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.

To apply for current career opportunities in ISEAS, please visit Careers@Gov.

For job application enquiries, please contact ISEAS HR at

Current Opportunities

  1. Visiting Fellows, Malaysia Studies Programme
  2. Lead Researcher, ASEAN Studies Centre

Visiting Fellows, Malaysia Studies Programme (2 to 12 months)


  1. The Structure of Political Parties in Malaysia

Malaysia has very strong political parties, many of which have been part of the country’s political scene for decades. This project will study the structure of a subset of Malaysia’s main political parties to set out the party hierarchy, mechanisms for choosing leaders, and relationship between apex organizations and state, parliamentary, and branch leaders. This focus will shed light on how internal dynamics can also influence the trajectory and sustainability of political parties in Malaysia.

  1. Political developments in Sabah

Once a heartland for Barisan Nasional and UMNO, Sabah has become an increasingly disputed state. Indeed, in contrast to Sarawak, which is more solidly controlled by a state-based coalition, the context in Sabah is more contested. The state has had two surprising transitions in the past four years. Peninsula-based and Sabah-based political parties are active in the state and, in a rare reversal of roles, one Sabah-based political party, Warisan, is looking to make inroads in West Malaysia. This project will study the key drivers for change in the state.

  1. Future of Malay-based Political Parties

Once the preserve of UMNO, peninsular Malaysia’s constituency rich Malay heartland is increasingly being disputed by a number of Malay-focused parties. This project will explore the emergence of more recent Malay-focused political parties, seeking to understand how they compete with the more established players in terms of issues, constituencies, age group, candidate selection, and narratives.

  1. Dynamics of Change in Malaysia

Malaysia has undergone change of immense scope and fluidity since the pivotal May 2018 general election. The shifting landscapes of polity, society and economy raise questions about the roles, contributions and limitations of key institutions and agencies – notably, the branches of government, the media, and civil society.

  1. Post-Pandemic Policy Challenges

While Malaysia’s macroeconomic recovery appears to be underway, the pandemic exposed structural shortcomings and imposed new challenges, including the quest to be a high-wage economy, inadequacies of social protection, and disruptions to education. This occurs against a backdrop of rising government debt, and declining oil and gas revenues – prompting a search for new policy approaches.


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.


  • 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 2023 calendar year.
  • Fluency in English is a must. For research on Malaysia, working knowledge of Malay is a bonus.


  • An all-inclusive and fixed monthly stipend commensurate with qualifications and experience.
  • A monthly housing subsidy (applicable to non-Singaporeans only).


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).

Applications focusing on an ongoing manuscript project will not be viewed favourably.

Please submit your application materials to with the subject heading “Application for MSP Visiting Fellowship” and indicate the position that you are applying for in the email.

Closing date is 31 December 2022. Only shortlisted applicants will be notified.

Lead Researcher, ASEAN Studies Centre

Job Responsibilities:

  • Undertake policy-relevant research on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), ASEAN’s economic development, as well as cover a wide range of issues from trade liberalisation to digital economy, etc;
  • Produce policy papers, commentaries, and academic papers;
  • Conduct talks and briefings on ASEAN economic issues and moderate seminars as required;
  • Assist in the organization and management of conferences, workshops, webinars, and outreach programmes;
  • Be part of the ASEANFocus editorial team and assist in managing content;
  • Establish and maintain professional links with relevant stakeholders; and
  • Assist the Coordinator as necessary.


  • Post-graduate degree in economics, political economy, development studies or business economics
  • A minimum of 5 years’ work experience on regional economic issues
  • A strong interest in ASEAN, particularly the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)
  • Applicants with experience in government, the private sector, think tanks are welcome to apply
  • Strong interdisciplinary work with good track record in policy-related research and publications
  • Strong communication and writing skills in English
  • Good interpersonal and networking skills
  • Positive work attitude and ability to work under demanding circumstances.
  • Team spirit and a high sense of professionalism.
  • A deep understanding of ASEAN mechanisms and processes will be an added advantage.
  • The applicant must be a citizen from one of the ASEAN Member States.

Remuneration and benefits depend on the candidate’s qualifications and experience.

Please click here to apply. (Closing Date 24 November 2022. Only shortlisted applicants will be notified.)