PhD student’s research in the spotlight at South East Asian Cinemas Conference

By Press Office

An international student has boosted her PhD Film Studies research in South East Asia with support from QMU’s Vice-Chancellor’s Fund.

Katrina Macapagal from Manila in the Philippines applied to the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund in 2016 to help finance her research overseas.

Set up by QMU’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Petra Wend, the annual bursary of up to £500 per applicant, aims to fund travel, either wholly or in part for suitable overseas academic, professional or vocational initiatives.

Katrina’s successful application to the Fund allowed her to share her research at the 9th Biennial Association for South East Asian Cinemas Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in summer 2016. The five-day biennial event aims to highlight contemporary themes and issues relevant to South East Asian Cinema. The event serves as a venue for academics, film critics, film and media practitioners and media activists to promote discourse on cinema from the region.

As Katrina’s PhD topic is on Philippine cinema, she was keen to attend the conference in order to connect with researchers and practitioners working on similar areas of study and get some insight into current trends in South East Asian filmmaking. The theme of the conference, ‘Time, Space, and the Visceral in Southeast Asian Cinema’, also links directly to Katrina’s PhD topic that deals with urban representations in Philippine independent cinema.

Katrina had the opportunity to provide delegates with an overview of her PhD topic and focused on the methodological framework she has been developing in her study of Philippine urban films. She was able to learn from a number of participants working on urban representations in cinema and other issues related to her own line of inquiry. She also got the opportunity to network with fellow researchers and potential collaborators for academic projects, co-authored publications and conference panels in the future.

Katrina graduated with a BA Comparative Literature from the University of the Philippines, Diliman in 2007 and earned her MA Critical and Cultural Studies (distinction) from the University of Westminster in London in 2012. Before pursuing her master’s degree, Katrina worked as a production assistant and field producer for a well-established news and current affairs television program in Manila. She later returned to academia as part of the faculty for the Department of English at the University of the Philippines.

Katrina was keen to build on her momentum following the completion of her master’s degree. She wanted to pursue her PhD in a UK university with a strong film and media department, but needed financial support in order to do this.

Commenting on her successful application to the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund, Katrina said: “I’m really grateful that I was able to attend the South East Asian Cinemas Conference, thanks to the QMU Vice-Chancellor’s Fund.

“The conference certainly allowed me to benefit from the feedback of fellow researchers, as well as network with a number of academics and practitioners who will be helpful links for future academic prospects.

“In all these discussions I was able to highlight that I’m based at a university that values and encourages international collaborations.”

As with all beneficiaries of the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund, Katrina produced an evaluation report of her experience at the conference, outlining how the experience benefitted her personally and academically, and QMU as a whole.

In addition to the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund, Katrina always keeps track of announcements for other available funding, such as Santander Universities and the QMU PhD Bursary.

While Katrina was successful in all her PhD applications, it was only QMU that offered her a full bursary. She considers herself fortunate for having been offered the bursary as it would have been extremely challenging to pursue her PhD without it.

Katrina added: “My academic supervisors at QMU have been very supportive from the start. I receive helpful feedback on my writing and they have supported my applications for grants and conferences ever since I started at QMU.”

After graduating from QMU, Katrina hopes that her PhD will open many doors in and beyond academia. Apart from teaching and research posts, she hopes to pursue roles in the creative industry related to media production and film festivals. Katrina believes that having a PhD in film and media studies from QMU should give her an edge over other candidates.

Some of the awards that have been made by the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund in the past have been to support a range of activities, including fieldwork for a research project and Masters dissertations, professional placements, attendance at international conferences and summer schools, as well as visits to overseas universities for collaborative research purposes. Such projects actively benefit QMU, the wider community and have led to publishable papers.

For more information on the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund and to apply, visit Our Funds. Completed application forms should be returned to Applicants are asked to supply a statement of support from their QMU supervisor with their application.

More information for international students at QMU.

Notes to Editor

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