Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship

The Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship programme is a six-month residential fellowship. The Fellow will undertake research on the collections of the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library and the National Archives of Singapore. These materials include historical materials dating from the 16th century on Singapore and Southeast Asia and contemporary collection.

The Lee Kong Chian Reference Library holds significant and early works documenting the history of Singapore and the region, which include imprints from Singapore’s earliest printing presses, early European accounts of Southeast Asia, early maps and charts of the region and archives of prominent Singapore authors. The National Archives of Singapore holds records of national or historical significance acquired from public agencies, private sources and overseas institutions and archives.

We welcome applications from curators, historians, academics or independent researchers with established records of achievement in their chosen fields of research. Those pursuing doctoral, postdoctoral or advanced research are also encouraged to apply.

Recipients are expected to remain in residence at the library, located in the central district of Singapore, during the period of their fellowship and to focus their time on researching the collections in the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library. Besides a monthly stipend for six months, overseas recipients are provided with a one-time relocation allowance, monthly accommodation allowance and reimbursement of a return economy class air ticket.

Preference will be given to the following fields of research for 2024:

  • • Critical inquiry on Singapore contemporary literature or theatre from the 1950s  
  • • Comparative study of early Singapore and/or Malaya from western and Asian scholarship and perspectives
  • • Arts and culture in Singapore and Malaya from the early 20th century to independence – exploring the development of the visual, performing or literary arts amongst the general population, specific ethnic or under-represented communities  
  • • Study of World War II materials through donor’s materials such as Toshio Egawa’s collection, Lim Shao Bin’s collection.
  • • Social history of pre-independent Singapore (Malaya)
  • • Study of Chinese community through clan association materials such as Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan’s collection, Chin Kang Huay Kuan’s collection and Kim Mui Hoey Kuan’s collection
  • • Natural history and Biodiversity
  • • Development of economic sectors, professions and trades in Singapore within the context of historical global developments
  • • Area history of places and spaces in Singapore
  • • Study of the cultural heritage of Asia through the Asian Children’s Literature Collection

Who Can Apply?
The Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship is open to both local and foreign applicants who are able to undertake prescribed research topics that raise awareness of our collections. Successful applicants should have scholarly and research credentials or their equivalent. The Library welcomes applications from curators, historians, academics or independent researchers with established records of achievement in their chosen fields of research. Scholars pursuing doctoral, postdoctoral or advanced research are also encouraged to apply. They should preferably have an established record of achievement in their chosen field of research and the potential to excel further.

Terms of the Award
The award of the Fellowship is for a period of six months.

A stipend of S$3,500 per month will be provided to help Lee Kong Chian Research Fellows meet living expenses, local transportation and photocopying expenses.

In addition to the stipend, overseas Fellows will be provided with a one-time relocation package of $1,500, a one-time return airfare of up to $1500 (reimbursement basis), and monthly accommodation allowance of up to $3,500 (reimbursement basis).

All Fellows will also be provided with the following:

  • A research space at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library including a computer with internet access
  • Access to the library's collections
  • Introduction to a library staff who can recommend resources from the collections

Selection Criteria

  • Research should be original.
  • Research uses the library and archives’ collections.
  • Research can be conducted within 6 months.
  • Applicant possesses high level of competency as indicated by referees, transcripts, research experience and other academic achievements.
  • Application should show a good understanding of proposed research topic in the proposal.

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