“SUMERNET 4 All” (S4A), the ongoing phase of SUMERNET (2019-2023), focusing on water insecurity in the Mekong region, offers a 12-month fellowship hosted at the SUMERNET Secretariat in Bangkok, Thailand.
The fellowships are intended for young and early career citizens (no older than 35) from the Mekong region with a background as a researcher and/or practitioner from the countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
SUMERNET is a regional research network focusing on the six countries of the Mekong region. Its overall objective is to undertake research that influences and informs policy on sustainable development in the region, thereby linking science to the policy continuum. The current phase, SUMERNET 4 All (S4A), will have the strategic objective of “reducing water insecurities for all in the Mekong region”. The network takes a participatory approach to identifying and finding ways to respond to the strategic direction of S4A and to use the rich experiences of research and policy engagement of our partners. Through this approach, the network aspires to transform the lives of communities affected by water insecurity in the Mekong region. More details on S4A are available here.
One of the outcomes of S4A is to improve the knowledge, attitude and skills of knowledge producers so that they can deliver credible, gender-inclusive, human rights-based, gender-sensitive research. conflicts and focused on poverty reduction on the main challenges of water insecurity in the Mekong. Region. Knowledge producers can improve their research practices and help improve the discourse on water insecurities in the region. In S4A, among others, the program focuses its interventions on enhancing the capacity of young early-career professionals in areas relevant to SUMERNET 4 work areas: research, policy engagement, communications and project management (including monitoring and evaluation). During this fellowship period, SUMERNET wishes to focus on the area of project management, which includes grant administration, project cycle management, project funding, and monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL).
In addition to providing grants for individual research projects, S4A also supports “scholarships” for early-career young Mekong citizens from researchers and practitioners or graduate students for hands-on learning under the four working components of SUMERNET 4 All.
- To enhance the knowledge, capacities and skills of young Mekong citizen researchers, development practitioners, those interested in communications and media and graduate students.
- Help provide credible, gender-inclusive, human rights-based, conflict-sensitive and poverty-reducing research, practice and communications related to water insecurity in the Mekong region.
- Strengthen partnership and networking opportunities between their home institutions with the SUMERNET Steering Committee, SUMERNET Secretariat and other SUMERNET member institutes. Young professionals or graduate students from SUMERNET member institutes will be given higher priority for this grant.
- To strengthen the sense of belonging of early career researchers, development practitioners, communication or media professionals or graduate students to SUMERNET as a regional research network.
The SUMERNET 4 All Fellow will receive a monthly stipend of approximately US$750 (SEK 7,500) to cover basic living and accommodation costs while residing in Bangkok, Thailand, plus standard/economy quarantine costs. Alternate State (ASQ), basic health/travel insurance, and relevant direct costs (return flight and transit accommodation) plus internet/communication costs.
For the duration of their scholarship, SEI will arrange a Thai visa and work permit fee to allow the scholarship holder to legally live and work in Thailand.
The duration of this scholarship is 12 months. It is possible to extend the scholarship for another period of 6 to 12 months depending on the evaluation of the candidate’s work and the agreement of all parties concerned (SUMERNET scholarship holder, SUMERNET steering committee, SUMERNET secretariat and, the if applicable, the host institution).
- Contribute to relevant SUMERNET work, specifically related to program-wide activities (organized into components) within SUMERNET 4 All. Applicants can choose a main component (see below) in which they would like to be involved, indicating one or more components they would like to support. Note that for this ongoing call, SUMERNET wishes to focus on component 4 which will offer 1 fellowship position under Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) and 1 fellowship position under project management (grant administration, project cycle management, and finance). Please refer below for the fellow’s role in each component:
- Multi-stakeholder engagement (component 1), learn from and support this component 1 in the oversight, monitoring and capacity building activities of joint action projects, small grants and other policy and stakeholder engagement activities. Your role under this component is potentially to support the SUMERNET Secretariat by advising grantee partners to plan and implement their policy engagement activities, analyzing policy impacts at the research project level and at SUMERNET 4 All levels of the program, and by planning the policy forum for SUMERNET which is organized annually. In the current cycle, SUMERNET is not accepting applications for this component.
- Research (Component 2), learn and support this component 2 in the supervision, monitoring and capacity building activities of research projects and integrated regional assessments and other research activities. Your role will be to create a project that adds value to your career and to S4A while helping grantee researchers carry out their work. Examples of fellowship projects could include how to share research results that change policy, identify and share ideas for local community action in the face of water insecurity or even how to improve the impact of research across the Mekong. In the current cycle, SUMERNET is not accepting applications for this component.
- Communications (Component 3), learn and support this component 3 in the supervision, monitoring and capacity building activities of research partners in terms of websites or multimedia products, publications, media outreach (especially local language media) and other communication activities relevant to the S4A communication strategy. If you choose to focus on communications under the S4A fellowship, your role will be to support the development of SUMERNET communications products, help update the SUMERNET website with engaging content such as blogs and short films and supporting related events involving capacity building and media outreach for communications. In the current cycle, SUMERNET is not accepting applications for this component.
- Project management (Component 4), learn and support S4A coordination and monitoring, evaluation and learning activities. Your role will be to support the day-to-day operations of S4A management, which includes grant administration, project financial management, planning and budgeting, and support MEL activities such as collection, analysis and communication of MEL data, with the aim of measuring the achievement of S4A. program results.
- Discover topics and themes of interest from relevant staff and researchers of the SUMERNET Secretariat, Steering Committee and Advisors through mentorship and supervision. The fellow will be expected to identify topics and themes of interest for mentorship and supervision during the fellowship period.
- Actively support the development of the SUMERNET Youth Network (SYN) and engage with young professional members in relevant SYN and SUMERNET activities.
- Other duties considered relevant and effective in building the capacity of the Fellow, including temporary placement in SUMERNET grantees’ projects if there is significant interest from both grantee and grantee research partners.
- The candidate is a citizen of one of the countries in the Mekong region (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) and not older than 35 at the start of the scholarship.
- Holds at least a bachelor’s degree and/or is in the process of obtaining a master’s or doctoral degree in subjects relevant to the S4A work program.
- At least 2 years of professional experience in a field related to the S4A work program.
- Available to commit for a full-time stay period of 12 months in Thailand based at the SUMERNET Secretariat in Bangkok, Thailand.
- Proficiency in the English language as well as their mother tongue in the Mekong region.
- Candidates who submit proof of previous work showing that they have the relevant qualifications and skills or who are recommended by a SUMERNET member or an institution affiliated with SUMERNET as current or previous partners will be given priority in the selection process. .
- Applicants with relevant work experience and skills relevant to Component 4 (Project Management) will be prioritized in the selection process.
- Deadline for submitting applications: May 8, 2022
Candidates must submit their application via an online form available at this link.
The following documents will need to be uploaded:
- Motivation letter (entered in the submission form)
- Recent Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- At least one reference from a current or former work/academic supervisor
- Relevant work samples (report, paper, other media, etc., optional)
- At least one letter of recommendation from current home institution or previous institution (optional)
- Examination of applications (9 – 20 May 2022)
Submitted applications will be reviewed and reviewed against the criteria set out in this call. The members of the review panel are the coordinator of the component concerned and the project management staff of SUMERNET.
- Interview with the panel (tentatively May 23-26, 2022)
Only pre-selected candidates will be called for the interview with the SUMERNET selection panel. The interview stage will result in the recommendation of the selected candidate(s) for approval by the
SUMERNET Steering Committee (SSC).
- Approval by SSC and announcement (27 – 31 May 2022)
The recommendation of the SUMERNET panel will be reviewed by the SSC. SSC approval will be the final decision for the selection of SUMERNET 4 All Fellow(s). This final decision will be announced in before May 31, 2022.
- Scholarship start date
Subject to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, visa application process and work permit to stay in Thailand, S4A Fellows will take up their duties at the SUMERNET Secretariat as soon as possible in 2022, ideally the first week of July 2022. The start date of the scholarship will be determined taking into account the above conditions and will last for a period of 12 months from the start date.
For any request, please contact: