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The Biennial Sarah M. Bekker Prize

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The Sarah M. Bekker Burma Essay Prize - 2016

The Burma Studies Foundation announces the Sarah M. Bekker Burma Essay Prize, with up to two awards of US$500 to be awarded every other year for the best academic essay of no more that 10,000 words on a subject dealing with Burma/Myanmar. The prize is open to students, undergraduate or graduate, in any academic field who are currently registered at a university or college. There are no citizenship or residence requirements.


Originality of the topic; intellectual relevance to Southeast Asian studies; quality of the argument; use of Southeast Asian language resources or fieldwork; potential contribution to the broader field.

To apply

a) Send one electronic copy of your paper (in pdf format) to

b) Have your academic advisor send an email to certifying that the paper submitted is original research. [This emailed note can simply be a few lines such as: “Maung Shwe You, a student working under my supervision, is submitting a paper based on original research for the Burma Studies Prize”, signed by your advisor.]

Make sure receipt of your paper and your advisor’s certification are confirmed by email.


Your entry should be written in English, and submitted by July 15th, 2016. The decision of the Prize Committee will be made by August 12th, 2016. The winner will be notified immediately, and the prize will be awarded at the Burma Studies Conference to be held at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois from October 7th to 9th.

The decision of the judges will be final.

The winning essay(s) will be reviewed for publication in the Journal of Burma Studies (Northern Illinois University).