SOAS Alphawood Scholarships 2016/17

Applications are now open for the Alphawood Scholarships in Southeast Asian Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London for the 2016-17 academic year.

SOAS Alphawood Scholarships
Deadline: 18 December 2015

The 2016 Alphawood Scholarships at SOAS are now open for applications. The deadline for applications is 18 December 2015.

The Alphawood Scholarships are part of the Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme at SOAS which has been funded by Alphawood Foundation, Chicago. The aim of the academic programme is to advance the understanding and preservation of Buddhist and Hindu art in Southeast Asia through study and research, and to build and support a network of organisations and individuals in the Southeast Asian region who share and support this vision.

NUS Asian Graduate Student Fellowships 2016

The Asia Research Institute (ARI) of the National University of Singapore (NUS) invites applications from citizens of Asian countries currently enrolled in a fulltime Master’s or PhD degrees at a university in an Asian country (except Singapore) for consideration for the award of Asian Graduate Student Fellowships. Offered to graduate students working in the Humanities and Social Sciences on Southeast Asian topics, the fellowship will allow the recipients to be based at NUS for an ‘in residence fellowship’ for a period of eight (8) weeks. The aim of the fellowship is to enable scholars to make full use of the wide range of resources held in the libraries of NUS and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. The fellowship will commence on 23 May 2016, and scholars are expected to make a presentation on their work at the “Singapore Graduate Forum on Southeast Asian Studies” to be organised in the middle of July 2016.

Deadline: 15 November 2015
More details here.

Rave Scholarships for museum technicians and curators

The Rave Scholarships support practical training for young curators, restorers, museum technicians and cultural managers from countries in transition and developing countries. Previous successful applicants have included Southeast Asians. Closing date for applications is April 15, 2016.

For more information, click here.

PhD Scholarship in Underwater Archaeology

The Honor Frost Foundation and Flinders University is offering two three-year PhD Scholarships in Underwater Archaeology, one for a citizen of an Eastern Mediterranean country, but the other is open to citizens of any country. Applications close 7 December 2015.

Details here.

PhD Opportunity in Stone Artefact Archaeology

PhD opportunity in Australia to study stone artefacts in Myanmar and Southeast Asia. Details below.


Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD position in archaeology, within the Centre for Archaeological Science (CAS), University of Wollongong (UOW). The successful candidate will join a multi-disciplinary project that is seeking to generate new data related to the Late Pleistocene colonisation of Asia and Australasia by modern humans (Homo sapiens) and other archaic hominins present in the region at this time. This forms part of the ARC Australian Future Fellowship project led by Dr Ben Marwick, The archaeology of Thailand and Myanmar: A Strategic Region for Understanding Modern Human Colonization and Interactions Across our Region. This project is linked to Prof Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts’ ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship Out of Asia: unique insights into human evolution and interactions using frontier technologies in archaeological science. To address substantial questions concerning early modern human colonisation and adaptation in mainland Southeast Asia, we are developing a number of innovative archaeological-science techniques, and are assembling a research group with strengths in artefact analysis, geochronology, geoarchaeology, and archaeological chemistry.

The PhD candidate will study stone artefact assemblages to engage with major global and regional archaeological questions relating to the timing and nature of human activity during the Late Pleistocene in Southeast Asia and the wider region. The position will involve overseas fieldwork in Myanmar and an intensive, laboratory-based analytical research program. The candidate will be expected to help develop and apply novel techniques for analysing stone artefacts, and conduct an experimental program.

The candidate will receive a tax-free stipend of AUD 25,849 per year (indexed annually), for three and a half years. Research funding opportunities are available, with candidates encouraged to apply for the various university-wide schemes available at UOW and CAS. For more details, see

CAS was established at UOW in 2010 to develop, integrate and apply modern scientific techniques to answer fundamental questions about human evolution and the analysis of material remains of past human life and activities. CAS is affiliated with the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES), bringing together researchers drawn from the physical, chemical, biological and geological sciences in partnership with science-based archaeologists. This means that there is plenty of scope to interact and collaborate with experts from across the Earth Sciences, and indeed PhD candidates are encouraged to do so.

CAS possesses a world-leading laboratory for archaeological science, equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for microscopy, compositional analyses and dating. CAS members have produced high-profile publications in the field of archaeological science. We have ongoing collaborations with experts in statistics and other departments at UOW; combined with the departmental expertise, this provides an exciting research environment with many opportunities for collaborative work. For more details about CAS, see

Candidates are expected to hold a first class undergraduate degree, preferably Honours (or equivalent), in Archaeology, Archaeological Science, or a related discipline. For US applicants a GPA of 3.8 or higher, and field experience, is expected. Desirable, but not essential details for all applicants, include: authorship of scholarly publications; a relevant post-graduate qualification in Archaeology or a related discipline; prior experience analysing stone artefacts; international fieldwork experience; and CRM/consulting experience.
Applicants will need to show an aptitude for analytical and experimental research, and must be proficient in English. The successful applicant will be fully committed to conducting independent and original scientific research, while also collaborating with others in the CAS team. The PhD candidate will be expected to disseminate this research in peer-reviewed journal articles and conference presentations, as well as in their final PhD thesis. They will be encouraged to undertake training in relevant analytical techniques and must be willing to conduct overseas fieldwork, in sometimes challenging environments.

If you are interested in applying for this position and satisfy the above requirements, then please contact Dr Ben Marwick by email to discuss your application and details of the application procedure. The deadline for full applications is 23rd October 2015, and the successful candidate is expected to begin work in early 2016.
Dr Ben Marwick
Senior Research Fellow,
Centre for Archaeological Science (CAS),
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences,
Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health,
University of Wollongong,
Wollongong, NSW 2522,

New study supports Australo-melanesians as part of the first wave Out of Africa

How did anatomically modern humans populate the world? A recent paper in the Journal of Human Evolution analyses the fossil record and concludes that australo-melanesians – ancestors of several indigenous populations including those found in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Australia – were part of the initial migration out of Africa, while other populations dispersed later.

Australo-Melanesians and a very ancient ancestry
Popular Archaeology, 05 August 2015

Testing modern human out-of-Africa dispersal models and implications for modern human origins
Journal of Human Evolution doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.06.008

The modern human expansion process out of Africa has important implications for understanding the genetic and phenotypic structure of extant populations. While intensely debated, the primary hypotheses focus on either a single dispersal or multiple dispersals out of the continent. Here, we use the human fossil record from Africa and the Levant, as well as an exceptionally large dataset of Holocene human crania sampled from Asia, to model ancestor–descendant relationships along hypothetical dispersal routes. We test the spatial and temporal predictions of competing out-of-Africa models by assessing the correlation of geographical distances between populations and measures of population differentiation derived from quantitative cranial phenotype data. Our results support a model in which extant Australo-Melanesians are descendants of an initial dispersal out of Africa by early anatomically modern humans, while all other populations are descendants of a later migration wave. Our results have implications for understanding the complexity of modern human origins and diversity.

PhD Scholarship in Geoarchaeology + Short course opportunity

A PhD scholarship position is available at the University of Wollongong, Australia, focusing on geoarchaeology related to a project investigating the colonisation of Asia and Australasia by modern humans during the late Pleistocene. The deadline for applications is 31 July 2015.

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD position within the Centre for Archaeological Science (CAS), University of Wollongong (UOW). The successful candidate will join a multi-disciplinary project that is seeking to generate new data related to the Late Pleistocene colonisation of Asia and Australasia by modern humans (Homo sapiens) and other archaic hominins present in the region at this time. This forms part of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellowship project led by Prof. Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts, ‘Out of Asia: unique insights into human evolution and interactions using frontier technologies in archaeological science’. To address important questions concerning the origins of our species we are developing a number of innovative archaeological science techniques, focussed on combining archaeo-chemical, geochronological and geoarchaeological research strands.

The geoarchaeological component of this project is focussing on spatially-resolved data acquisition at the micro-scale, linking on-site indicators of environmental change to the wider dynamics of the Quaternary landscape and climate systems. We are interested in how hominins interacted with the environments in which they lived, and the directionality of these interrelationships. Archaeological sediments are laid down and post-depositionally modified through the complex interplay between a broad range of geomorphic and anthropogenic processes. These processes leave behind diagnostic signatures that can be sought and identified at the micro-scale, allowing for additional dimensions of data to supplement more traditional field and laboratory techniques. The position will involve overseas fieldwork at archaeological sites in Southeast Asia, and an intensive, laboratory-based analytical research program.

Download more information here (pdf file)

Also, the Centre for Archaeological Research at the University of Wollongong is organising a short course from 16-20th November on Micromorphology.

A 1-week intensive, hands-on short course focussing on the application of micromorphology to the interpretation of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental sequences.

Course information can be downloaded here (pdf file)

PhD Scholarship: Collecting practices through Southeast Asian materials

The British Museum and SOAS are jointly offering a PhD scholarship to study the history of collecting in Southeast Asia in the 19-20th centuries. A really interesting subject, but available only to UK/EU applicants. Deadline is 28 April 2015.

AHRC-funded project studentship in Department of Asia at the British Museum and the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS

The Department of Asia at the British Museum and the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS invite applications from suitably qualified UK/EU candidates for a full-time, 3-year Collaborative Doctoral Award funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council on the subject of ‘Thick provenance: interactions between European and Southeast Asian collecting practices refracted through the lens of the mainland Southeast Asia material at the British Museum.’

The project is a critical and comparative history of collecting in mainland Southeast Asia in the 19th-20th centuries. It proposes to examine the biographies of the British Museum’s mainland Southeast Asian collections, comprising analysis of modes of object ownership, perceptions of value, and exchange practices with reference to accumulation of family heirlooms and communal palladia (sources of protection and legitimation), as well as diverse modes of object circulation.

The mainland Southeast Asian collections at the British Museum contain lowland Buddhist objects, lacquerware, weapons and knives, archaeological material, pipes, and coins and banknotes, which are largely well-catalogued. More extensive, however, is the body of highland ethnographic material, including textiles and objects of daily use, such as baskets, which have not been thoroughly catalogued or researched. These objects come from the wide panoply of peoples, from the Chin and Naga in the western areas to the Shan, Karenni and Lahu of the eastern and central ones, who live in the mountainous regions of Southeast Asia and are not confined by national borders. Little is known about how these objects were collected and used locally and regionally, the roles they played within their local communities, or the means by which they were collected and arrived at the British Museum. It is anticipated that the student will focus upon this latter body of material for the PhD in order to provide a better understanding of object usage and ownership within regional and group relations, as well as the interactions between Europeans and locals at the time of collection.

Details here.

PhD Scholarship researching ancient seafaring to Australasia

Potential PhD students take note, a scholarship to study at the University of Southampton to investigate seafaring to Australasia. Deadline is 13 April 2015 but scholarship is limited to UK or EU students only.

PhD studentship in Prehistoric Archaeology and Oceanography: Exploitation of prevailing winds and currents by the earliest known seafarers, reaching and colonizing Australasia c.50,000 years ago

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship in the Faculty of Humanities in collaboration with the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton. This studentship is funded through an SMMI Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarship Award, to start October 2015. The successful candidate will work under the supervision of Dr Helen Farr (Archaeology), Prof Robert Marsh (Ocean and Earth Science) and Dr Ivan Haigh (Ocean and Earth Science).

Around the modern world, migration is a politically charged issue, however, migration is an ancient phenomenon. Long-distance maritime migration can be seen as early as 60-50,000 years ago, with the movement of Anatomically Modern Humans from the Sunda basin (southeast Asia) to Sahul (Australasia). The archaeological record of early settlement is limited, but evidence suggests short crossings from southeast Asia to Papua New Guinea and northern Australia at a time when sea levels reached c.60-80 m lower than today. This project brings reconstructions of past climate and ocean currents alongside archaeological evidence for the human colonization of Australasia, to better understand how ancient human migration was both a response, and a solution, to social and environmental challenges. Simulations of palaeo ocean drift in the region will be developed and used to investigate ancient seafaring.

Details here.

Ifugao Archaeology Project Field School

A Research Experience for Undergraduate scholarship is available for US citizens/permanent residents to join in a field school at the Ifugao highlands in the Philippines. Application deadline is 15 March 2015.


More details here.