Social sciences

Rachel Tough

Member since 2024

Occupation: Doctoral Researcher (School of Global Development) at University of East Anglia

I hope to use this platform to improve the impact of ethnographic research in public debates.


Rachel Tough is a Southeast Asianist, ethnographer, and final-year doctoral researcher in the School of Global Development at the University of East Anglia. Before entering academia, she led a team of City Hall researchers supporting elected politicians to campaign for social and environmental justice for Londoners. For her PhD thesis, Rachel is writing an ethnography of COVID-19 in Vietnam. This draws on 18 months of field research conducted during the pandemic in a working-class community in Ho Chi Minh City. In collaboration with Vietnamese colleagues, Rachel is leading research projects funded by the British Museum and the Arts and Humanities Research Council documenting endangered cultural heritage in Vietnam. Her research has additionally been supported by the Leverhulme Trust, the Postcolonial Studies Association, the Social History Society, Arts Council England, and a Cumberland Lodge Fellowship. Rachel intends to pursue postdoctoral study and convert her thesis into a monograph.


  • Better funding for early career researchers
  • Cross-cultural and international education
  • Culture loss
  • Education - responsibilities and influences
  • International engagement
  • International research opportunities access
  • Research culture
  • Social change
  • Societal impact of research