Navigating New Horizons: Dr. Ferdiansyah Thajib Secures Funding through ETI to Ethnographically Explore Gender, Sexuality, Ageing, and Community Care in Indonesia and Malaysia”

Symbolic picture for the article. The link opens the image in a large view.

Two months into the new academic year, SDAC is thrilled to share exciting news from Dr. Ferdiansyah Thajib. Before the Christmas break in 2023, Dr. Thajib received the incredible news that their proposal for the Emerging Talents Initiative (ETI) had been accepted.

Dr. Ferdiansyah Thajib graciously took out time to share with us the details of this remarkable achievement.

ETI: Nurturing Emerging Talents
According to our Senior Lecturer, The Emerging Talents Initiative (ETI) is a scheme provided by FAU, which empowers young researchers to apply for external funding, helping them to engage in innovative projects and pursue socially impactful research. With a maximum funding amount of 15,000 euros, this initiative supports the preparation of third-party funding applications, fostering academic growth and research independence.

For more information on ETI and submitting an application to external funding bodies (e.g. DFG or ERC) you can visit: Emerging Talents Initiative (FAUeti) | FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg

Unveiling a Visionary Research Project
With the ETI grant, Dr. Thajib plans to submit a proposal for their postdoctoral research project to the German Research Foundation’s (DFG) Individual Research Grants program (DFG Einzelförderung-Sachbeishilfe). This innovative study will ethnographically explore the intersection between gender and sexuality, ageing, and community care in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The project zeroes in on community care initiatives for older Trans people in both countries. Investigating the evolving landscape of elderly care infrastructures in the Malay-speaking Southeast Asian context, it also examines how care arrangements are mobilized within and across community settings. The study aims to contribute cross-cultural insights from the Global South, allowing understanding and promoting the wellbeing of the growing population of older Trans people.

A Bridge between Academia and Community Engagement
Students at SDAC will have the unique opportunity to learn about the relationship between ethnography and community engagement through Dr Thajib’s project. The research’s focus on community care and the well-being of marginalized communities demonstrates a broader commitment to social impact. This intersectional nature of the research (touching on topics such as gender, sexuality, aging, and community care) aligns seamlessly with the program’s commitment to addressing social justice.

Fostering Social Impact and Scholarly Rigor
Dr Thajib emphasizes that the research project showcases the SDAC program’s dedication to addressing pressing societal issues through academically rigorous and socially impactful work. The hope is that this project will motivate students to engage in meaningful research collaborations and pursue related initiatives.

Expanding Horizons
With its roots in two existing courses, Intersectional Care and Decentering Gender and Sexuality in Asia, the project offers the exciting prospect of developing new course offerings. Insights gathered from this research endeavor could pave the way for an advanced seminar exploring gender norms and sexuality across Asian contexts. The broader impact of the research is expected to enhance the program’s profile through scholarly publications and public-facing outputs that raise awareness of important issues at the intersection of care, development, and human rights.

Dr. Thajib’s research project is not just an academic endeavor; it’s a testament to SDAC’s commitment to making a meaningful impact on society. Stay tuned as we follow the journey of this research, paving the way for a brighter and more inclusive future.