Career Opportunities

ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute is a regional research centre dedicated to the study of socio-political, security and economic trends and developments in Southeast Asia and its wider geostrategic and economic environment.

For career opportunities in ISEAS, please visit Careers@Gov.

For job application enquiries, please contact ISEAS HR at

The Malaysia Studies Programme (MSP) at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute invites applications for the following Visiting Fellowships.

Visiting Fellow – Malay Politics (2-12 months)

The Visiting Fellow will track and analyse key political dynamics among Malay voters including: new and evolving trends among Malay voters; internal dynamics within Malay-majority parties such as PKR, UMNO, PPBM, Amanah, and PAS; and the evolving relationship between UMNO, PAS and PPBM.

Visiting Fellow – Democratic Transitions (2-12 months)

The Visiting Fellow will analyse the political transition underway in Malaysia, focussing on actual and planned reforms in areas such as: anti-corruption; parliament; elections and associated organizations and practices; the judiciary; and political party finance. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: the impact of the lowering of the voting age on the Malaysian political context; and the increasing role of coalition politics.

Visiting Fellow – State-Federal Relations (2-12 months)

State-federal relations are increasing in their complexity with administrations of different political coalitions in power at the centre and the regions. The Visiting Fellow will analyse the political context and/or economic development programmes in one or more states and their implications for federal-state relations.

Visiting Fellow – Industrial-Technological Transformation of the Malaysian Economy (2-12 months)

The Visiting Fellow will analyse Industrial-Technological transformation in a specific industry in the primary, secondary, or tertiary sector. Services, as well as the automotive and the oil and gas industries are of particular interest.

Visiting Fellow – Government-linked companies’ performance and governance (2-12 months)

GLCs occupy a large space in Malaysia’s economy; their market power, ownership structure and political roles are widely researched. GLC internal developments remain under-researched, including the GLC Transformation Programme 2005-2015. The Visiting Fellow will focus on GLC commercial performance, financial standing and governance practices.

Visiting Fellow – Malaysia’s green economy (2-12 months)

This Visiting Fellow will critically review Malaysia’s policies in sustainable development and green economy. The country has principally committed to these vital agendas, but the state of policy formulation and implementation warrant rigorous analysis.

Research projects are expected to focus on ongoing developments in Malaysia and draw on new data. Consequently, applications focusing on an ongoing manuscript project will not be viewed favourably.


  • Applicants should have a PhD degree in an area of the humanities or social sciences (especially political science/government, economics, sociology, demography, or business studies). Alternatively, applicants with a Masters’ degree and commensurate experience in government, the private sector, think tanks or civil society organizations are also invited to apply.
  • Successful applicants are expected to start during the 2021-2022 Financial Year, running from 1 April 2021 until 30 March 2022.
  • Fluency in English is a must. For research on Malaysia, working knowledge of Malay is a bonus.


Depending on the expertise of the candidate, he or she will be conducting one or two projects related to the themes listed above. In so doing, Visiting Fellows are expected to contribute to ISEAS in the following ways:

  • Write for a range of research products for the Institute such as ISEAS Trends, ISEAS Perspectives, and ISEAS Commentaries.
  • Monitor economic, political and/or social trends in Malaysia/Southeast Asia.
  • Where relevant, contribute to ISEAS’s collective research efforts.

Fellowship Benefits: 

  • An all-inclusive and fixed monthly stipend commensurate with qualifications and experience.
  • A round-trip economy airfare between the home country and Singapore (applicable to non-Singaporeans only).

Please submit your application via Careers@Gov. Please indicate the position that you are applying in the Cover Letter. Applications should include a Cover Letter, a full CV, two Reference Letters, and a Research Plan (each plan should address the research question, methodology, timeline and expected output; 3 pages each, double-spaced).

Closing date for applications – 31 December 2020. Only short-listed candidates will be notified