Research Associate: Urban development and urban water management At Stockholm Environment Institute

Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Deadline: 30 June 2021
Length of contract: 2 years with possibility of extension

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.

The Role: The Research Associate will undertake social science research, policy analysis and stakeholder engagement on urban development and urban water management issues in Asia under the Urban and Water Clusters. The Research Associate will support the development and implementation of activities related to projects focusing on policy-relevant urban research in Asian cities.

In particular, the Research Associate will also be expected to work with colleagues from other teams in SEI Asia, including Gender, Environment and Development, Climate Change, Disasters and Development, and Policy, in developing cross-cutting programs of work, as well as SEI colleagues internationally. The research associate will also contribute to other SEI-wide activities and reports as appropriate. The Research Associate will report directly to the Urban Cluster Lead and be under the overall supervision of the Centre Director.

Your main responsibilities will include the following:

  • Work as part of teams to conduct social science research, policy analysis and stakeholder engagement on urbanization and urban water management.
  • Support cluster leader to develop and carry out research activities with appropriate research techniques and methods, including desk-based and primary data collection, qualitative and quantitative approaches and analysis and interpretation of research results.
  • Participate in the design and implementation of new projects, including concept note development and proposal writing.
  • Identify new opportunities and support fundraising activities and potential future areas of work.
  • Publish peer-review journals, communications and outreach products such as discussion papers, policy briefs, blogs and op-eds.
  • Establish and maintain partnerships and networks with relevant actors in the region.
  • Contribute to the organization of events and meetings, as well as represent SEI at external events and participate in networking with relevant institutions and organizations.
  • Build relationships and collaborate with colleagues, both within SEI Asia and across SEI centres.

Who you are: We are looking for a person with a strong interest and proven track record in urban development and urban water-focused research projects who is knowledgeable in research application, has excellent writing skills and is passionate about communicating and collaborating with multi-stakeholder actors.

Formal qualifications and knowledge

  • Master’s degree in a relevant subject such as environmental science or international development
  • Experience in social science research skills, including participatory methodologies, literature reviews, surveys and interviews
  • At least two years of experience working in urban development and/or urban water or development-related profession, with good understanding of urban contexts and trends
  • Experience in urban informality and/or urban risk and resilience and/or urban health
  • Familiarity in research on land use, urban planning, urban water management, urban flood risk management and implementation of nature-based solutions
  • Experience working with different stakeholder groups, such as decision makers, civil society organizations and community groups
  • Excellent English communication skills, both written and spoken.


  • Demonstrated knowledge on gender and social equality, human rights, poverty alleviation and environmental management
  • Experience of fundraising and proposal development
  • Ability to speak an Asian language is an advantage
  • Experience of living and working in Asia.

Personal skills required for the position

  • Good interpersonal skills and team collaboration
  • Good communication skills to effectively engage with different audiences
  • Proactive and self-motivated working style
  • Able to work both independently and as part of a team as appropriate
  • Good prioritization and time management skills in order to work on multiple projects and tasks at the same time and meet deadlines.

How to apply

SEI Asia is an equal-opportunity employer and we consider all applicants on the basis of qualifications and competencies regardless of and not limited to race, national origin, religious beliefs, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability and marital status. We are committed to ensuring diversity and equality within our organization and applicants from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

We are reviewing applications on an ongoing basis, so please submit your application soon, but no later than 30 June 2021. Applications should be written in English and consist of a short CV and cover letter (maximum 1 page). As we only accept applications through our recruitment system, please apply online using the button below and include:

  • cover letter highlighting relevant qualifications and experience
  • curriculum vitae.

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. For this post, we expect candidates at an early career level to apply.

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