ASEAS Master’s Dissertation Prize

Image: The cities of southeast China glitter brightly by NASA Johnson/Flickr; Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.]

The ASEAS Master’s Dissertation Prize aims to showcase outstanding humanities and social science research on Southeast Asia from postgraduate students across the world.

We invite heads of departments and dissertation supervisors to nominate a dissertation in any area of humanities or social sciences, which focuses on Southeast Asia.

Students may also self-nominate, providing they include a statement of support from their dissertation supervisor or head of department.

The dissertation should be the best in the subject area (of distinction or first-class quality), focus on a topic relating to Southeast Asia whether ancient or modern, make an original contribution to research debates, and be of excellent quality.

The author of the winning dissertation will receive £150, a year’s membership of ASEAS, and the opportunity to write a blog piece on their research to be published on the ASEAS website and promoted across our social media channels.


  • Dissertations must have been submitted as part of a taught postgraduate degree (MA/MSc/MPhil; unfortunately undergraduate dissertations are ineligible for this scheme).
  • Dissertations must clearly relate to the Southeast Asia region.
  • Dissertations are to address any aspects of Southeast Asian human society and culture or social scientific understanding of Southeast Asian affairs.

Submission Guidelines

To apply please submit a completed nomination form, a 300 word abstract and a 3,000 word extract from the dissertation to with the subject heading “ASEAS Master’s Dissertation Prize Nomination”.

Only dissertations achieving a distinction / first class or equivalent internal grade will be considered for the prize. All submissions will be fully anonymised by ASEAS prior to review.

To request a nomination form please email

Applications for the Dissertation Prize will open in Autumn 2023.

Review process

Dissertations will be reviewed independently by a judging panel of academic faculty representing multiple disciplines specialising in the Southeast Asia region, and the criteria will include research quality, originality and academic contribution.

Dissertations will be fully anonymised so that any identifying information, including document author properties, is removed before being sent to the review panel.

Any queries about the prize should be sent to ASEAS Operation’s Manager Kimberley Weir at

Previous Recipients

The 2022/2023 ASEAS Master’s Dissertation Prize recipient was Helsheila Julis Binti Juffri. Sheila’s dissertation, entitled ‘Temuan Ontology through Derian Worlding’, was submitted as part of her Master’s in Research , which she completed in the School of Media, Languages and Cultures at the University of Nottingham Malaysia in 2022.

Sheila’s thesis comprised a detailed ethnographic account of the indigenous Temuan’s complex relationship to durian in Peninsula Malaysia, exploring ontological themes as well as the material relations between durian, customary land and social relations.

The 2021/2022 ASEAS Master’s Dissertation Prize recipient was Amanda Muñoz Gamage. Amanda’s dissertation, entitled ‘Enacting FPAR in Human Rights Organizations: practices, challenges and tensions’, was submitted as part of her MSc in Human Rights, which she completed in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics in 2021.

Click here to read Amanda’s blog piece on Feminist Participatory Action Research.