits. Benefits may include a monthly base stipend, living and housing allowances, and additional one-time allowances. Benefits may vary based on a scholar's current academic rank (or professional equivalent), the city of placement, the type of award (teaching, teaching/research, or research), and the number of and duration of stay of accompanying dependents. Research-only or Professional Project grantees receive a standard stipend that is not adjusted for academic rank. In most cases, dependent benefits will not be provided to Flex grantees, or to grantees pursuing grants less than four months (or a semester) in length.
Final grant amounts will be determined prior to the start of the academic year and are subject to the availability of funds. The United States Department of State reserves the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, number of awards and allowances.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten countries in Southeast Asia: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam. The United States was the first country to recognize ASEAN with an official U.S. Mission to ASEAN, and supports the organizational efforts to create a unified region with one vision, one identity and one community. Key areas of focus for ASEAN (and U.S. engagement with ASEAN) include promoting inclusivity, improving the quality of basic education, addressing the development gaps across the region, aligning ASEAN goals with the Sustainable Development Goals, enhancing ASEAN awareness, and furthering the development of ASEAN studies programs. American Scholars selected for this regional program should pursue collaborative research projects which support priority issue areas for the ASEAN region and to the U.S.-ASEAN relationship, with activities taking place in two or three ASEAN countries. Scholars will be encouraged to include a trip during their grant period to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia to present on their research and meet with staff at the Secretariat and the U.S. Mission to ASEAN.
Cambodia is a country of contradictions. It has one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia, but large portions of the country still depend on traditional fishing and agriculture. It has democratic processes, but the same party has been in power for decades. It still bears the scars of the Khmer Rouge regime, but a dynamic youth sector is charting its own course.
Of all of the changes that have taken place in the last decade, the rise of a large and distinct youth demographic is arguably the most important. Young Cambodians are more educated, more outward looking and more connected than any previous generation. Tapping into the energy and optimism of this youthful core is critical to Cambodia’s future success.
The Fulbright Program plays an important role in supporting bilateral relations by bringing U.S and Cambodian youth and educators together. Cambodia’s higher education system is still developing, giving U.S. Fulbrighters the opportunity to have an outsized impact on teaching, curriculum development and program evaluation. Cambodia presents endless opportunities for research, both as a stand-alone country and as part of the ASEAN region. Previous Fulbrighters have made significant contributions in fields including political science, agriculture, environmental studies, education, nursing, health and biochemistry.
The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh provides a full range of support services to U.S. Fulbright Scholars, including an in-country orientation, housing information, visa assistance, and help connect Fulbrighters with the Embassy's community and network when needed.
Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous nation and third largest democracy. With more than 17,000 islands, this vast archipelago is rich in natural resources and possesses exceptional biodiversity. Its cultural diversity and heritage--with numerous ethnic groups and hundreds of local languages--matches its natural diversity. Since political reform begun in 1998, Indonesia has worked to strengthen its democratic governance, and as the largest economy in Southeast Asia, it is critical to regional stability.
Finding housing in Indonesia is perhaps not always easy, but many housing agencies can help scholars navigate this process. Host institutions also can assist since they know more about the local environment. Apartments are more common in larger cities, while in smaller cities, options range from rental homes, boarding and guest houses, and home stays.
Most cities now have online transportation service that can be accessed through apps, like Gojek and Grab. In large cities, buses, trains, and taxis are common and in most places, it is possible to hire a car and driver for longer journeys in and out of town.
For scholars who bring dependents, there are more options for International (English-language) schools in larger cities, such as Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, and Denpasar.
For more information about living in Indonesia, please access this link.
Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious federation of 13 states and three federal territories that boasts one of Southeast Asia's most vibrant economies. A confluence of Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous tribes co-exist in areas as disparate as sandy beaches, urban centers, and tea plantations, though racial and religious divides persist.
Researchers and teachers in fields such as agriculture, forestry, and tropical ecology, environmental studies, Southeast Asian history, and society, media and information technology, cultural studies, public health, and Islamic topics are highly sought.
Real Estate agents are available to assist you in finding adequate housing. Click the link for more information https://www.propertyguru.com.my/property-for-rent
The light rail system (LRT) and monorail (MRT) provide very good transportation services in the city and suburban areas. The ride-hailing service Grab operates very similar to Uber or Lyft in the United States.
Grocery stores, located in most areas, are well stocked with international products of all types.
The cuisine is majorly a combination of Malay, Chinese and Indian because of its geographical location. There are also many fine continental restaurants serving all types of Western and local dishes.
One of the benefits of being in Malaysia is that the cost of living is very affordable for the high quality that it offers. From accommodation and utility expenses to food and travel expenses, daily expenses are highly manageable according to different affordability levels and preferred lifestyles. Fortunately, Malaysia is a multi-lingual country, hence language barrier is hardly an issue to contend with. The national language is Malay, and other common and fluently spoken languages include English, Mandarin, and Tamil.
Fortunately, Malaysia offers high-speed and affordable communications infrastructure as a means to stay connected to family and friends around the world.
Malaysia experiences sunny summer days all year round interspersed with tropical rain showers. Although it can be humid, it’s never too hot, with temperatures ranging between 20°C to 33°C. Dress comfortably in light clothing.
The Philippines is a place of natural wonders and dynamic cultures gathered along the second largest archipelago in the world set in the western Pacific Ocean.
The Philippines is an incredibly diverse nation in terms of language, religion, ethnicity and also geography. Providing quality primary education, maternal health and mitigating the effects of climate change pose the biggest development and economic challenges in the country.
The Philippine Commission on Higher Education regulates 2,229 higher education institutions that can be classified as public and private. The Philippine higher education system has strong similarities in structure to the U.S. higher education system.
The academic year runs from August to May with the first semester running August to December and the second semester running January to May.
Singapore is one of the world’s busiest trading ports and a vibrant banking and business capital with a multicultural society. The quality of education in Singapore is high by world standards, partly the outcome of a bilingual education policy, with English being the medium of education starting from elementary school all the way through tertiary education. Singapore is home to six universities. There is a large number of international faculty members at Singapore universities, and Fulbright Scholars adjust fairly easily to their grant activities.
Thailand connects mainland and maritime Southeast Asia through key transport corridors supported by modern facilities and infrastructure, making it an ideal hub of communication. Such strategic positioning also blesses Thailand with diversity resembling various religions, ethnicities, languages, foods, and cultures of Southeast Asia.
Allied with the Fulbright vision, the Thailand-U.S. Educational Foundation (TUSEF) seeks applications based on mutual benefits to Thailand and the United States of America with meaningful impacts on Thailand's development.
The Thai academic year runs from August to May. The first semester is August to December; the second semester is January to May.
In Vietnam, education plays a very important role in society. The promotion of learning and respect for teachers are amongst the traditional values of the Vietnamese people. In the recent years, the education system has continued to expand, but enormous educational needs persist for young Vietnamese citizens.
The national education system consists of formal education and continuing education. Schools in the national educational system are organized according to whether they are public or private. According to the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), as of AY 2016 – 2017, there are 235 universities and colleges, of which 170 are public and 65 are private. (Source)
The administration of education in Vietnam is centralized. MOET has responsibility for all education and training at the national level. However, there are several higher education institutions in Vietnam that are under other national ministries, government agencies or provincial people’s committees. Examples of this are the Hanoi School of Public Health, which falls under the Ministry of Health, and Hanoi University of Industry, which falls under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Additionally, the two National Universities, although nominally under MOET, operate independently as separate entities and report directly to the Office of the Government of Vietnam.
The three regional universities, Thai Nguyen University in the north, Hue University and the University of Danang in the central, are under MOET and subject to management by the provincial People’s Committee.
The Vietnamese educational system is currently undergoing reforms, including of textbooks, curriculum and teaching methods, and its institutions are not always up to international standards, especially in the case of higher education. Out-of-date teaching methods are a key issue. Teachers focus more on discipline with limited discussion and interaction, while students are passively attentive and studious. Vietnamese see the U.S. higher education system as the global standard.
To support the ongoing development of Vietnamese higher education, in 2014 the U.S. Congress allocated funding to assist with the creation of a Western-style, independent university in Vietnam. Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV) was established in 2016 as the first private non-profit university in the country, inspired by the Western liberal education tradition.
To facilitate educational reform, the Vietnamese government has established policies to allow educational institutions to set up direct relations with foreign institutions to improve teaching and learning quality in Vietnam.
Because of the dynamic state of Vietnam’s educational system, Fulbright Scholars will have a unique opportunity to help Vietnam build its institutions. While this can be challenging and may require flexibility, many Fulbrighters in Vietnam find it enormously rewarding and build long-lasting relationships with Vietnamese institutions that lead to future cooperation.
Fulbright Scholars in Vietnam are able to teach or teach and conduct research in all disciplines. For teaching grants, time will also be spent consulting and advising host institutions on curriculum and program development as well as providing staff training.
Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.