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CKS Field School: Academic Research and an Introduction to Methods in Geography

Application Deadline: May 20, 2022

Fee: Free


This field school aims to introduce Cambodian students to academic research methodologies used by geographers. The field school will run as a series of short workshops as well as field trips. The field school is designed for Cambodian students at the undergraduate/postgraduate level and who have a strong interest in researching social and environmental issues in Cambodia. The aim is to provide students with a theoretical and practical introduction to methods in geography that are widely used and applicable throughout the social and environmental sciences. Students will get a chance to engage in field research and go through the process of producing an academic research paper with Dr. Tim Frewer who will play a mentoring role. The workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Workshop #1: Saturday May 28, 2022: Beyond the state, beyond coloniality
  • Workshop #2: Saturday June 4, 2022: Ethnography, participant Observation, semi-structured interviews
  • Workshop #3: Sunday June 5, 2022: Studying the environment – ethnography, landscapes mapping and GPS
  • Workshop #4: Saturday June 11, 2022: Capitalism as a world system – multi sited ethnography, commodity chains, mapping and surveys
  • Workshop #5: Sunday June 12, 2022: Case studies: A) Vietnamese floating village on the Tonle Sap: Challenging nationalism, populism and state thinking.
  • Filed Trip: June 19-22, 2022: Students will spend five days studying environmental and livelihood change on the Tonle Sap with Tim and Sopheak. Students from the Royal University of Phnom Penh and Michigan State University will also attend this field trip. This section has been co-sponsored by Michigan State University. All costs will be covered by the program.

About Workshop Facilitators: Dr Tim Frewer and Dr Sopheak Chann

Dr. Tim Frewer is a human geographer who completed his PhD in Human Geography from the University of Sydney in 2017. He is based in Siem Reap and has 17 years of experience doing research in Cambodia. He mainly researches development projects, agrarian change in frontier areas, and indigenous ontologies. In the past he has worked as a lecturer at the University of Sydney and the Australian Catholic University. He is currently a lecturer at the School of Field Studies in Siem Reap, a visiting researcher at the Australian National University and a visiting researcher at the Center for Khmer Studies.

Dr. Sopheak Chann has a PhD in human geography from University of Sydney. He is currently teaching at the Department of Natural Resource Management and Development, Faculty of Development Studies, Royal University of Phnom Penh. His research interests are critical socio-environmental issues in Cambodia and the Mekong region. Sopheak and Tim have been working together for more than a decade on various academic projects on Cambodia.


  • Undergraduate, graduate, junior researcher, community worker or activist;
  • Interest in environmental and social issues in Cambodia and interest in research methodologies
  • Having good level of English and being able to read academic English texts
  • Willing and having time to fully participate in the 5-day workshops and going on field trip(s) (schedule of field trip(s) in Siem Reap will be arranged with interested students and all expenses of field trips will be covered).


What can be expected from the field school:

  • Discussing and learning about theories of environmental and social change in Cambodia
  • A chance to better understand research methodologies and learning by doing
  • A chance for open discussion and exploration of social and environmental issues
  • Mixed English and Khmer format
  • Chance to engage in a writing project with mentorship
  • Field trip to the Tonle Sap to directly learn research methodologies
  • Chance to discuss and engage with students and academics from a range of universities including the Royal University of Phnom Penh and Michigan State University
  • Certificate of completion.


Register now through this ONLINE FORM




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