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Myanmar: Between Political and Climate Change in Southeast Asia



Due to the pandemic and the political situation in Myanmar, the seminar that was scheduled to be conducted in Myanmar in June 2020 was postponed. If the political situation in Myanmar has not improved significantly by June 2023, we are considering shifting the seminar to Cambodia for a hybrid Khmer/Burmese program. The faculty participants have already been selected, however if there are spaces available by 2023 due to some of the selected faculty withdrawing, we will have a competition to fill them.

About the Award

CAORC recognizes the immediate and growing need for professors at U.S. community colleges and minority-serving institutions to provide a global perspective to their students. These administrators and faculty understand the value of developing “internationalized” learning environments that both broaden their students’ cultural horizons and foster critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills for an increasingly interconnected world.

To support community colleges and minority-serving institutions, CAORC offers fully-funded overseas seminars that help faculty and administrators gain the requisite first-hand experience needed to develop and improve international curriculum development, publications, public engagement, and/or digital humanities projects.

​This award program, administered by CAORC in collaboration with its member center in Myanmar, the Inya Institute, funds participation in a two-week capacity building workshop in Myanmar that will include stays in the cities of Mandalay and Yangon, as well as a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bagan.

​Funding for this program is provided to CAORC through a grant from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

​Awarded faculty to this competitive program will receive round-trip travel, accommodations, and meals for the duration of the seminar.

Seminar Overview: "Between Political and Climate Change in Southeast Asia"

Since 2011, Myanmar (formerly Burma) has undergone very challenging political, socio-economic, and cultural transitions. In addition to the military coup in 2021, the country has had to face the devastating effects of climate change, with many communities affected considerably by floods, typhoons, and sea-level rise in recent years. How is the country addressing this wide spectrum of challenges? How are these challenges perceived and dealt with by urban and local communities, and covered by local media?

​Featuring lectures, meetings with media professionals, civil society organizations and political activists, and site visits, this two-week faculty development seminar will offer participants a unique opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in a country which now appears frequently in international news headlines. It will also leave time for the discovery of Myanmar’s ancient cultures and civilizations with visits to some of the country’s major historical and natural sites.

Eligibility and Program Expectations

The program is open to full-time or part-time faculty and administrators at U.S. community colleges or minority-serving institutions.* The program is open to faculty in all fields and encourages applicants from a diverse array of academic departments. Applicants must be U.S. citizens at the time of application and must also have a valid passport or have already submitted an application for a new passport.

At the conclusion of the program, participants will be required to:

  • Develop a 1-pg concept note of short and long-term goals to increase teaching and awareness about Myanmar and Southeast Asia in their classes and college community.

  • Develop new or improved course materials about Myanmar that can be openly shared on CAORC’s website and social media to enhance U.S. teaching on Southeast Asia.

  • Contribute a short blog article, written for a popular audience, that expresses something about how the seminar improved your knowledge or understanding of Myanmar.


In addition, awarded faculty to the Myanmar seminar will attend an in-person, pre-departure orientation session in Washington, D.C., prior to the seminar’s departure to Myanmar that same evening. Participant travel to and one-night stay in Washington will be provided by CAORC.

*Please refer to the Department of Education for a complete listing of minority-serving institutions. A useful directory of MSIs can also be found at the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions. Read and follow the instructions carefully prior to submitting your application.

Application Process


Applications can be accessed via You must sign up for an account to access the application. This will allow you to save and return to your application before submitting. Please save your login/password information for future applications.

In addition to providing basic personal and professional information, applicants are required to respond to the following essay questions (up to 500 words each):

  1. Please describe your personal and/or academic interest in participating in the Myanmar faculty development program and, more specifically, why you are excited to learn more about Southeast Asia, the theme of the seminar, or both? How do you currently engage your students, campus, or community in these issues?

  2. Please describe how participation in this seminar is essential for your own professional development and especially improving your teaching related to global education.

  3. Please discuss why global perspectives are important and/or useful for college educators and their students and what impact such perspectives can have both inside and outside the classroom.

  4. Please describe the ways in which your college has prioritized global education initiatives and how your participation in this program will benefit or help develop these efforts. If your college does not yet have programs in global education, how do you believe your participation in this program will help initiate such efforts?


Applicants must also upload:

  • Current CV/Resume (less than 3 pages in length)

  • Letter of Support: From an administrator, department chair, or senior colleague within your institution. Letter should speak to your personal and professional qualifications to participate in the seminar, as well as your collegiality and ability to partner with others to achieve goals and objectives. All letters must be written and signed on institutional letterhead.

Application Deadline

Please note the initial application deadline for this competition has now passed. A date for a possible follow-up application cycle is yet to be determined.

If you have questions, please email

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