Discover Your Niche

The R-Adhikarya “Niche” Award (RANA) empowers students to pursue innovative thinking in their studies and careers in Southeast Asia. This annual prize to a graduate student in Global Development recognizes young visionaries who dare to think differently.

About the RANA Prize

Established by Ronny Adhikarya and his wife, Mee-Ching, the RANA Prize aims to motivate promising students to explore unique, unusual, and not “more-of-the-same” competencies and future careers focused on Southeast Asia. The $10,000 prize will provide financial assistance to either a Ph.D. or professional master's (MPS) student in the Department of Global Development who is interested in studying and solving important contemporary problems and/or futuristic societal needs/wants not currently being considered or significantly addressed by others. Strong preference will be given to applicants with a focus on Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, and those who demonstrate vision, interests or experiences in pursuing a “niche” area(s) of study and professional career.

  • Students from or with interests in ASEAN are strongly encouraged to apply. 
  • The award recognizes smart, innovative and competitive students who wish to pursue their dreams to learn, explore and apply disruptive ideas and “niche” innovative thinking in their studies and future careers.
  • Applications will be reviewed by a committee within the Department of Global Development that includes the department chair, the director of Graduate Studies for Global Development (MPS) and the director of Graduate Studies for Development Studies (PhD).
  • The prize will be given each year to an admitted (matriculated at the time of application) graduate student in Global Development. Note: Global Development will seek to award admitted MPS students during odd years (i.e. 2025, 2027, etc.) and a Ph.D. students during even years (i.e. 2026, 2028, etc.). 

The application period is now closed. Applications for the 2025 RANA Prize will open in the fall of 2024 and will be due by November 15, 2024. Decisions will be made by December 2024.

2024 RANA Prize Winner

Made 'Aditya' Adityanandana's research delves into the challenges faced by smallholders in Indonesia, particularly rural youth, amid interventions to increase national food production. The RANA Prize will fund a year of research in Central Kalimantan where Aditya will trace the structural impediments and discourses that discourage youth from becoming farmers.


Made Adityanandana headshot

Previous RANA Prize winners

Tamar Law, Ph.D. student in Development Studies, earned the 2023 RANA Prize for her research examining the climate justice dimensions of climate mitigation. The RANA Prize supports her examination of blue carbon governance and low-carbon development in Indonesia, which is home to the largest and most productive blue carbon ecosystem on the planet. Read more about Tamar and her selection.

The inaugural RANA Prize supported Ph.D. student Tim Ravis' research to untangle the political-economic forces, sociopolitical institutions, and individual personalities that combine to hinder a just and sustainable energy transition in Indonesia. Read more about Tim and his selection.

An unconventional career in development

Dr. Ronny Adhikarya, born in Bogor, Indonesia, was a student activist and a journalist in Indonesia until he went to the US for his studies: Cornell for his Masters (1971-72) and Stanford for his Ph.D. (1977-80). He was fortunate to obtain full-fellowships (including stipends for living costs) from the two universities. He worked as a research staff at the East-West Center (EWC) starting in 1972, where he met pioneers and international luminaries in his field of expertise — education & communication — who mentored and provided him with invaluable “tacit” knowledge and intellectual capital to continue his international development assistance career, mainly with the United Nations/FAO and the World Bank, and other institutions for more than 45 years.

The competitive Award will be offered annually to students at three world-class U.S. educational institutions: the East-West Center (EWC), Stanford University, and Cornell University. These institutions were part of Dr. Ronny Adhikarya’s academic journey before continuing his extensive career in international development assistance.