The Karun Thakar Fund is now accepting applications for the 2023 Scholarship Awards. Multiple one-time awards of up to £10,000 are available in support of students focusing on any aspect of Asian or African textiles and/or dress at any university worldwide.
About the Karun Thakar Fund
The Karun Thakar Fund for the study of Asian and African textiles and dress is offered by Karun Thakar in collaboration with the V&A. The Fund offers scholarships and project grants to researchers and practitioners working anywhere in the world on any aspect of Asian or African textiles and dress. The Fund aims to enrich the fields of Asian and African textiles and dress by supporting meaningful and innovative study and practice, foregrounding fresh perspectives and ground-breaking research in under-resourced subject areas.
Scholarship Awards and Project Grants are offered every other year. In 2022 the Fund awarded eleven project grants in support of projects taking place in Egypt, Eswatini, Ghana, India (Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, and Odisha) Japan, Kenya, Palestine, and the UK. In 2021 the Fund awarded three scholarship awards to students studying in China, the UK and New Zealand.
Students of any degree level attending any accredited university worldwide are eligible to apply, provided they can establish their research or practice is tangibly linked to Asian or African textiles or dress. Scholarship applicants’ chosen programmes need not be textile or dress-specific, however applicants must be able to demonstrate that their own research or practice within their chosen programme will be Asian or African textile/dress-focused.
Scholarship Awards are intended for use towards tuition fees and/or maintenance costs. The amount of funding awarded is decided by the Selection Committee based on the applicant’s needs, up to a maximum of £10,000. Students may need to find additional sources of funding to meet their total study costs. Payments will be made directly to students either in the full amount or in instalments, at the Selection Committee’s discretion.
The Selection Committee will choose awardees based on the following four criteria:
- Originality: the applicant’s work focuses on an under-represented research area or perspective in the fields of Asian or African textiles/dress
- Object-led: the applicant’s work draws/will draw on existing textiles/articles of dress as sources of learning or inspiration, ideally including pieces in either the V&A’s or Karun Thakar’s collection
- Rigour: the applicant’s work demonstrates a tangible engagement with Asian or African textiles/dress and a familiarity with existing research/practices relevant to their area of interest
- Need: the applicant is able to demonstrate financial need
Applications will be considered over a period of over ten weeks, starting from 1st May and ending on 15 July.