2023 Bangabandhu Scholarship on Genocide Studies winner Rehnuma Mahjabin, University of Manitoba
2023 Bangabandhu Scholarship on Genocide Studies winner, Rehnuma Mahjabin, University of Manitoba

Bio of the recipient

Rehnuma graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the Department of Geography and Environment, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2017. She completed a Master of Science from the Department of Geography and Environment, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2020. With an interest in working in human, environmental, and social research, she started pursuing another MSc at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, Canada, in 2021. During her BSc and MSc degrees, she has conducted several fieldwork projects, followed by data management and data analysis projects. Currently, she is working on a thesis focused on the Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Population (FDMN) influx and resettlement in Bangladesh.

Research Proposal

A call for proposal

A Study of the Causes of the Forgotten Bangladesh Genocide with the Goal of Remembering and Recognizing

The selection committee associated with the Bangabandhu Centre for Bangladesh Studies in Canada (BCBS) invites proposals to fulfil its mandate of “advancing knowledge on Bangladesh.” Through this initiative, it strives to harness the rich scholarship and experience of academics and advocates around the world to establish a movement toward remembering and recognising a forgotten genocide. This would open up a path of reconciliation and bring justice to the victims’ families. It is also an effort to bridge scholarship and advocacy while raising awareness, engaging the academic community, and encouraging action.

Through a generous commitment from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh, the initiative will provide up to $2,000 CAD for the 2023–24 fiscal year to support eligible students and researchers, not over the age of 30 (Bangladeshi and non-Bangladeshi). This is the first time such an award is being given.

Applicants are encouraged to consider a 8-months duration to conduct the research and submit the report, including disseminating the research through a virtual webinar.

Selection Process and Criteria

The selection committee consists of the BCBS chief patron and executives of the Liberation War Museum and the Center for Genocide Studies in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This initiative seeks to support a variety of ideas that effectively address the cause of the genocide in Bangladesh and what needs to be done to get it recognised by world bodies. Successful applications will propose education and/or action intended to not only reduce the likelihood of future genocide or mass atrocities but also to remember and recognise the Bangladesh genocide globally. Proposals should explain how the committee’s investment can be leveraged to have continuing effects. The selection committee will focus on the following criteria when reviewing proposals:

  • Scale of impact to remember and recognise Bangladesh genocide
  • Potential for the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities
  • Capacity of the individual to complete the project successfully during the indicated timeframe.
  • The potential for continuation and/or replication beyond the funding period.

In addition, the committee may consider:

  • Strength of links with national and international organisations
  • Degree to which the project or program incorporates and/or encourages action or advocacy
  • The extent to which the project or programme incorporates, elevates, or places genocide survivors’ voices at the forefront.
  • Connection to other initiative activities

Duties and Conditions

1) Proposals must be related to the Bangladesh genocide, its historical context, reasons for denial, and memorialization.

2) Proposed programmes or projects must commence no earlier than April 1, 2023. The funded portion must be completed no later than December 30, 2023. If the grantee is unable to use the award during the period for which it is initially granted, the award is forfeited. Awards cannot be deferred; however, the grantee may reapply during the subsequent application period.

3) Proposed programmes or projects must be independently administered. Applicants must demonstrate the capacity to independently organise and administer the project successfully.

4) BCBS would oversee applicants’ work and provide proper stewardship of the funds, in accordance with existing rules. Community members or students may partner with an existing university department or unit to fulfil this requirement. If applicable, please indicate such in the preliminary proposal.

5) Projects and programmes must include “Bangladesh’s forgotten genocide: remember and recognize” and “A BCBS-MOFA Scholarship” as supporters on all printed materials, websites, and outreach communications, including press releases and event notifications. The BCBS committee must review and approve all written outreach and advertising/publicity regarding funded programs and projects prior to publication.

6) Within one month of completion of all work associated with the award, the grantee will submit a report to the BCBS committee (no later than March 30, 2024). Such a report will include a description of how the funds were used, an explanation of funded activities, and a summary of the outcomes achieved through the grant as well as through the project or program as a whole.

7) Applicants should propose initiatives to pursue world bodies to remember and recognize the genocide.

8) One webinar must be planned before the end of the scholarship in consultation with the BCBS committee.

Application Process

Phase I: Interested applicants should submit a preliminary proposal that includes the following components:

  • One-page project summary
  • Estimated project budget
  • Estimated timeline

Proposals must be written in English, which is accessible to readers from several disciplines. The preliminary proposal is intended to provide the necessary information for the selection of finalists who will be invited to submit full proposals. Preliminary proposals should be provided as MS Word documents to kawserahmed@bcbscanada.org / k.ahmed@uwinnipeg.ca by 5 p.m. on January 31, 2023.

Phase II: The steering committee will contact applicants being considered by February 15, 2023, and will invite select applicants to submit fuller proposals to be received by February 28, 2023.

Phase II proposals should include the following:

1) A cover letter (one page maximum) that includes a summary of the programme or project, the amount of the request, and contact information (including an email address) for all applicants

2) A description of the project (5-page maximum). Describe the nature and significance of the proposed programme or project, the target audience or participants, a plan of work, volunteers and/or staff who will carry out the programme or project, and other relevant information, including publicity plans if applicable.

3) A statement of qualifications and resume (resumes are limited to two pages per person). Please describe your qualifications to carry out the programme or project. Explain your experience administering similar projects and your capacity to complete the project. Preference will be given to projects that demonstrate strong departmental support.

4) Project budget and amount requested (Grant Request) Please include a detailed budget for the project or programme and the amount requested from this initiative funding committee.

Proposals must be written in a language accessible to readers from several disciplines. Phase II proposals should be provided as Word documents to kawserahmed@bcbscanada.org by 5:00 p.m. CDT on February 28, 2023.

By the end of March 2023, the proposal that will get funding will be announced.

Please direct inquiries and applications to Dr. Kawser Ahmed at kawserahmed@bcbscanada.org / k.ahmed@uwinnipeg.ca