Graduate Student Travel Grant

The Centre for India and South Asia Research offers 2 conference/workshop travel grants per year at up to $500 each for current graduate students at UBC to support travel to present papers on topics related to South Asia.

CISAR Graduate Student Travel Grant 2019-20


  • Graduate students (Masters or Ph.D) who are pursuing research on South Asia and currently enrolled full-time in any department at UBC are eligible to apply.
  • Previous recipients are ineligible for a second grant.


After attending the conference/workshop, grant recipients must submit their relevant air ticket, boarding passes, and accommodation or other eligible expense receipts for reimbursement. The grant can only be utilized for reimbursement of expenses that are not covered by another grant or funding source.

How to Apply

Application for the grant consists of:

  • A one-page description of the conference/workshop and its significance
  • A letter or email that indicates your inclusion in the conference/workshop, or copy of program with your name in it
  • A CV of not more than 5 pages.

Send your application to CISAR at by December 15, 2019.

Funds may cover travel taking place between July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020, and may be used retroactively within that period.

CISAR Graduate Student Travel Grant 2018/2019

The recipients of the CISAR Graduate Student Travel Grant 2018/2019 are Eshantha Peiris, Ethnomusicology and Sameena, AHVA.

Eshantha Peiris, Ethnomusicology

Peiris presented a paper entitled “Numerical Equivalences in Taxonomies as a Way of Explanation: the Panchatūryanāda Classification of Musical Instruments in Buddhist Sri Lanka” at the 22nd Symposium of the (International Council of Traditional Music) Study Group on Musical Instruments, at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, on April 10-13, 2019. The paper addressed issues of categorization in a South Asian context, examining situations where the practical functions of traditional taxonomies are not immediately apparent. The paper focused on Sri Lankan Buddhist practice in particular, which were contextualized within broader South Asian philosophical trends. This line of inquiry formed a part of Peiris’ doctoral research in UBC’s Ethnomusicology program, studying processes of change in the Up-Country drumming tradition of central Sri Lanka.

Sameena, AHVA

My paper Women Photographers and the Business of Photography in Post-colonial India to be presented at American Historical Association conference, Chicago, 2019, looks through the archives of commercial photo-studios at conditions that led to the emergence of professional women photographers in Delhi and UP in post-colonial India. It critically addresses the politics of invisibility by looking at why the history of women photographers remains a ‘lost-history’ in North India. The AHA conference paper is part of my ongoing Ph.D. research that I pursue at the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory (AHVA), UBC. In my thesis, I critically examine the emergence of a wide range of analog practices of photography in post-colonial India developed by commercial studios/amateur photographers as well as the development of illegal infrastructures (in the absence of State-sponsored organizations) like the alternative trans-regional pirate economy that led to democratization of studio spaces and visual images.