Honours and Awards for RSIS Staff and Students
RSIS staff regularly speak at external conferences organised by prolific organisations and collaborate with other think tanks in the course of their research and networking engagements. They are recognised through the various appointments and research grants on top of being awarded prizes. These are some of the honours and awards that our staff and students received.
Asst Prof Kaewkamol Pitakdumrongkit, Deputy Head of the Centre for Multilateralism Studies, has received the Ministry of Education (MOE) Academic Research Fund (AcRF) Tier 1 grant of $84,705.91 for a 36-month study which investigates the sources of small states’ influence in international economic negotiations. It also introduces a new way of conceptualising small states’ power in the context of international negotiations. It employs Asia-focused case studies of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, and in reference to Asian small states such as Singapore and Bahrain.
Asst Prof Lee Su-Hyun, Coordinator of the MSc (International Political Economy) Programme at RSIS, has received the MOE AcRF Tier 1 grant of $27,840 for a research project titled “The Political Dynamics of Protectionism: Origins and Consequences.” The project focuses on a book manuscript on American trade policy that examines how incumbent presidents and their parties strategically set trade policy for electoral and partisan goals, and to what extent the distributional consequences of trade affect voting behaviour in US presidential elections. As extensions, the project analyses how trade competition from low income countries, especially from China, has affected the rise of populism and anti-globalisation backlash in advanced industrial countries.
Prof Mely Caballero-Anthony, Head of NTS Centre (Principal Investigator); and Mr Julius Trajano, Research Fellow (Collaborator) of the same centre, have received the MOE AcRF Tier 1 grant of $67,410 for a 25-month research project titled “Nuclear Governance in Indo/Asia Pacific: Building out from Southeast Asia.” The project explores pathways towards building a robust framework for civilian nuclear governance in the Asia Pacific, building out from the nuclear cooperation framework and progress in Southeast Asia. It identifies and argues for the relevance of ASEAN-led mechanisms to deal with nuclear security in Southeast Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. It analyses the prospects for and emerging challenges to enhancing regional nuclear governance, covering three key issues: (i) nuclear security capacity-building; (ii) the role of nuclear governance centres of excellence and knowledge centres; and (iii) nuclear emergency preparedness and response.
Mr Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Professor Mely Caballero-Anthony, and Professor Paul S. TengProf Mely Caballero-Anthony, Head of NTS Centre (Principal Investigator); Prof Paul S. Teng, Adjunct Senior Fellow (Principal Investigator); and Mr Jose Ma. Luis P. Montesclaros, Associate Research Fellow, all from the same Centre, have received a USD 30,000 grant from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), to review ASEAN Member States’ utilisation of digital technology for improving agricultural productivity and enhancing the resilience of food supply chains. It seeks to propose future directions and a potential roadmap that feeds into ASEAN’s guidelines for digital agriculture adoption, covering topics such as information and communication technology (ICT) policy; trade policy; e-commerce platforms; digital financing for inclusive development; and food supply chain resilience.
Asst Prof Hoo Tiang Boon, Coordinator of the MSc (Asian Studies) Programme at RSIS, has received the MOE AcRF Tier 1 grant of $79,730 for a research project titled “Inner Circle: A Study of China’s Relations with its Closest Strategic Allies.” This project seeks to better understand the nature and substance of China’s relationship with its closest strategic allies in global politics. In particular, it investigates two key puzzles: Who are China’s closest strategic allies in global politics, and what is the extent of these countries’ alignment with China? Conceptually, the project introduces the notion of the “strategic inner circle” to distinguish China’s closest allies, and addresses limitations in existing concepts such as security alliances, military coalitions, clients, and formal partnerships.
The most outstanding student in each of the respective Master’s Programmes is awarded a Gold Medal each year. A book prize is also given to the student with the best dissertation. The Gold Medals and Book Prize have been donated by the respective sponsors for close to two decades. The awards for AY2019/2020 are listed below. We thank the sponsors for their generous donations and continuous support through the years.
RSIS Research Adviser Awarded the Public Administration Medal (Silver)
Professor Joseph Liow, RSIS Research Adviser and former Dean of RSIS, received the Public Administration Medal (Silver) at the 2019 National Day Awards. Prof Liow is Tan Kah Kee Chair in Comparative and International Politics and Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at NTU Singapore.
A Study of the Political Dynamics of US Trade Policy
Assistant Professor Su-Hyun Lee, Deputy Coordinator of the MSc (International Political Economy) Programme at RSIS, was awarded a Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund (AcRF) Tier 1 grant of $27,840 for a research project titled “The Political Dynamics of Protectionism: Origins and Consequences.” The project focuses on a book manuscript on American trade policy that examines how incumbent presidents and their parties strategically implement trade policy for electoral and partisan goals, and to what extent the distributional consequences of trade affect voting behavior in US presidential and general elections. As extensions, the project analyses how trade competition from low income countries, especially from China, has affected the rise of populism and anti-globalisation backlash in advanced industrial countries.
A Study to Examine Civilian Nuclear Governance in the Asia Pacific
Professor Mely Caballero-Anthony, Head of NTS Centre (Principal Investigator), and Mr Julius Trajano, Research Fellow (Collaborator) of the same centre, were awarded a Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund (AcRF) Tier 1 grant for a 25-month research project titled “Nuclear Governance in Indo/Asia Pacific: Building out from Southeast Asia.” The project explores pathways toward building a robust framework for civilian nuclear governance in the Asia Pacific, building out from the nuclear cooperation framework and progress in Southeast Asia. It identifies and argues for the relevance of ASEAN-led mechanisms to deal with nuclear security in Southeast Asia and the broader Asia Pacific region. It will analyse on the prospects for and emerging challenges to enhancing regional nuclear governance, covering three key issues: (i) nuclear security capacity-building; (ii) the role of nuclear governance centres of excellence and knowledge centres; and (iii) nuclear emergency preparedness and response.
Awards for Academic Excellence for AY2018/2019
Five students won respective awards for the Academic Year 2018/2019.
Chairman Awarded the Order of Temasek (First Class) by the Government of the Republic of Singapore on the 53rd National Day
Dr Tony Tan, 7th President of the Republic of Singapore and Chairman of the RSIS Board of Governors, was awarded the Order of Temasek (First Class) by the government of Singapore on the occasion of its 53rd National Day. The Darjah Utama Temasek (Order of Temasek), instituted in 1962, is Singapore’s highest civilian honour. There are three grades of the Order of Temasek – First, Second and Third Class – and it is conferred on Singaporean citizens and honorary non-Singaporeans by the President of Singapore.
Chairman Awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by NTU Singapore
As Singapore’s former Education Minister, Dr Tony Tan championed the development of higher education, which included the setting up of NTU Singapore. To recognise his contributions as a visionary architect of Singapore’s education landscape, NTU Singapore conferred on Dr Tan an honorary doctorate degree, the university’s highest honour, on 24 July 2018.
Appointment to the Management Board of the Middle East Institute
Assoc Prof Farish A. Noor was appointed to the Management Board of the Middle East Institute (MEI) in the National University of Singapore in September 2017. Over the year, he and other members of MEI Board helped to manage the work of MEI, directing the focus of its research towards Singapore and Southeast Asia. The appointment is for a period of one year, from September 2017 to September 2018. MEI has extended the appointment for an additional year.
A Study to Analyse Economic and Strategic Impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative
Assoc Prof Pradumna B. Rana, Coordinator of CMS’ International Political Economy Programme, and Assoc Prof Chia Wai Mun at NTU Singapore’s School of Social Sciences, were awarded a Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1 grant of $76,792 for an 18-month study of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The study will quantify the economic benefits of the economic corridors and strengthened connectivity brought about by BRI, using a Computational General Equilibrium model. A perception survey of Asian opinion leaders on the BRI, focusing on the non-economic dimensions of the BRI, will also be conducted. The study will enable researchers to offer both evidence-based and perception-based recommendations.
RSIS Professor Selected as Distinguished Alum of ASU
Prof Tan See Seng was selected by the Arizona State University’s School of Politics and Global Studies (ASU-SPGS) as its Distinguished Alum 2018. Prof Tan graduated with a PhD from the ASU Department of Political Science, the precursor to the SPGS, in 1999. As ASU Distinguished Alum, Prof Tan gave a number of public talks at ASU and met with SPGS faculty and students.
Award for Teaching Excellence
The RSIS Teaching Award for Academic Year 2017/2018 was won by Asst Prof Anit Mukherjee of IDSS’ South Asia Programme. He was presented with the award by Dean Joseph Liow at the RSIS Alumni Dinner on 3 August. This award recognises teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to the enhancement of teaching and learning at RSIS.
Award for Culture and Recognition of Traditional Arts Maestro
Dr Leo Suryadinata, Adjunct Professor (February to May 2018) at RSIS, received the Award for Culture and Recognition of Traditional Arts Maestro at a ceremony in Jakarta on 26 September. He is the first Singaporean to receive an award from the Indonesian government, and was honoured for his cultural contributions and efforts to deepen understanding of the country. Dr Leo’s work in introducing the history and development of the country’s ethnic Chinese was a show of his dedication and service in the field, said Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture.
Awards for Academic Excellence
Five students won respective awards for the Academic Year 2017/2018.
Awards for Teaching Excellence
Prof Rajesh Basrur (left) and Assoc Prof Farish A. Noor at the RSIS Alumni Dinner, 28 July 2017
The RSIS Teaching Awards for Academic Year 2016/2017 were won by Dr Rajesh Basrur, Professor of International Relations and Coordinator of IDSS’ South Asia Programme, and Dr Farish Noor, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the PhD Programme. They received their awards from Dean Joseph Liow at the 14th RSIS Alumni Dinner held on 28 July 2017. These awards recognise teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to the enhancement of teaching and learning at RSIS. The recipients of the awards were decided on the basis of student evaluations made at the end of the academic year, amongst other selection criteria.
Appointment to UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Mediation
Distinguished Visiting Fellow Dr Noeleen Heyzer was appointed to a high-level Advisory Board on Mediation established at the United Nations in September 2017. The establishment of the Board was part of the “surge in diplomacy for peace” that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has committed himself to adopting in the face of the spiralling complexity and human cost of conflicts. Its role is to provide the Secretary-General with advice on mediation initiatives and to back specific mediation efforts around the world. Dr Heyzer, a Singaporean, joined 17 other current and former global leaders, senior officials and renowned experts on the Board. They bring together a wide range of experience, skills, knowledge and networks. Dr Heyzer was formerly Undersecretary-General of the UN, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, and Executive Director of the UN Development Fund for Women.
Appointment to the Management Board of the Middle East Institute
Dr Farish A. Noor, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the PhD Programme, was appointed to the Management Board of the Middle East Institute (MEI), National University of Singapore, in September 2017. Over the coming year, he and other members of the MEI Management Board will help to manage the work of MEI, and direct the focus of the institute’s research closer to Singapore and Southeast Asia. The appointment is for a period of one year, from September 2017 to September 2018.
Inter-disciplinary Project Awarded MOE Tier 2 Research Grant
RSIS’ Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre) collaborated with NTU’s Nanyang Business School and School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering on an inter-disciplinary project. The project on “Enhancing Coordination in Humanitarian Operations in Asia” was awarded a Ministry of Education (MOE) Academic Tier 2 Research Grant of $438,329. Scheduled for completion by mid-2019, it consists of seven research projects covering the broad scope of humanitarian operations, of which two—Mapping and Analysis of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Landscape and Knowledge Management for Humanitarian Continuity—are led by the NTS Centre, with Centre Head, Assoc Prof Mely Caballero-Anthony, as the co-principal investigator; Dr Alistair D. B. Cook, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Programme Coordinator, as Research Collaborator; and Christopher Chen as Research Associate. The Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Science and the Singapore Red Cross are involved as knowledge partners.
Research Grant for Study of FTAs and Mega-FTAs
Assoc Prof Pradumna B. Rana, Coordinator of CMS’ International Political Economy Programme, and Assoc Prof Chia Wai Mun at NTU’s School of Social Sciences, were awarded an MOE Academic Research Fund Tier 1 grant of $67,000 for a 24-month study of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Mega-FTAs. The study will analyse the benefits and costs of FTAs and mega-FTAs available to regional countries through two methodologies: computable general equilibrium (CGE) analysis and a perception survey of Asian opinion leaders on the strategic and political rationales of mega-FTAs. The study will also analyse the impact of FTAs and Mega-FTAs on the “centrality” of the World Trade Organization in the international trade architecture. The findings of the study will have important implications for countries in designing their trade policies especially in the context of the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the pronouncement of an “America First” trade policy by the Trump administration.
Research Grant for Counter-insurgency Project
Asst Prof Ong Weichong of IDSS’ Military Studies Programme was awarded a three-year Academic Research Fund Tier 1 grant of $30,825 by MOE to conduct a research project on “The Malaysian Approach to Counter-insurgency (1963–1990)”. This project is a historical study of Malaysian counter-insurgency (COIN) strategy and practice employed against the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) and the North Kalimantan Communist Party during the 1963–1990 period. The study’s objectives are to examine: (i) why there were two distinct communist insurgencies in Malaysia; (ii) how Malaysia defeated the communist insurgencies in the two different geo-graphical locations of Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo; and (iii) the COIN response and strategy of Malaysia; and to a lesser extent the counter-subversion strategy of Singapore against the CPM threat. The results of the research project will be published in a sole-authored book.
Research Grant for Project on Extremist Agency in Asia
Asst Prof Mohamed Nawab bin Mohamed Osman, IDSS’ Malaysia Programme Coordinator, was awarded a research grant of $30,000 for his project on “The Genealogy of Extremist Agency in Asia: A Comparative Perspective”. An MOE Academic Tier 1 Research Grant, the project will study the justifications for violence in Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. It will examine the structural and cultural factors that trigger the emergence and articulation of religiously inspired extremism from a comparative perspective in three different national settings. Asst Prof Nawab will be conducting fieldwork in India, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Indonesia for this research.
National Geographic Society Research Grant for RSIS Professor
Assoc Prof Wu Fengshi from IDSS’ China Programme received a research grant (as Co-Investigator) of USD17,625 from the NationalGeographic Society to examine environmental governance and policies relating to the shale gas industry in China. Titled “Repair the Roof Before it Rains – Regulating Water Consumption and Pollution for Shale Gas Development in Xinjiang,” Assoc Prof Wu and Assoc Prof Xu Yuan of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and their research team evaluated the current environmental regulatory frameworks and institutions in Xinjiang relating to shale gas development. They also applied the public administration concept of MRV (monitoring, reporting and verification) and the analytical framework of cost and incentive in their research.
Research Grants Awarded by SAF-NTU Academy
Several staff members of RSIS were awarded research grants worth $5,000 each (some jointly) by the SAF-NTU Academy. They were Prof Pascal Vennesson, Dr Graham Ong-Webb, Mr Eugene Mark and Mr Ho Shu Huang. Prof Vennesson will do a case study to examine the key command decisions made by both the US and Iraqi political and military leaders in the 1990–1991 Gulf War. Dr Ong-Webb’s project, which uses Southeast Asia as a case study, aims to fill a gap in post-Cold War analyses of “military balances”, where the term is often used loosely, bringing about a difference between “perception” and “reality”, which can distort foreign policies and realise security dilemmas. Mr Mark will partner Dr Ong-Webb on a two-year project to research the conflict resolution processes in southern Thailand and southern Philippines. Mr Ho and Dr Samuel Chan (formerly from RSIS) will work on a digital library project, which seeks to compile an annotated bibliography on defence and security issues focused on Singapore.
A TEDx Invitation
On 7 October 2017, Dr Irm Haleem, Assistant Professor in the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, spoke at the annual TEDxNTU 2017 event held at the University’s Nanyang Auditorium. TEDx is a TED-style event that is licensed under the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) brand, and is intended to bring ideas worth sharing to a community, free from political, religious or corporate promotions. Dr Haleem was first nominated to speak, and then shortlisted and selected as one of eight people to speak under the theme “Here’s to the Game Changers”. She spoke on “Love, Hope and Human Agency”, in which she argued that love and hope are manifestations of human agency capable of rewriting the story of our world. Her idea was derived from her latest book, Death as Existence, which is premised on the contention that human agency is critical for a person to feel “fully alive” and to live an “authentic existence”. This contention, Dr Haleem argues, offers important insights into political resistance movements and self-sacrifice of all sorts.
RSIS Professor Selected as Distinguished Alum of ASU
Prof Tan See Seng was selected by the Arizona State University’s School of Politics and Global Studies (ASU-SPGS) as its Distinguished Alum 2018. See Seng graduated from the ASU Department of Political Science, the precursor to the SPGS, in 1999 with a PhD. His responsibilities as ASU Distinguished Alum will include participating in the SPGS Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series, which seeks to honour outstanding alumni for their accomplishments and raise the visibility of SPGS to both internal and external audiences. In the spring of 2018, See Seng will give a number of public talks at ASU and meet with SPGS faculty and students.
RSIS Professor Wins AMOS Perlmutter Prize
Asst Prof Anit Mukherjee of IDSS’ South Asia Programme was awarded the prestigious 2017 Amos Perlmutter Prize from the Journal of Strategic Studies. The prize, named in memory of the journal’s founding editor, recog-nises the most outstanding essay submitted for publication by junior faculty members. Asst Prof Mukherjee’s essay titled “Fighting Separately: Jointness and Civil-Military Relations in India” relied on a combination of archival research and interviews, and critically examined the Indian military’s, as yet, incomplete transition to joint operations. Amongst other things, Asst Prof Mukherjee argued that civil-military relations, more specifically, assertive civilian intervention, is a key determinant of jointness in most militaries.
Awards for Academic Excellence
In Academic Year 2016/2017, the four students who won awards in their respective Master of Science programmes are as follows:
Mr Prashant Deepak Waikar (India)
The Singapore Technologies Engineering Gold Medal for Master of Science in International Relations
Ms Lim Hui Yi Cheryl (Singapore)
The Rajabali Jumabhoy Foundation Gold Medal for Master of Science in Asian Studies
Last updated on 16/12/2020