Press Releases

GMSN@KITA announces First Cohort of Virtual Post-Doctoral Fellowship Programme

Bangi, 15 March – The Global Malaysian Studies Network (GMSN) announces a
list of successful candidates selected for the inaugural GMSN Post-Doctoral
Fellowship Programme. The three fellows are being mentored by a senior scholar
from three of GMSN’s partners universities i.e., the University of Pennsylvania
(UPENN), Goethe University Frankfurt (Goethe) and Universiti Brunei Darussalam
(UBD) for a 3-month period.

We received support of researchers from universities all over Malaysia
representing various disciplines applying for the programme. GMSN’s Fellowship
Programme will be held virtually to promote scholarly research and cooperation on
Malaysian Studies. The goal is to provide opportunities to strengthen the field with
research contributions from researchers globally; sharing their resources together.
“The programme is to support young researchers with guidance from senior
academics globally”, said Distinguished Prof. Datuk Dr. Shamsul AB, the project
leader of GMSN. “We hope the collaboration will increase the understanding of
Malaysia, bringing Malaysia Studies to the next level”.

Prof. Arndt Graf of Goethe University Frankfurt, a partner university with GMSN
finds this programme timely. “During the past decades, Malaysian Studies have
become increasingly global and diverse. More and more scholars from around the
world are interested in Malaysia. Internationalisation and international cooperation
have become important themes for Malaysian Higher Education.”

The successful candidates are:
● Dr. Nicholas anak Gani of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak – Archaeology.
● Dr. Izawati Wook of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia – Law.
● Dr. Muhamad Nadzri Mohd Noor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia – Political and International Studies.

Dr Nicholas looks at the changing meanings of megalithic monuments in the Upper
Baram area in Sarawak, while Dr. Izawati’s research focuses on orang asli’s rights
in Peninsular Malaysia. Dr. Muhamad Nadzri applies class analysis on nation
building in Malaysia and Singapore.

Dr. Andrew Carruthers of the University of Pennsylvania noted, “In the spirit of
global kerjasama, the GMSN is re-conceptualizing the study of Malaysia and the
Malay-speaking archipelago in radically new and important ways. Rather than
motivating insular or inward-looking accounts, this important new endeavour from
the National University of Malaysia motivates a truly archipelagic and diverse
understanding of what Malaysian studies might be in the 21st century.”

The fellows are expected to publish a book from their Ph.D thesis with guidance
from the mentors at the end of the fellowship. They will also be presenting their
research at GMSN’s inaugural conference later this year.

For more details please contact GMSN at


UKM launches Global Malaysian Studies Network (GMSN)
for Malaysian Studies

New programme provides a platform for an evidence based understanding of Malaysia

Bangi, Malaysia – 9 September 2021 – Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) have founded the Global Malaysian Studies Network (GMSN), a programme that encourages a richer and nuanced understanding of Malaysia with a positively balanced narrative at the international level. It incorporates a virtual fellowship programme that may be the new normal for international research and scholarship.

Under the direction of Distinguished Professor Datuk Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin and Datuk Dr. Anis Yusal Yusoff, the programme serves as a platform for the many voices and perspectives on Malaysia to be heard in a variety of disciplines. Based at the Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) the programme counts universities, civil societies and corporates worldwide as partners to the programme.

“A transformation is required where new approaches and mindsets are necessary to develop new technologies and formulate new policies”, said Prof. Dato’ Ts. Dr. Mohd Ekhwan Hj. Toriman, the Vice-Chancellor of UKM in his launching speech. He also added “Here in UKM we have an opportunity to provide thought leadership in this time of uncertainty.”
In the keynote address, Distinguished Prof. Datuk Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin said “We at GMSN had realised how essential it is to see the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity) environment as a challenge and not a threat. The virtual fellowship is one innovation adapted to deal with the fluid environment. No one university will be able to effectively deal with a multidisciplinary discipline like Malaysian Studies alone. With new issues and problems an enhanced collaborative and cross-border approach incorporating digital technologies must be taken”.

“Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, there were publications on Malaysia from every continent, including Africa and Latin America. This reflects the broad global interest in economic, political and cultural potential of Malaysia”, said Prof. Arndt Graf of the Goethe University Frankfurt, a panelist at the launch.

Australian National University’s Prof. Dr. John Funston commented “GMSN have a key role to play in keeping contact between academics”.

Malaysian Studies had been established for more than 60 years with the first international Malaysian studies chair, the Tun Abdul Razak Chair at Ohio University established in 1979. Since then many other Malaysian studies chairs have been established in leading universities worldwide. GMSN builds on the interest and strong need to develop a collection of Malaysian Studies resources and partnerships that can provide further insights to the study of Malaysia.


22nd August 2021