Call for Scholarship Applications

July 8, 2021

*DEADLINE EXTENDED – Scholarship Award Applications can now be submitted up to 30 September 2021*

The Karun Thakar Fund is presented by Karun Thakar in collaboration with the V&A. In its inaugural 2021 – 2022 year the fund will offer one-time scholarships of up to £10,000 to students studying any aspect of Asian or African textiles and/or dress at any university in the world.

The Karun Thakar Fund aims to enrich the fields of Asian and African textiles and dress by supporting new and original approaches to study and practice, foregrounding fresh perspectives and ground-breaking research. Using the collections of the V&A and Karun Thakar as points of departure, the Fund promotes materials-based, object-led learning and encourages meaningful and innovative approaches to Asian and African textile and dress studies.

Awardees’ work will be featured here on the V&A blog, creating a platform for international conversation and knowledge exchange both at the V&A and beyond.

University students studying at BA, MA or PhD level attending any accredited university either in the UK or internationally are eligible, provided they can establish that their research/practice is tangibly linked to Asian or African textiles/dress. Scholarship applicants’ chosen courses need not be textile/dress-specific, provided applicants can sufficiently demonstrate that their own research/practice within the course will be Asian or African textile/dress-focused.

Awardees will be selected on the basis of:

  1. Originality: the applicant’s work focuses on an under-represented research area or perspective in the fields of Asian or African textiles/dress
  2. Object-led: the applicant’s work will draw on either the V&A’s or Karun Thakar’s collections, and/or apply an ‘object-led’ approach to learning
  3. Rigour: the applicant’s proposal is well thought-out, demonstrating a tangible engagement with Asian/African textiles/dress and a familiarity with existing research/practices pertinent to their specialism
  4. Need: the applicant’s demonstration of genuine financial need, including a detailed breakdown of the costs the scholarship would cover

Applicants are invited to apply between 15 July 2021 to 31 August 2021. Read more information about The Karun Thakar Fund, the application process and selection criteria.

Qipao made in Hong Kong for Mary Lee-Chee, principal of Kuching, Malaysia dress making school, 1960s. Given by the Chee Family in memory of our mother Mary Lee-Chee. Museum no. FE.35-2014 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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