Call for applications: Explore scholarships for young women PhD students

Explore scholarships for young women PhD students


Explore is a research network and community of practice dedicated to expanding and applying knowledge on forest landscape governance in Southeast Asia. It is the only research network in the world focused on forest landscape governance.

Through multi-disciplinary, participatory and inclusive multi-stakeholder approaches, the network aims to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and other international and national commitments.

Explore emphasizes gender equality and social inclusion and seeks equal representation by women researchers. Explore also emphasizes transboundary collaboration and problem-solving.

Launched in October 2020, Explore is funded by the Government of Sweden. RECOFTC hosts the network in partnership with the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF) and in collaboration with universities, research institutes, government and civil society organizations, local communities, and the private sector in Southeast Asia.

Explore amplifies the power of research, aiding Southeast Asian governments and communities in overcoming multiple challenges associated with balancing the different interests within forest landscapes. Explore helps ensure sustainable outcomes by providing knowledge and research evidence to address these challenges.

A key component of Explore’s work is its scholarships for young women PhD students, providing financial support to doctorate students researching forest landscape governance in Southeast Asia. These scholarships aim to promote gender equality, empower individuals, and contribute towards building more inclusive and diverse societies.

In Phase 2, Explore will award partial scholarships of up to USD 40,000 to women doctoral students researching forest landscape governance in Southeast Asia. 

Scholarship inclusions

  • Up to USD 40,000 research funding over three years
  • Scientific co-supervision by a RECOFTC or CIFOR-ICRAF senior expert
  • Internship opportunities at partner institutions
  • Participation in capacity-development programs
  • Requirement to publish in high-ranking international journals and present findings at Explore-related events


Applicants from any scientific discipline related to forest landscape governance are welcome. They must be committed to transboundary, interdisciplinary, and participatory action research, integrating gender inclusion and human rights into their approaches. Eligible applicants must:

  • Be women PhD students under 32 years old (at the time of enrollment in the PhD program)
  • Be citizens of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar or Timor-Leste
  • Be enrolled at a Southeast Asian university
  • Comply with Explore’s agreement and reporting requirements

Selection process

Explore employs a double-blind scientific process for scholarship selection, ensuring fairness and impartiality. The Secretariat screens applications for eligibility, followed by interviews and evaluations by a grant panel. The Explore Program Advisory Committee (PAC) makes final decisions.

Selection criteria

  • Applicant profile: Comprehensive details on education, research experience, motivation and recommendations.
  • Research plan quality: Assessment based on innovativeness, technical feasibility, gender equality integration, potential impact and capacity-development strategies.
  • Applicants are required to have proficient English skills for communication purposes.

Application deadline 

Applicants need to apply using the online form* between 1 March to 30 April 2024

For further queries, please write to

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