Post-doctoral fellowships

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University, Japan, invites applications for two post-doctoral fellowships under its program,“Towards Sustainable Humanosphere in Southeast Asia.” 

Southeast Asia, through its regional institution of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), has emerged as a hub for East Asia community-building. The highly diverse societies in this region have undergone rapid social, economic, and political changes that can only be understood if the local-global knowledges and experiences of their peoples, and the ways in which these knowledges and experiences are shaped by, and in turn shape, the ecologies, histories, and social relations in their respective habitats, are fully taken into account. Working within the paradigm of “sustainable humanosphere” (for further discussion of the concept, visit, this research program seeks to promote sustainable development in Southeast Asia by analyzing the complex interactions between ecological and social environments in different localities; by developing strategies and techniques for managing social, political, economic, cultural and environmental challenges; and by creating a platform for dialogue and collaboration among scholars from across disciplines (including the natural sciences) in the region. The objectives of the program are: to analyze structures of everyday life, with the aim of identifying social safety mechanisms that will enable people to cope with natural disasters, pandemics, ethnic and religious conflicts, poverty, inequality, aging, environmental degradation and other issues; to undertake ecological studies toward building sustainable environments and biomass-based societies; and to foster scholarship that can be a source of foundational knowledge for East Asia community-building. Through this program, we strive to promote intellectual and academic exchanges and collaboration among Southeast Asia scholars in East Asia.

Two post-doctoral fellowships will be offered in the following research clusters:

Plural Coexistence

Southeast Asia is rich in its diversity of ethnic, religious and cultural composition. By and large the region has maintained the coexistence of such diversity while at the same time achieving economic progress, becoming the hub of the flow of people, goods, money and information. Yet the region is also confronted with serious issues such as the decrease of biodiversity and tropical forest, disasters, pandemics, aging population, ethnic and religious conflicts, economic differentiation and poverty. In the face of this, how is coexistence and sustainability possible despite or on account of diversity?

For this purpose, we promote the study of plural coexistence which connects the global and the local dynamically, towards mending the political and economic imbalances of globalization. How can we make public resources out of the region’s social foundations at the basis of people’s everyday lives? How can we connect these in a complementary way with existing systems of governance towards solving problems and issues mentioned above?

Biomass Society: New Concept-Building for Sustainable Humanosphere

The 21st century is the century of tropics. Renewable energy, including solar radiation and biomass in the tropics, will be fundamental energy resources for the global population and economies. Technological developments aimed at realizing a Low Carbon Society are accelerating. At the same time, competition over natural biomass resources for energy has emerged as a new and important issue, evident in the expansion of oil palm and artificial forest plantations in Southeast Asia.
The equatorial zone of Southeast Asia over Indonesia is the most active region of heat and water cycle in the world. This is especially so for the many islands of Indonesia and the shallow surrounding seas which provide a large-scale unique environment that is neither purely oceanic nor terrestrial, and has been termed the Maritime Continent. The Maritime Continent is the most suitable area for renewable energy production.
Southeast Asian countries are now confronting the challenge of developing, utilizing, and preserving their biomass resources. Based on the global changeovers of energy and economics, we aim to formulate a new concept to realize sustainable biomass society in Southeast Asia.

The fellowships will be for a maximum of two years, with starting dates of January 2014. They are designed to offer up-and-coming scholars the time, space, and financial as well as institutional support necessary to produce outstanding scholarship that will promote the study of sustainable humanosphere in Southeast Asia.
We seek applicants with excellent academic backgrounds and research training who are willing and able to cross disciplines, who are strongly motivated to publish significant scholarship that fulfills the aims and purposes of the Center’s research program, and who can help expand and strengthen research networks in East Asia (Northeast and Southeast Asia).

Applications are open to scholars of all nationalities. Applicant must have a Ph.D. or proof of a solid research and publication track record that is directly relevant to the themes and topics outlined by the research clusters above. Applicant must not be the recipient of a JSPS Post Doctoral Fellowship or similar programs at the time of employment.
Applicant must submit the following documents:

1) Application form (downloadable by clicking here)
2) Curriculum Vitae (must include information on language skills, both oral and written; list of international academic conferences and seminars participated in; fieldwork experiences; and list of research grants or fellowships obtained)
3) Complete list of publications (please indicate which ones are refereed)
4) Two recommendation letters
5) Samples of major publications (two samples with abstracts; electronic copies or photocopies/Xeroxes are acceptable)
6) Summary of scholarly activities and achievements (1200 words or less)
7) Statement of your research, writing, and publication goals for this fellowship, and your contribution to the research theme or topic(s) outlined by the research cluster that you wish to be a part of (1200 words)

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed over Skype, and will therefore be requested to open a Skype account or provide the CSEAS with information regarding existing Skype addresses.

Documents can be submitted by email to (please use “CSEAS fellowship” as subject heading) or by mailing printout copies to:
Center for Southeast Asian Studies
Kyoto University
Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program
46 Shimoadachi-cho, Yoshida
Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501

Note: Mailed hard copies should reach the Center by June 15, 2013, regardless of postmarked date.
For further inquiries, please contact us at (please use “CSEAS fellowships” as subject heading)