Tim Scrase (PhD, LaTrobe, 1989) is an Honorary Professor, specialising in the Sociology of Development, based in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies. He was formerly a Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Australian Catholic University, and for several years prior he was the Director of the ARC Key Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies (CAPSTRANS) at the University of Wollongong (2007-2010). He has been a regular visiting research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), University of Amsterdam.

He has previously been awarded three Australia Research Council (ARC) grants, and is a past President of the South Asian Studies Association of Australia (SAASA). Professor Scrase has an international reputation for research on global social change in Asia, especially focusing on India. He has previously been awarded three ARC grants, has 11 PhD supervisions to completion and over 75 publications.

Professor Scrase has established research links with various scholars in the Asia Pacific region and Europe, and has presented around 80 conference and seminar papers during his career. He has also organised many international conference panels and has refereed for numerous highly rated, HERDC C1 journals. He has played a significant role in terms of international research collaboration, and in bringing together scholars in various research colloquia. Since 2007 he has convened or co-convened two national and three international conferences, two workshops, and ten international conference panels (for instance, at the International Convention of Asia Scholars – ICAS – conferences held in Daejeon, South Korea in 2009 (ICAS6), and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2007 (ICAS5); at the 2010 International Sociological Association (ISA) World Congress, Gothenburg, Sweden; and at the 2014 Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) conference in Perth). Among his achievements are:

  • Academic Fellow, Australia India Institute (University of Melbourne; invited)
  • External Reviewer (2012): Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (Borneo)
  • ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia): Invited to be Journal Assessor (final list – Sociology and Asian Studies) and Peer Reviewer
  • ARC Expert Assessor (formerly an INTREADER) for Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery, Linkage, Future Fellowships, DECRA and other significant ARC grant schemes (2003 – onwards)
  • President of SASAA (South Asian Studies Association of Australia; elected, 2006-09)

Professor Scrase’s research currently centres on preparing a series of papers and a book manuscript on regional urban development in India. In particular, he is interested in analysing the rapid transformation of the hill station (town) of Darjeeling located some 2000 metres above sea level in North-east India. Significantly, its urban transformation is impacting environmentally, socially and culturally, with many younger residents leaving to pursue higher education and employment in the large cities of India, and the older population reluctantly staying on, but critical of the increased everyday problems experienced in this once serene and pristine town. Overlapping this transformation, and adding to its complexity, is an ongoing, separatist political struggle for a new state of “Gorkhaland”, to represent the interests of the majority Nepali population who live in Darjeeling and its surrounding district.