Monday 20 Sep 2021 | 06:32 | SYDNEY
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Careers and Internships


Research Associate, Southeast Asia Program

The Lowy Institute’s Southeast Asia Program is looking for a Research Associate to work on an exciting new project analysing international aid flows in Southeast Asia and delivering the results in an innovative interactive format. The selected candidate will have the opportunity to help shape an influential project that will inform policy thinking across the diplomatic and development communities.

The Research Associate will be responsible for:

  • Assisting with the research, preparation and implementation of a project that will map all foreign aid flows from the international community to Southeast Asia, down to the project level. Research will include collecting, organising and analysing data from a variety of primary and secondary data sources.
  • Working with a wide range of external sources, including foreign governments and multilateral institutions, to obtain and verify information.
  • Contributing to the methodology of the project and providing input into the design of the interactive elements of the project.
  • Assisting with the production of analytical products for the Lowy Institute’s various platforms, including The Interpreter, as well as outside publications and forums.

The preferred candidate will have:

  • Strong skills and interest in data analysis and interpretation, with a high degree of attention to accuracy, and the ability to extract insights from data.
  • Experience creating and working with datasets in Excel. Familiarity with statistics desirable but not essential.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Some experience working in or researching international development and/or Southeast Asia.
  • Tertiary qualification in economics, international development, politics, Asian Studies, business, public policy, liberal arts or another relevant subject.
  • Knowledge of a Southeast Asian language and/or Chinese would be an advantage.

The role will be based in Sydney and is a full-time position on an 18-month contract. Candidates must have the full work rights in Australia.

Applications close on 23 September. To apply please submit your CV and a short cover letter explaining why you are a good fit for this role here.

For further information regarding this role please contact Alexandre Dayant at .




2021 Michael and Deborah Thawley Scholarship

Applicants for the 2021 Thawley Scholarship should note that the selection process will remain suspended until we have more certainty about the lifting of overseas travel restrictions. We will update this page when we have more information.

The Michael and Deborah Thawley Scholarship offers an Australian official, officer, student, or recent graduate an exceptional opportunity to contribute to the work of two leading think tanks, the Lowy Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The Scholarship

The scholarship provides direct exposure to the work of both organisations, at the intersection of research and policy in international affairs. The Thawley Scholar will initially work for a short period in the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, before spending 8–12 weeks in Washington DC at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Research to be carried out by the Thawley Scholar is flexible, but it is expected to place a strong emphasis on the regional and geopolitical dimensions of Australia’s strategic interests. Applicants should draw up a brief research agenda to be considered for publication. In Sydney, the scholar is expected to produce output for the Lowy Institute’s digital magazine, The Interpreter, under the supervision of the Director of the International Security Program.

The CSIS placement offers a rare chance to gain direct insight into US debates on global strategic challenges and policy responses, including opportunities to interact with the Washington foreign policy establishment and to meet with high-level policymakers and commentators, and then to apply that knowledge professionally upon return to Australia.

The successful applicant will receive an A$5000 award as well as a two-stage research placement, based in Sydney and Washington DC. In addition to the award, flights, visa costs, and a small travel allowance are provided for the Washington placement. Domestic travel and partial living costs for the Sydney placement will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The timing and length of the placement is flexible within the 2020 calendar year, and a start date would be negotiated with the successful candidate. 

Eligibility Requirements

There is no specific professional profile for the preferred applicant, but a competitive candidate will typically be either a promising junior to mid-career Australian Government official or Australian Defence Force officer, or an exceptional postgraduate student with wider experience and demonstrated interests in international security. A knowledge of and interest in Southeast Asia is desirable. Please note, this scholarship is only open to Australian citizens and holders of permanent residency.

A list of past Thawley scholars can be found here.


The availability of internships depends on the capacity and needs of our staff. Openings will be advertised on this page as they arise. Please note we no longer accept rolling applications.

Our internship program aims to connect talented international policy students and professionals with our research staff and programs. You should be interested in contributing to Australian international policy, have excellent time management and administrative skills, think critically, write clearly, and capably manage independent research tasks. Typically you will be enrolled in, or have completed, the final year of undergraduate studies, honours or postgraduate studies. The internship program attracts a large number of outstanding candidates and is highly competitive. Our intern alumni include Rhodes scholars, diplomats, soldiers, journalists, and academics. If your application is successful you will work in our Sydney offices at 31 Bligh St on a voluntary basis, with a small stipend to cover lunch and travel expenses. Permission to work in Australia is essential.