Call for Applications


Workshop Title:  Documenting and Preserving Indigenous Languages: Principles, Practices and Tools (SOAS, University of London and RILCA, Mahidol University)
UK cordinator:  Prof Peter K. Austin
Thailand coordinator: Prof Suwilai Premsrirat
Discipline:  Linguistics
Dates and venue:  9-13February 2015, Mahidol University

The British Council and The Thailand Research Fund have launched a new programme to encourage international research collaboration between ambitious young researchers from the UK and eighteen countries around the world. The programme, ‘British Council Researcher Links’ provides opportunities for early career researchers from the UK and Thailand to interact, learn from each other and explore opportunities for building long-lasting research collaborations

This workshop, hosted by SOAS and Mahidol, will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, in order to bring together researchers and practitioners in language documentation and description, language policy/planning and mother tongue-based multilingual education to discuss the latest developments in their research, creating a new common ground for initiatives in language documentation, revitalisation and human development. SOAS and Mahidol are committed to interdisciplinary approaches to the documentation and revitalisation of languages in Asia and throughout the world.

South-East Asia is a hotspot of linguistic diversity and endangerment, and there will be opportunities for participants to interact with speakers of endangered languages in Thailand, as well as language activists and educators. Attendees will discuss how academic researchers, educators and technical/creative resource developers can collaborate effectively with community members to promote mutual learning about existing methods and resources, and identify new ways to ensure communities have resources to pursue self-identified, multifaceted development goals. The principles, practices and tools presented will aim at making knowledge about endangered languages accessible to wider audiences: not only academics, but also community members, learners and teachers. Also to be discussed: how the results of research can be used to influence and advocate for educational policy change for sustaining languages of minority ethnolinguistic communities.

The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for sharing research expertise and networking. During the workshop early career researchers will have the opportunity to present their research in the form of a poster and to discuss this with established researchers from the UK and Thailand. There will be a focus on building up links for future collaborations and participants selected on the basis of their research potential and ability to build longer term links.

Topics to be covered in the workshop include the following:

  • how researchers and resource developers can support communities to sustain their linguistic ecologies
  • language revitalisation, personal/community identity and sustainable human development
  • production of culturally and pedagogically appropriate linguistic and digital multimedia resources for language valorization, supporting learners and teachers
  • techniques in digital data collection, management, dissemination and preservation
  • preservation of traditional knowledge and indigenous paradigms of teaching/learning for mother tongue-based multilingual education
  • ethnolinguistic identity, reconciliation and peacebuilding


A fieldtrip to an ethnolinguistic minority community is planned.

The British Council and The Thailand Research Fund will cover the costs related to participation to the workshop, including: return travel (both international and local), accommodation and meals. Participants are encouraged to purchase adequate travel and medical insurance; this cost will not be covered by the British Council. The British Council accepts no responsibility for any problems which may occur when the participants are in-country.


Application and Deadline:
The full application-TH based must be completed and submitted by the20thDecember 2014 to: suwilai.pre@mahidol.ac.th.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applications must be submitted using the Researcher Links application form
  • Application must be submitted before the above deadline
  • Participants must be early career researchers: Early Career Researchers are defined as holding a PhD (or having equivalent research experience) in Linguistics, Applied Linguistics or a related field, and having up to 10 years post-PhD research experience. They are equivalent to the ‘Recognised Researcher’ category in the EU framework for researchers’ careers. http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/pdf/research_policies/Towards_a_European_Framework_for_Research_Careers_final.pdf.
  • Participants must have a research or academic position (either a post, researcher affiliation, or fellowship etc.) at a recognised research institution either in the UK or in Thailand.
  • Participants, who are Ph.D candidates or MA holders/students in Linguistics, must have at least 1 year of research experience on language preservation.
  • Participants, who are Ph.D candidate or MA holder/student in any other discipline, must be indigenous language speakers with at least 2 years research experience in language and culture studies.

Quality Assessment

  • Experience and relevance of the applicant’s research area to the workshop
  • Motivation and contribution to the aims of the workshop
  • Description of the long term impact expected through participation in the workshop
  • Ability to disseminate workshop outcomes

Selection Procedure:

  • Eligibility check: Thai-based applicants should hold a PhD/MA in Linguistics or Applied Linguistics or a related field with an interest in language documentation and preservation.
  • Quality assessment: evidence of top quality research should be presented, eg. publications in peer reviewed journals, presentations at refereed conferences, current research proposal with not more 2 pages.

Notification of results:
Applicants will be notified by email.

Equal Opportunities
The British Council is committed to equal opportunities and diversity in all its activities and this includes the avoidance of any bias in the assessment of applications due to gender, disability, racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or religious belief.  Participants’ selection undertaken by workshop organisers must not contravene this policy.  Reasonable extra support to enable participation of early career researchers with special needs will be given.



Application Form

Workshop Agenda