We offer competitive undergraduate research fellowship opportunities for students to pursue research with a Southeast Asia focus, involving source materials in our main and special collections. This opportunity has been made available with the support of the Wan family and is open to all NUS undergraduate students regardless of their disciplinary backgrounds.
Congratulations to our inaugural batch of fellowship winners for their outstanding project submissions. Their research projects are selected for their significance in addressing scholarly gaps in Southeast Asia, potential in utilising/contribution to NUS Libraries’ collections, project innovation, and feasibility.
Damien Kee Wei Hao
Damien is a 5th year student of Law and History with a deep interest in the social history of Southeast and East Asian interaction with entities that promoted alternative and ultimately unsuccessful world orders, Pan-Asianism, and Singapore’s military and legal institutions. For leisure, he wanders around Singapore whenever he can.
The Practice, Permeation, and Perception of Law by Local Residents of Japanese Occupied Singapore, Syonan-to
Shaun is a 3rd year History Major. He is interested in the history of Southeast Asia and its relationship with China, especially from the perspective of ordinary individuals and the underprivileged. In his spare time, he plays football and represents NUS English Debate in regional and international competitions.
Sinospheric Subjects: Chinese Singaporeans, China, and Taiwan, 1976-1990
Sinospheric Subjects: Chinese Singaporeans, China, and Taiwan, 1976-1990 is a book project by Dr. Kung Chien Wen, which Shaun is contributing to as part of a UROP and then as a Research Assistant. The project explores how Singapore’s domestic
Chinese agenda from around 1976-1990 shaped and was shaped by social and cultural ties between ordinary Chinese Singaporeans and both the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan. In so doing, it seeks to
go beyond studying the experiences of local Chinese Singaporeans in a mononational framework, to connect these experiences to the histories of China and Taiwan. Shaun hopes this project can uncover the memories of a hitherto under-researched generation
of Singaporeans who experienced the marginalisation of their Chinese-centred identities in the 1970s and 1980s, and understand how these memories have been institutionalised and shaped their contemporary notions of self, society, and nation.
Rica is a final year undergraduate pursuing Project and Facilities Management at the College of Design and Engineering. She is a BCA-Industry iBuildSG Scholar and is extremely passionate about sustainability advocacy in her field. As an NUS Student Ambassador, Rica also enjoys connecting with new people and guiding her juniors.
Legalising the Path to Net-Zero Carbon Buildings: The Case for the Singapore Net-Zero Carbon Building Act 2023
Governments and organisations worldwide are stepping up efforts to combat the negative impacts of climate change which are intensifying and becoming more prevalent in recent years. Evidently, Singapore has also joined the race to net-zero and introduced
many initiatives to promote environmental sustainability, with decarbonisation as a key focus area under the five-year research masterplan. Unfortunately, carbon emissions in Singapore still remain high within the built environment. The absence
of a standardised legal compliance framework, targeting carbon management and reduction, is an identified gap in the industry which should be addressed. Through this project, Rica will analyse current measures in Singapore and international
best practices, as well as interview industry professionals to develop the proposed Net-Zero Carbon Building Act (“the Act”) for Singapore. The Act will legalise the pathway for developers to undertake to transition their buildings
towards net-zero carbon.
Shawn is a 3rd year Southeast Asian Studies Major with a Double Minor in Philosophy and Sociology. His interests include Food Anthropology, Nationalism and Social Constructionism in Southeast Asia. He is also a foodie who loves trying new cuisines, collects Batik shirts, consumes (lots of) Matcha, and plays the Javanese Gamelan.
Rethinking Singapore's Nation-Building Narratives: A Case Study from Pulau Semakau's Heritage
Many know Pulau Semakau today as a landfill to dispose of Singapore's incinerated waste and a success story of the government's sustainable development efforts. However, beneath the island's greenwashed narrative lies a deeper, richer history. Before
its conversion into a landfill, Pulau Semakau was home to the native Orang Laut people, whose presence in the region predated Raffles' arrival in 1819. Additionally, many artefacts have been found on the island, including pottery dating back to
possibly as far as the 12th century. These findings potentially open up new chapters in Singapore's history. Therefore, his research aims to construct this forgotten historico-cultural heritage of Pulau Semakau, and to provide a more inclusive
way of perceiving Singaporean identity in our nation-building narratives through the inclusion of the Orang Laut people’s stories.
Yap Yu Liang
Yu Liang is a final year History undergraduate with Minors in Religious Studies and Southeast Asian Studies. His interests lie in studying religion, and culture in Southeast Asia, especially Buddhism and Chinese religions in Singapore. In his spare time, he plays international chess and engages youths through the Scouting Movement.
A History of Buddhist Philanthropy in Singapore
Yu Liang's research project explores the transformation of Buddhist social welfare services from Singapore’s pre-independence period to the period of rapid economic development from the 1980s onwards. To understand the nature of Buddhist philanthropy before Singapore’s independence which took on a relatively informal persona, he will investigate the collaboration between Buddhist temples and Chinese huiguans in the provision of social welfare services such as healthcare and education. Using the Singapore Buddhist Free Clinics as his primary case study, he will trace the institutionalisation process of Buddhist medical care. He hopes this macro-approach to studying Buddhism will illuminate the social context which catalysed the religion’s expansion as well as the intricacies of collaboration between various Buddhist organisations and the state in the provision of social welfare services in Singapore.
This fellowship supports undergraduate students currently enrolled at the National University of Singapore, who are pursuing/interested to pursue research projects with a Southeast Asia focus.
All undergraduate students who are working on research projects under UROP, honours thesis, final year projects, etc are also encouraged to apply.
Applications for 2022 have closed. Please look out for updates on the 2023 application.
|10 Jul 2022||Applications deadline|
|21 Jul 2022||All applicants notified of decisions|
|30 Jul 2022||Submission of workplan by Undergraduate Research Library Fellows|
|5 Aug 2022||Approval of workplan by NUS Libraries Undergraduate Research Library Fellowship Committee|
|8 Aug 2022||Start of fellowship|
|30 Jun 2023 (TBC)||Annual Symposium (all projects to conclude by this point)|