Research Fellow: inclusive and equitable climate finance for adaptation

Based in Bangkok, SEI Asia has a diverse team of multinational experts who integrate scientific research with participatory approaches to co-develop and share knowledge, build partnerships, and influence policy for resilient development. SEI Asia’s work 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 an agreement to foster innovative scientific research combined with effective policy engagement on development and environmental challenges in Asia. The key areas of collaboration are intellectual engagement for joint research applications and fund mobilization, lectures and seminars for CU students, post-graduate supervision and examination, and CU–SEI employee links.

About the programme

Hosted by the Asia office of the Stockholm Environment Institute in Bangkok, the Centre for Finance for Sustainability Bangkok (CFSB) works with the private sector and financial hubs in the region. Its purpose is to enable the financial sector in the region to align more closely with the global goals of the Paris Agreement, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the countries’ Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).

Following its launch in 2022, the CFSB hosts a set of projects on climate adaptation finance as well as the platform on finance for development and official development assistance called Aid Atlas. CFSB is now launching a large-scale project called Inclusive Climate Finance for Communities in the Asia Pacific (ICCAP). The main stakeholders of the ICCAP project include both the private sector financial service providers (FSPs) and public sector actors who will work in partnership to build viable, responsive, and equitable financial instruments, models and systems to finance adaptation solutions for climate vulnerable communities in countries in the Asia Pacific region, and the vulnerable communities themselves.

The role

The Research Fellow will be part of the CFSB programme, reporting directly to its director. They will be instrumental in developing and conducting rigorous research on climate adaptation, gender and social equity, with a special focus on innovative approaches to inclusive, responsive and equitable climate financing. This role involves working with diverse partners to lead high-quality, applied research spanning from design to policy influence, monitoring, reporting and evaluation. The Research Fellow will also seek funding for future research projects in this area, bridging science, policy and practice in climate justice, gender and social equity, human rights, climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction towards a sustainable, equitable and prosperous future for all.

Responsibilities include cross-disciplinary work, mentoring early-career researchers and capacity building with key stakeholders. The Research Fellow will collaborate with consortium partners, donors, and SEI Asia teams in water resources, urban policy, climate change, disaster risk reduction and development, to develop cross-cutting programmes of work, as well as with SEI colleagues globally. A major part of this role is to generate and disseminate interdisciplinary research insights to various audiences, producing high-quality peer-reviewed publications and engaging with policymakers and decision-makers.

The Research Fellow will further the implementation of the SEI Strategy through intellectual contributions, effective research project management and consistent high-quality delivery of projects and programmes. Additionally, the Research Fellow will engage in SEI-wide activities and projects as needed.

Key duties and responsibilities

  • Lead and collaborate on applied research in inclusive climate finance, gender equity, social inclusion and related environmental and development topics, including co-designing and co-delivering on research piloting a gender transformative approach in relation to climate finance mechanisms.
  • Co-develop participatory and mixed-method research tools and methodologies for research and monitoring, reporting, evaluation and learning (MREL).
  • Produce high-quality intellectual outputs that drive strategic and policy outcomes, including peer-review journal articles, policy briefs and targeted reports, inclusiveness plans, such as social inclusion, social justice, and gender action plans.
  • Contribute to the design of the multi-stakeholder action labs including working with the Lab Facilitator to ensure that transformative and social inclusion, social justice and gender equity principles are followed.
  • Implement adequate environmental, social and governance standards in ICCAP to safeguard the welfare of vulnerable groups and communities.
  • Ensure that adequate ESG standards and safeguards are implemented so that the welfare of vulnerable groups and communities are maintained.
  • Forge strong relationships with stakeholders and partners, including civil society, policy actors and development agencies.
  • Ensure research aligns with stakeholder needs, follows best practices for quality including co-generation or transdisciplinary approaches as appropriate, and is well positioned to influence decision-making.

Areas of accountability

  • Develop and execute research and engagement activities consistent with CFSB, SEI Asia and SEI’s global strategy.
  • Integrate and link own work with SEI’s global efforts.
  • Enhance the visibility and impact of research and engagement activities.
  • Maintain a credible professional presence in the field.
  • Manage financial and project aspects to deliver timely results within budgets.
  • Ensure professional and respectful interactions with colleagues within and outside SEI.

Who you are

You are a collaborative team player with excellent listening skills and empathy, capable of working in diverse and dynamic environments. You have a robust background in multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary research related to sustainable or climate finance/economics, and a proven track record in applying inclusive, justice, gender and social equity lenses to your work. Ideally you bring expertise in relation to inclusive climate finance and transformative approaches with an inclusion, justice, and gender lens. Your experience spans sustainable development, climate adaptation, climate governance or climate and gender justice.

With a strong background in applied research projects, you possess excellent research and writing skills, communicating effectively across different sectors. Your expertise in gender equity and social inclusion is crucial, alongside your ability to work harmoniously in varied team environments.

Formal qualifications and knowledge

  • Doctoral degree with at least 3 years, or a master’s degree with a minimum of 6 years of experience in applied research in inclusive climate finance or relevant areas such as inclusive climate adaptation, equitable climate governance, and/or climate and gender justice.
  • Demonstrated success in working with inter- or transdisciplinary research teams, including those bridging local actors, development practitioners, researchers, policy actors and/or technical professionals.
  • Experienced in design, implementation and analysis using mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) research.
  • Expertise in social equity, inclusion and gender in relation to sustainability, with an ability to apply an intersectional lens.
  • A growing record of publications and a demonstrated ability to contribute to research-based publications for diverse audiences.

Desirable qualifications

  • Background in sustainable development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
  • Experience with transformative approaches.
  • Regional knowledge of Asia and the Pacific, especially Southeast and/or South Asia.
  • Proficiency in an Asian language.
  • Established networks in relevant professional fields.
  • Skills in data analysis using programming languages like R or Python.

Personal skills required

  • Keen interest in the field coupled with strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Strong can-do attitude and remain composed under pressure, effectively handling shifting timelines and objectives.
  • Ability to work within budget constraints and adhere to project timelines.
  • Proven skills in task leadership and people management.
  • Excellent planning, organizational, and time management skills.
  • Outstanding analytical, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to positively impact team dynamics and individual attitudes.
  • Embodies the core values of SEI in daily work, highlighting the importance of high-quality output, respect and trust.
  • Capable of providing and receiving feedback in a constructive and respectful manner.

Additional information

With a team comprising over 17 nationalities, SEI Asia welcomes global applicants for all posts, and provides an internationally competitive level NGO salary and benefits package, with all employee contracts under Thai labour laws. For this position, we are seeking candidates with mid-level experience.

SEI is an equal opportunity employer and we consider all applicants on the basis of qualifications and competencies regardless but 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.

How to apply

How to apply

We are reviewing applications on an ongoing basis so please submit your application as soon as possible, however no later than 26 May: 23:59 Bangkok local time.

Applications should be written in English. 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.

Apply now

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