event 23 jul. 2021

Vacancy // Senior Research Fellow on Water, Food and Ecosystems at SEI in Thailand

The Stockholm Environment Institute Asia, based in Bangkok, is looking for a Senior Research Fellow on Water, Food and Ecosystems to join its Water Resources Management Cluster for two years. Application deadline: August 1, 2021.

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About SEI Asia

SEI Asia, based in Bangkok, has a diverse team of multinational experts that integrates scientific research with participatory approaches to co-develop and share knowledge, build partnerships, and influence policy for resilient development. It focuses on gender and social equity, climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction, water insecurity and integrated water resources management, transitional agriculture, renewable energy and urbanization.

SEI Asia is an affiliate of Chulalongkorn University (CU), Thailand. SEI and CU have inked a long-term agreement to foster innovative scientific research combined with effective policy engagement on development and environmental challenges in Asia.

About the position

The Senior Research Fellow on Water, Food and Ecosystems is an integral position within SEI Asia. The role aims to contribute to the intellectual development of new research themes within the water-food-ecosystem nexus and undertake research activities related to ongoing projects under the Water Cluster, as well as support the implementation of SEI Asia’s strategy (2020–2024) to bridge science, policy and practices related to our research in Asia. This position will support SEI Asia’s key programme areas in particular, including and not limited to the Sustainable Mekong Research Network (SUMERNET) and Water Beyond Boundary Initiative (WBBI), and contribute to programmes and projects across SEI Asia and SEI globally.

The appointee will be based at SEI Asia in Bangkok and report directly to the Water Cluster Lead, supported by the SEI Asia Director. For programme and project work, he/she/they will work under the respective programme and project leaders. The appointee will share responsibility for the line management of mid- and junior career staff within the Water Cluster team.


Intellectual leadership

  • Leads intellectual development of current and new research themes within the water-food-ecosystem nexus.
  • Ensures that research results and outputs are solution-oriented and focused on decision-making needs of high relevance to SEI’s mandate, in particular agenda setting and decision-making.
  • Co-designs the Water cluster strategy and coordinates across other research clusters to ensure aligned thinking, planning and co-production of research projects with partners and key stakeholders.
  • Leads training and capacity building on water-food-ecosystem nexus for researchers and relevant partners in the research projects.
  • Ensures a strong portfolio of publications every year, including peer-reviewed academic journals, alongside regular forms of research communications.


  • Identifies new funding opportunities and build relationships with key funders.
  • Leads and supports preparation of new project proposals for fundraising in collaborating with staff in the Water Cluster and other clusters and the Operation Unit.
  • Secures long-term research funding support for multiple colleagues.

Policy and communications

  • Establishes, builds and engages in strategic partnerships and networks with multi-stakeholders, including government officials, think tanks, universities, research institutes, private sector and civil society, to implement policy and promoting evidence-based decision-making related to environmentally sustainable development in Asia.
  • In collaboration with the SEI Communications Team, facilitates and supports internal communications and outreach activities, including presentations, speeches, dialogues and media articles.
  • Contributes to strengthening the relationship between SEI Asia with the host country (Thai government), partnership with the host institute (Chulalongkorn University) and other agencies within the region.


  • Supports the Water Cluster Lead to manage the water cluster team, including employee time planning, solving management challenges and bottlenecks, strategic thinking and setting direction, and coordinating with other cluster leads.
  • Leads research projects, financial and resource management and ensures project deliverables to meet objectives and SEI quality standards.
  • Contributes to implement monitoring, evaluation, and learning framework of the Centre and water cluster strategic plan.
  • Line manages, provides mentorship, supports professional development and capacity building on communication for Research Fellows and Research Associates in the Water Cluster team and guides successful achievement of annual performance goals among individual team members.
  • Participates in programme management team meetings and supports SEI Asia management and development upon request by the senior management team.
  • Contributes to office management, including attending staff meetings, routine administrative tasks, recruitment processes and other duties as assigned by the Water Cluster Lead and Centre Director.


SEI is looking for a senior team player, innovative thinker and solution-oriented doer with strong management and fundraising skills and someone who enjoys working for a prosperous and just future for all. You are an outstanding leader in your field, a dynamic, passionate and curious individual willing to challenge the status quo, push boundaries and bring about change in your field to enable its growth and within SEI.

Formal qualifications and knowledge

    • PhD with 15 years of work experience (or MSc with at least 18 years of experience) in fields related to water resources, agriculture water or environmental management and/or resilience ecosystem services
    • Minimum of 10 years leading or managing medium and large research projects or programmes and strong track record of fundraising
    • Minimum of 8 years in team management and/or line managing personnel
    • Strong knowledge and understanding of Asia’s water-food-ecosystems challenges and its interconnections with policy and practice
    • Extensive experience in training and capacity building for researchers and practitioners in developing countries
    • Proven experience in intellectual leadership and high-quality publications in the field of water-food-ecosystems sustainability
    • Proven experience in communicating research findings for non-academic audiences using diverse multimedia such as blogs, op-eds and policy briefs
    • Personal initiative and commitment to excellence and results, as well as enthusiasm for supporting scientific research and policy engagement
    • Experience in translating and communicating scientific information to a range of different audiences
    • Extensive experience engaging and networking with governmental and non-governmental actors related to water-food-ecosystems in Asia, including the Mekong Region
    • Demonstrated record of interdisciplinary collaboration, partnership and team building and proven record of work in collaborative environment with time, project and personnel management
    • Excellent in written and spoken English.

Desirable experience and knowledge

  • Experience working in the government, development or private sector
  • Strong motivation, personal initiative and commitment to excellence and results, as well as enthusiasm for doing scientific research
  • Demonstrated record of interdisciplinary collaboration, partnership and team building and the desire to work in a collaborative environment with time management.

Personal skills

  • Strong motivation, personal initiative and commitment to excellence and results, as well as enthusiasm for doing scientific research.
  • Demonstrated record of interdisciplinary collaboration, partnership and team building and desire to work in collaborative environment.


With a team comprising over 17 nationalities, SEI welcomes global applicants for all posts and provides an internationally competitive level NGO salary and benefits package, with all employee contracts under Thai labour law.

SEI reviews applications on an ongoing basis, so please submit your application soon, but no later than 1 August 2021, 23:59 Bangkok local time.

Applications should be written in English and consist of a short CV and cover letter highlighting relevant qualifications and experience.

Please apply online and include:

  • cover letter highlighting relevant qualifications and experience (maximum 1 page) and
  • curriculum vitae (maximum 4 pages).

You can apply here online.

Further information

Find here the detailed job description.

For inquiries about the position, please contact Dr Thanapon Piman, Senior Research Fellow (thanapon.piman@sei.org). For inquiries about the recruitment process and system, please contact Chinnarat Buttho, Human Resources Specialist (chinnarat.buttho@sei.org).

About SEI

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) is an independent, international research institute founded in 1989. Its mission is to support decision-making and induce change towards sustainable development around the world by providing integrative knowledge that bridges science and policy in the field of environment and development. SEI was ranked as the world’s top think tank on environmental policy issues in the 2020 Global Go To Think Tanks Index compiled by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program.

SEI has around 300 employees working at research centres in seven countries around the world. SEI’s headquarters are located in Stockholm, Sweden. Additional SEI research centres are located in Kenya (SEI Africa) Estonia (SEI Tallinn); United Kingdom (SEI York and SEI Oxford); the United States (SEI US); Thailand (SEI Asia); and Colombia (SEI Latin America).

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