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Warmest greeting from SEAMEO Regional Centre for Special Educational Needs (SEAMEO SEN), Malaysia.

It is our pleasure to inform that SEAMEO SEN, Malaysia is calling for research proposals under its Research and Innovation Division activities.

Interested applicants are invited to submit your research proposal by 22nd May 2022.

  1. Proposed Research Topic

Learning Poverty Among Learners with Disabilities in Southeast Asia

  1. Scope

The World Bank urged the global communities to combat and reduce the Learning Poverty global rate in middle- and low-income countries which is currently at an alarming rate (UNESCO, 2019). Learning Poverty refers to children of age 10 years old who are still unable to read (World Bank, 2019). In contrary to the challenges faced by typical learners, Learners with Disabilities (LWD) often face additional challenges in learning which require different or additional support to meet their learning needs (Department for Education-UK, 2017).

Every country, in its most basic education law was design to recognize and protect the rights to education for individuals in a fair and equitable way. These laws are integral elements in introducing education policies which includes policies supporting LWD (Rodriguez and Murawski, 2022). However, in some cases, there are policies that are well-intentioned but ineffective in achieving what is intended (Kauffman et. al., 2021).

It is reported that an estimation of 50% of learners worldwide were affected with the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic (UNESCO, 2020). LWD being the category of learners which requires substantial learning supports were also equally affected as typical learners (Cohen and Kupferschmidt, 2020), in some cases LWD are not able to participate at all in remote learning due to accessibility challenges (Garbe, Ogurlu and Logan, 2020).

SEAMEO SEN is looking for researchers to undertake a research topic on Learning Poverty Among Learners with Disabilities in Southeast Asia in eleven (11) SEAMEO Member Countries (i.e. Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam).

SEAMEO SEN expects the output of the research will provide a baseline evidence of learning poverty among LWD which will provide better understanding to the center in strategizing and planning its activities and programmes.

Appointed Researcher is expected to submit a complete research report, Policy Brief paper and publish an article in indexed journal.

  1. Research Timeline:

This research is expected to take up to a maximum 18 months. Specifications of research milestones shall be discussed and agreed during the research proposal review session.

  1. Research Funding

The research will be funded by SEAMEO SEN research grant award. All research proposal must include a detailed expected financial implication which will be deliberated.

  1. Eligibility

Submission is open to researchers from any local and international higher learning institutions. Each proposal must have a Lead Applicant who will be subject to the general terms and conditions for granting.

Lead Applicants who are currently engaged with on-going research project(s) with SEAMEO SEN are NOT ELIGIBLE for this Call for Proposal.

The lead applicant is required to have:

  • Master or Doctoral Degree in Education or in related fields;
  • Degree specialization in Education, Special Education and Inclusive Education is an advantage;
  • Appointment with a local or international higher learning institution for (at least) the duration of proposed research project;
  • Excellent analytical and written skills;
  • Good planning and organizational skills;
  • Proficient command of English.
  1. Proposal Submission

The Research Proposal must be written in English and shall be presented clearly and submitted together with the following:

  1. Proposed research financial implications and Gantt chart
  2. Curriculum vitae of the lead applicant and potential research team member(s)
  3. Other relevant materials to support the proposal

All submissions must be sent via

An acknowledgement of receipt will be sent to Lead Applicant once the proposal has been received by the Research Committee. All applicants are advised to adhere to the submission requirements therein, submissions that do not fulfil the requirements shall be disqualified.

For enquiries, kindly email us at and copied to and please write the title “Enquiry: Research Proposal Learning Poverty Among Learners with Disabilities in Southeast Asia”