Research Fellow in Asia Research Institute (CESEA)

01 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
31 Mar 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time


The Asia Research Institute (ARI), National University of Singapore (NUS), invites applications for one full-time Research Fellow to work on a major research project funded by the Social Sciences Research Council (SSRC) Singapore, under its Thematic Grant programme, entitled Climate Governance of Nature-based Carbon Sinks in Southeast Asia. The position is available on a full-time basis for two years in the first instance, but extendable for a further two years, pending review (up to four years in total).


This project places social sciences scholarship at the core of climate governance strategies involving Nature-based Carbon Sinks (NCS), defined as ecosystems that absorb and store more carbon than they release. The geographical focus of the project is on Southeast Asia, a region rich in carbon sequestration potential where the socio-spatial relations, economic realities and land use regimes that underpin the medium to long-term effectiveness of NCS in mitigating climate change remain critically understudied. The project aims to strengthen linkages between the natural and social sciences by assessing the optimal arrangements for governing NCS at and across a range of spatial and administrative scales. With its focus on the governance of different types of NCS found in terrestrial and mangrove forests, peatlands and agricultural soils, the project will locate technologies of NCS governance within the socio-spatial contexts, power asymmetries and institutional cultures that shape their success or failure. In these ways, this policy relevant research will contribute to ongoing efforts by Singapore and other ASEAN countries to adapt and build resilience to climate change challenges by developing low-carbon initiatives with social, economic and environmental co-benefits.

The successful candidate recruited as a Research fellow will join a large interdisciplinary research team that includes a Senior Research Fellow, two other Research Fellows, a Research Associate and three PhD students funded through the same project. In addition to activities associated with ARI, the successful applicant may wish to participate in research group meetings and departmental seminars in the Department of Geography and the Centre for Nature-Based Climate Solutions (CNCS) at NUS.


The focus of this Research Fellowship is on the climate governance of: (1) peatlands; and (2) non-peat (mineral) urban soils. The research component on low-carbon governance in peatlands connects to Singapore’s national interest of promoting sustainable peatland development in neighbouring countries to limit biomass burning that contributes substantially to transboundary haze pollution and GHG emissions. The non-peat, urban soil component involves citizen Science with a Singaporean non-for-profit organisation invested in urban composting and food security.

The appointed RF will hold a PhD (or be waiting conferment) in a relevant area of the social or natural sciences. The successful RF will undertake research on governing carbon stocks in peatlands or agricultural soils, and will ideally have relevant experience of research in this field. All three RFs will preferably have experience of carrying out research in Asia, although this is not essential. In addition, s/he will have a record of publication in widely-regarded outlets and be expected to publish project-focused articles in international journals with high impact. The successful applicant will also organise one themed conference panel and present research findings at international conferences. S/he will provide mentorship and contribute to the development of PhD students funded through the project. 


The appointed Research Fellows will hold a PhD (or be waiting conferment) in an area of the social or natural sciences.


  1. Contract commencing in the first half of 2023 for an initial period of 24 months, renewable on satisfactory review for up to a further two years, pending performance review (four years in total).
  2. A competitive salary and excellent working environment.
  3. All salary and benefits-in-kind are subject to taxation in accordance with Singaporean tax laws.
  4. Other benefits that NUS provides and information about living and working in Singapore are available at

*Terms and conditions, according to university guidelines, are subject to change without prior notice.


To apply for this position, please combine the following documents in 1 PDF and attach it under the CV column when submitting your application:

  • Letter of application 
  • Full Curriculum vitae, including the names of three referees who would be prepared to provide confidential references.
  • Academic certificates and transcripts.
  • A write-up, of no more than 800 words, explaining the candidate’s past research experience and aptitude in relation to the research project.

For further enquiries about the positions, please contact Dr. Michelle Miller:

Evaluation of applications will commence in August 2022 and will continue until a suitable candidate is found. Shortlisted candidates will be notified soon thereafter and called for an online (zoom) or in-person interview, as appropriate.


At NUS, the health and safety of our staff and students are one of our utmost priorities, and COVID-vaccination supports our commitment to ensure the safety of our community and to make NUS as safe and welcoming as possible. Many of our roles require a significant amount of physical interactions with students/staff/public members. Even for job roles that may be performed remotely, there will be instances where on-campus presence is required.

Taking into consideration the health and well-being of our staff and students and to better protect everyone in the campus, applicants are strongly encouraged to have themselves fully COVID-19 vaccinated to secure successful employment with NUS.


Location: Kent Ridge Campus
Organization: Asia Research Institute
Department : Research
Job requisition ID : 16381

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