Richard Charles Lee Asian Pathways Research Lab

1 standing student and 3 seated students watch a documentary produced through ITAC.

The Richard Charles Lee Asian Pathways Research Lab (RCL-APRL) is a hub for student experiential learning at the Asian Institute. 

In their future careers, our students will navigate a knowledge economy shaped by globalization that requires fluency across cultural, business, social, and political spheres. In order to develop this fluency, the RCL-APRL convenes dynamic research creation and knowledge mobilization activities and offers support and mentorship to a thriving range of student initiatives. 


Through professional development opportunities and training in qualitative research methods, the RCL-APRL serves as a launchpad for transformative scholarly and professional pursuits while facilitating meaningful social networks that support students well beyond their graduation.

The RCL-APRL supports the following student initiatives housed at the Asian Institute:

The RCL-APRL also supports several partner activities, including:

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Past projects

Illustration of a dark blue fist holding up a lavender and blue pencil with red eraser

The 2022 Anti-Racism International Youth Writing Contest

An initiative of two Contemporary Asian Studies students, the 2022 Anti-Racism International Youth Writing Contest offered youth around the world the opportunity to define and lead conversations about racism at a personal and political level.

Map showing Philippines Conflict Points, 1986-2020 (map produced by the Appraising Risk partnership). Several islands are covered in red and green dots.

Digital Pedagogy, Asian Pathways: Interrogating geospatial approaches to conflict in the Philippines

Led by Dr. Joseph McQuade, the 2020-2021 RCL Asian Pathways Research Lab trained a team of Research Interns to use digitized archival sources and geospatial tools to research, track, and visualize data related to conflict and environmental insecurity on Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines. 

Image of 6 Pathways articles featuring historical textile designs.

Educational Pathways at the University: International students’ wellness

The 2019-20 project investigated the experiences of international students from mainland China and Taiwan at U of T, exploring the intersection of international students’ mobilities, education and wellness. These stories reveal some of the hardest truths of the experience of being an international student. The results of this project’s findings are feeding into policy recommendations aimed at continuing to improve international student life at the University of Toronto. CN Tower image credit to interviewee.

The Grandparent Project: Inter-generational conversations about family, mobility and identity

Conducted in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, this project collected oral mobility histories from, between and within Asia and Canada. Students who worked on this project were encouraged to investigate mobility histories and practices within their own families as well as to reflect on how their own pathways are both similar and different from those of older generations. The project promoted self-reflection on the part of the student researcher and a context for new kinds of inter-generational conversations about the changing meanings of home, belonging, mobility, identity, diaspora, and citizenship for each generation in distinct contexts. By allowing family members to share their own life experiences and pathways, a clearer picture of the entangled trajectories of multiple generations emerged and formed the basis of analysis for student papers and projects. The final projects were published in the RCL-APRL magazine, Pathways.

Areas of focus - Victor Dementiev/Unsplash




Research Coordinator, Asian Institute