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Ethnographic Fieldwork


Admission requirements

Final permission for conducting field research or internship is obtained once the following conditions have been met:

  • Formal admission and enrollment to MA programme CA-DS

  • Declaration of liability

  • Submission of budget

  • Approval of final research proposal

  • If opting for the individual fieldwork, proof of sufficient language proficiency

Two types of field research

The students can opt for one of the two kinds of field research:

1) Fieldschools
Three different field schools are organized and directed by the Institute for CA-DS: Indonesia (Java), Ghana, and the Netherlands.
Although the fieldwork practicalities are organized collectively, each student carries out their own individual research within these three general areas. Departmental staff oversee the preparation for fieldwork as well as the fieldwork itself, by visiting the student in situ. The Institute also arranges contact with the appropriate local authorities, arranges research permission and affiliation, and, in most cases, the accommodation of students in the research area. Subsequently, institute’s staff supervise the processing and reporting on field data.

2) Individual fieldwork
If approved by the institute, the individual field research may be conducted anywhere in the world provided that the location is safe and not afflicted by armed conflict.
This type of fieldwork is arranged by students themselves. It is expected that the student will independently establish the necessary contacts with local authorities, acquire research permission and affiliation as well as accommodation in the country of research. Supervision during this preparatory period if provided by the thesis advisor in Leiden. It is expected that the student will be locally affiliated with an institute or a person willing to take (partial) responsibility for the fieldwork conducted, because the Leiden supervisor will not visit the student in the field. Nevertheless, the students remains under the supervision of his/her Leiden based supervisor the entire time. Supervision of the processing and reporting on field data is the responsibility of the staff in Leiden.

Financial matters

MA field research can be a costly endeavour for the student, as it will usually involve travel and the costs of additional accommodation. These expenses are not covered by the tuition fee for the MA programme.

To ease the financial strain various funds can be applied for:

  • The Leiden University scholarship web-page. Most often the students of CA-DS acquire grants from the LUF and the LUSTRA but can also be sucessful in acquiring financial aid from smaller, private funds and trusts. Since much of the information about funds is available in Dutch language, foreign students might need assistance from their Dutch fellow-students when looking for relevant information, or address the resources from their country of origin.

  • Sub-letting your room in Leiden can also be a good source of income.

  • Also check the Dutch study grant provider DUO for additional information.


The fieldwork is rated “pass” based on performance in the research setting.


January, February, March 2017.


Fieldwork coördinator Dr. Erik de Maaker (room 3A34, tel. 071-527 6612, e-mail )