Open: 1-year fellowship of the Mekong Thought Leadership and Think Tanks Network Program

The Mekong Thought Leadership and Think Tanks Network Program, supported by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), is providing fellowship opportunity hosted in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam. The fellowships are intended for entry- or mid-level professionals of all genders who are Mekong citizens (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, Vietnam) with research, policy, and/or practitioner experience on water, energy, and climate sectors.

Launch of the Call: 9th March 2023

Application deadline: 31 March 2023, 23:59 (Bangkok/Indochina time)

Submissions of proposals will only be accepted through our online submission platform:


There are three main objectives for the fellowship program.

  1. To strengthen knowledge, capacity, and skills of diverse Mekong entry- or mid-level professionals of all genders in policy research, engagement, and communication, as well as effectively integrate gender equity and social inclusion within each of these.
  2. To support the implementation of the program in enhancing effectiveness and inclusiveness of policy engagements in the intersections of water security, energy security, and climate change mitigation and adaptation sectors, as well as in the crosscutting dimension of gender equality and social inclusion across these.
  3. To provide opportunities for diverse entry- or mid-level professionals of all genders to increase their networking with other professionals across sectors, especially water, energy, climate change, as well as gender and social inclusion, across the Mekong subregion.

Component and host institutions

This fellowship’s call for applications seeks 8 diverse entry- or mid-level professionals of all genders who are interested to work in the following program components and host institutions:

  1. Component 1. Development of home-grown regional network/alliance of KBPIOs. Hosted at Institute of Policy and Management (IPAM), Vietnam. (1 position available)
  2. Component 2.1. Identification of knowledge gaps on water-energy-climate nexus. Hosted at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI Asia), Bangkok, Thailand. (1 position available)
  3. Component 2.3. A scoping study of knowledge-based policy influence organizations (KBPIOs) that address water, energy, and climate issues in the Mekong subregion. Hosted at Unit for Social and Environmental Research (USER), Chiang Mai, Thailand. (1 position available)
  4. Component 2.4. Gender equality, disability, and social inclusion (GEDSI). Hosted at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI Asia), Bangkok, Thailand. (2 positions available)
  5. Component 3. Inclusive engagement with policy, practice, and the public beyond dialogues for effective changes. Hosted at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI Asia), Bangkok, Thailand.
  6. Component 4. Professional development of agents of change. Hosted at National University of Laos (NUOL), Lao PDR. (1 position available)
  7. Component 5. Media and communications. Hosted at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI Asia), Bangkok, Thailand. (1 position available)


  1. General Tasks

The fellow is expected to contribute to the program’s general activities, such as:

  1. Attend meetings and relevant events organized by the program.
  2. Engage with partners and other fellows in the program.
  3. Report on progress of fellowship.
  4. Actively engage with SUMERNET Young Professionals (SYP), which is a dedicated team of the Sustainable Mekong Research Network (SUMERNET) working to inform and engage young professionals who are passionate about a just and sustainable Mekong future.
  5. Engage in other outreach activities of the program.
  6. Engage in other activities depending on available time and common interest of the fellow, host institute, and mentor.
  1. Specific Tasks

Depending on the component/activity chosen, the fellow will identify their preferred topic, the specific tasks of which may include:

  1. Component 1. Tasks may include: (a) supporting the review of existing networks/alliance and best practices of KBPIOs in the Mekong subregion; (b) contributing to design strategies to strengthen a regional network/alliance of KBPIOs; and (c) providing assistance to organize meetings among regional network/alliance members.
  2. Component 2.1. Tasks may include: (a) collating scientific papers and reports from relevant organizations at national and regional levels; (b) conducting literature reviews and summarizing existing knowledge; (c) identifying knowledge gaps in the links between water, energy, and climate in the Mekong subregion; (d) interviewing key experts; (e) coordinating with other components/activities to prioritize topics for flagship and rapid response studies; and (f) preparing knowledge products, such as a report and/or journal article.
  3. Component 2.3. Tasks may include: (a) assisting the follow-up study with selected KBPIOs to enhance and nuance interpretation of the findings from the scoping survey, focused on themes such as knowledge management, science-policy linkages, research-orientation, and policy impact of research.
  4. Component 2.4. Task may include: (a) supporting the GEDSI scoping study; (b) assisting in the development of the program’s GEDSI strategy; (c) co-designing and implementing capacity development and support/coaching to other program teams to integrate GEDSI; (d) leading the research on gender equality and social inclusion in relation to the nexus of water, energy, and climate; and (e) producing relevant GEDSI-focused research outputs and participation in related research dissemination events.
  5. Component 3. Tasks may include: (a) working with the component leads and advisors to undertake a mapping of policymakers across national and regional scale to assess current status of GEDSI in policy-making circles.
  6. Component 4. Tasks may include: (a) working with component leads to undertake a literature review, conduct interviews, collect data collection as needed; (b) designing training materials collaboratively; and (c) writing reports related to fellowship program.
  7. Component 5. Tasks may include: (a) supporting in planning and organizing media capacity building trainings relating to contextual and in-depth reporting of environmental topics; (b) assisting the communication team to work with research partners to share and exchange their expertise and knowledge during the partnership period; and (c) supporting communication guidance for research partners to simplify complicated topics or key findings to make products suitable for a non-technical audience, including policymakers.


The duration of this fellowship is for 12 months. Part-time arrangements can be negotiated. Changes to the fellowship duration will be based on an evaluation of the fellow’s work and with the agreement of all parties concerned, including: fellow, host institution, mentor of fellow, and/or the leads of the component/activity, and if relevant, the fellow’s home institution.


One fellowship grant is for a maximum of AUD 25,000 covering the below expenditures.

  1. Return flight, work permit and visa for fellow to be physically with the host institution.
  2. Travel cost for the fellow to join regional forum and other activities.
  3. Health and travel insurance.
  4. Monthly allowance for the fellow.
  5. Housing allowance.
  6. Overhead to host institute.
  7. Honorarium for mentor of the fellow.

Detailed breakdown of the grant will be finalized between the fellow and host institute with MTT program Secretariat (SEI Asia) approval, prior to the start of the fellowship period.


  1. Required

The following qualifications are expected of applicants:

  1. Entry- or mid-level professional working on water, energy, or climate issues.
  2. Citizen of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, or Vietnam.
  3. Education qualification as appropriate for the role, but generally considered to be:
    1. Master's degree with at least 2 years’ experience; or
    2. Bachelor’s degree with at least 5 years’ experience.
  4. Available to commit to a 12-month fellowship full-time or longer than 12-month fellowship part-time.
  5. Be physically based with the host institution for at least 6 months during the fellowship period.
  6. Working knowledge of English along with their native language of the Mekong subregion.
  1. Preferable

Applicants with the following qualifications will be given priority in the selection process:

  1. Experience in working in at least one of the thematic areas:
    1. Water security
    2. Energy security 
    3. Climate change mitigation or adaptation
    4. Gender equality, disability, and social inclusion
    5. Water, energy, and climate nexus
  2. Applicants who are currently working or affiliated to a partner of the program (see Annex 1).

We encourage applicants from socially disadvantaged groups.


For inquiries, please contact: Mr. Boripat Lebel, Unit for Social and Environmental Research (USER), Thailand.



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