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The British Council is looking for a researcher or a team of researchers to conduct research amongst the community of artists and performers of the cai luong theatre in Ho Chi Minh City and other southern provinces of Vietnam. The objective is to gather practitioners’ stories and experiences to build an oral history of the Cai Luong theatre that can be shared with both current practitioners and the audience. This research forms part of the Community Cultural Heritage component of Heritage of Future Past or Di Sản Kết Nối, a Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth project in Vietnam.

This call is open to all nationalities. We especially encourage submissions from Vietnam and UK-based researchers.

Location: Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces of Vietnam
Delivery time: Between December 2018 and June 2019


Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth is a two-year pilot initiative, working in Colombia, Kenya, and Vietnam, exploring the use of cultural heritage for growth to benefit all levels of society. 

Cultural heritage in this context means many things, from the constructed environment through to cultural traditions such as music and language. Inclusive growth means working with and for all levels of society in order to reconcile the divide between economic growth, and rising poverty and inequality.

We believe that when people engage with, learn from, value and promote their cultural heritage, it can contribute to both social and economic development. An inclusive way of working, that engages individuals at every level, can lead to economic growth and better social welfare. Heritage employed in this way can be a source of sustainability; a way to embed growth in the fabric of society and to celebrate the past in today’s evolving world.

For more information on the research and approach which forms the basis for this cross region, multi-national programme please visit www.britishcouncil.org/arts/culture-development/cultural-heritage.

In Vietnam, through engaging with elements of the country’s music and film heritage, especially those currently under-threat or under-represented, the project consists of two interconnected strands: Community Cultural Heritage, and FAMLAB (Film, Archive and Music Lab). Launched in April 2018, the project seeks to create opportunities for communities across the country to contribute to, and benefit from, the safeguarding and reinvigoration of their cultural heritage.

Activities include research, documentation, conservation, training and capacity building (including oral teaching techniques), experimentation and innovation, advocacy, policy and community dialogues, and support of the re-imagination and revitalisation of cultural heritage elements via contemporary practices.

Scope of work

  • The researcher or research team to develop research methodology and plan for the building of an oral history of the cai luong theatre, which requires both desk and archival research and consultation with key persons, including those recommended by the British Council.
  • The researcher or research team to carry out research activities, which will directly engage with members of the cai luong community through in-depth interviews, group discussions and visits to cai luong performances, to build the first layers of an oral history of the cai luong theatre. 
  • The researcher or research team to present research findings and initial collected stories through a series of public talks to further engage community members in the building of an oral history of the cai luong theatre. 
  • The researcher or research team to share information, i.e. research findings and contacts, to the curator (see Scope of work for the curator here) for planning and staging a multi-media exhibition of an oral history of the cai luong theatre.
  • The researcher or research team to produce a publication presenting an oral history of the cai luong theatre. Format and detailed requirements for this publication is to be further discussed. 

Deliverables and timeline

  • Research methodology and plan: by December 2018.
  • Between 15 – 30 interviews, between five to ten focus group discussions, and between five to ten visits to Cai Luong performances: between January and March 2019.
  • A series of public talks: between January and March 2019.
  • Final report: by end of May 2019.
  • Presentation of final publication at a launch event: June 2019, date to be confirmed.


The researcher and/or members of the research team should have:

  • demonstrable knowledge of traditional forms of music, theatre, song and dance, and other performing arts forms of Vietnam or South East Asia
  • a proven track record of extensive experience with similar research. Experience in oral history of music and performing arts research is an advantage
  • extensive publication record in the fields of ethnography, cultural heritage, performing arts, museology or similar
  • advanced qualification(s) in ethnology, cultural heritage, performing arts, museology, or similar fields.

Please refer to Annex 1 Evaluation Criteria for more information.


We offer daily or monthly consultancy rate accordingly to experience and qualification using the UN/EU cost norms for development projects in Vietnam.

Remuneration rate will be discussed and agreed with the candidate during an interview, which is expected to be between 15 November and 1 December. 

All applicable expenses (i.e. travel, accommodation per diem, research materials, and event costs) will be fully covered. 

Interested candidates

Please send your expression of interest (maximum two pages) addressing all the above requirements and your resume to vnarts@britishcouncil.org.vn before 15 November 2018. Note that any files larger than 10MB should be sent via an internet link.

Successful candidate(s) will be notified by 1 December 2018. 

We might contact prospective candidates for an interview between 15 November and 1 December 2018.


All queries should be sent to phuongthao.nguyen@britishcouncil.org.vn, marked CAILUONG1 before 25 October 2018.