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Monk reading Siksacakr
The Center for Khmer Studies encourages foreign scholars working in Cambodia to collaborate with local scholars in order to develop Cambodian human resources, transfer knowledge and expertise, and develop a strong partnership between Cambodian scholars and their international counterparts. In support of this mission, the CKS began to develop its research and training programs in 2001, shortly after its founding. With funding provided by the Rockefeller Foundation, three theme-based research programs were established in core fields for Cambodians: architecture, anthropology and Pre-Angkor archaeology. The CKS also instituted vocational training in Culture Resource Management, with funding by the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts (UK), and a research training project, the Junior Fellowship Program, with support of the Toyota Foundation, Tokyo. Drawing on this experience with its initial activities, the CKS developed a new approach involving direct collaboration between Cambodian universities and universities overseas. This approach was reflected in the next phase of CKS projects, beginning with the ‘Building Institutional Capacity in Higher Education’ program, and followed by the ‘Junior Faculty Training Program.’ The latter program was supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Toyota Foundation to encourage young Cambodian university scholars to further develop their skills through weekly seminars and field-based training. Exhibitions, training courses, workshops and seminars have also taken place regularly. See Events section. The CKS is now preparing its latest phase of programming, details of which will be announced shortly.

Prior CKS Programs

Junior Faculty Training Program
This program provided six-month semesters of workshops and seminars addressing topical issues in the humanities and social sciences. The sessions were geared to Cambodian junior faculty and researchers, and sought to enhance their general knowledge and academic and research skills.

Economic Growth, Social Inequality and Environmental Change in Cambodia
The Anthropology Department of the University of Chicago, in collaboration with the CKS, has explored the interactions between people and their environment in villages in the northwestern region of Cambodia, near the Angkor temple complex. This was a major multi-year research project.

Initiating Urban Cultural Studies in Cambodia

In collaboration with the New School University’s Graduate Program in International Affairs, Institute of Cultural Entrepreneurship (NY), this project provided opportunities for innovative cultural study of the contemporary urban landscape in Phnom Penh, while mentoring young Cambodian researchers in this field, consistent with CKS’s core objective of capacity-building and training.

Sre Ampil Archaeological Project
The Sre Ampil Archaeological Project combined archaeological excavation by a Cambodian-led team, with the construction of a museum and cultural resource management to provide on-site training of Cambodian students of archaeology. Not only did this project increase the archaeological knowledge of this important endangered site, but also it involved the community in issues regarding the preservation of their cultural heritage.

Translation Capacity Building

The Translation Capacity Building program’s objective was to train a core team of translators through a feedback and review process, translating materials with which they were already familiar. Translators trained through this program then took part in larger CKS translation projects.