ASEAN Science Leadership Programme (ASEAN SLP)
7th-11th September 2017

Call for applicants 2017

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional organisation, comprising of 10 countries with a total population that exceeds 625 million and a USD 3 trillion nominal gross domestic product. In recognition of the role of research as a key factor in sustaining economic growth and societal well-being in the region, many ASEAN countries have made significant investments to enhance their science and technological capacity; capacity in the context of ability to create and innovate. A nation’s research progress is often determined through quantifiable metrics such as the size of the tech talent pool, number of research institutions, publications and patents. Despite the significant research progress that has been made by many ASEAN countries in the past decades, the region continues to play ‘catch-up’ to more established R&D-intensive nations.

The reality is that the speed and quality of the development of science capacity are not only dependent on the provision of infrastructure and the technical training of people. The capacity to respond to and lead change is intimately linked to the quality of leadership. However, the focus on individual leadership is often inadequate to address complex challenges. This is because complex challenges often require a wide-range of skills across many sectors and collaborative processes. These challenges become even more difficult to address in developing countries such as those in ASEAN because of limitations of resources.

Despite the increase in the number of qualified researchers in the region, the fact is that training structures often do not adequately prepare the next generation of scholars for the complexities that an interconnected, interdisciplinary approach to science entails. While significant research collaborations exist between individual ASEAN countries and high-income countries; the transnational research collaboration within the ASEAN region has not evolved as quickly. While there are obvious reasons that explain the present scenario, the reality is that for ASEAN to be a competitive global S&T contributor, a robust intra-ASEAN research network is essential. Greater intra-ASEAN research collaboration will more likely address unique issues, promote peace and prosperity and ensure sustainable development in the region. Greater collaboration between ASEAN members states will also enhance the regional capacity to effectively collaborate with the rest of the world in the promotion of global scientific advancement and social justice.

The ASEAN Science Leadership Programme (ASEAN SLP) is therefore focused on the development of collective leadership skills among early- and mid-career ASEAN researchers from all disciplines and the strengthening of an intra-ASEAN research network that promotes greater regional collaboration and sharing of best leadership practices.

The Challenge:

ASEAN future research competitiveness requires greater:
a) empowerment of young ASEAN researchers as leaders who can champion their national research and innovation agenda, and
b) cohesion and collaboration between young researchers from various ASEAN member states to shape a collective ASEAN research and innovation agenda.

Overview of the Program

The ASEAN SLP 2017 is co-organised by the Young Scientists Network–Academy of Sciences Malaysia (YSN-ASM), the Global Young Academy (GYA), the Higher Education Leadership Academy (AKEPT), NSTDA and The World Academy of Sciences Young Affiliates Network (TYAN). The programme receives strong support from The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Malaysia and the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) Malaysia. The ASEAN SLP 2017 organising committee is co-chaired by Prof. Dr. Iqbal Saripan and Dr. Tee Keng Kok. The first ASEAN Science Leadership Programme (SLP) 2016 in Bangsaen, Thailand was an initiative of the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) in partnership with the Global Young Academy. The ASEAN SLP programme was inspired by the successful implementation of the Africa Science Leadership Programme (ASLP) since 2015.

The ASEAN SLP identifies early‐to mid‐career researchers in all disciplines of sciences including engineering, social sciences, arts and the humanities. Selected participants will be recognised as ASEAN SLP fellows. The programme aims to create an interdisciplinary network of young academic leaders in the region who are trained with leadership skills and are committed towards developing a collective vision that promotes scientific progress and creates a positive impact at policy and societal-levels. The establishment of national young academies (NYAs) or equivalent organisations that represent the voice of young researchers in all the ASEAN countries could potentially facilitate the creation of an effective network that that can play a role in shaping science agenda in ASEAN. The ambition is to establish thought leadership, team development, engagement and collaboration through the sharing of best practices with the ultimate intention of enabling these academies to contribute towards solving the complex issues that face both ASEAN and the global community.

The ASEAN SLP 2017 will be held in conjunction with the ASEAN 2050 Future Forum: The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Thus, at the end of the ASEAN SLP 2017, the ASEAN SLP fellows will also have the opportunity to interact with key policymakers and stakeholders in the ASEAN region and share their ASEAN SLP experience as well as their individual narratives as active academics and researchers in the region. The ASEAN 2050 Future Forum will provide the perfect platform for the ASEAN SLP fellows to experience science advice and advocacy.

Program Structure

The ASEAN SLP 2017 is developed as a highly interactive workshop that includes training, application, peer support and mentorship. Fellows will attend an initial 4-day, intensive on‐site programme at the Leadership of Higher Education Academy (AKEPT), Malaysia. On the 12th of September 2017, participants will attend the ASEAN 2050 Future Forum that will be held in Kuala Lumpur. Throughout the 4-day workshop, participants will be involved in:

A. Skills-training:

• Elements of effective (collective) leadership
• Strategies towards effective collaboration and network building
• Creative and systems thinking
• Problem solving and decision-making skills
• Effective communication skills
• Stakeholder engagement skills
• Overcoming cultural inhibitions
• Monitoring and assessment of programme/leadership impact

B. Best practices, experiences and opportunities:

• Reflections by selected ASEAN SLP 2016 fellows
• Insights from established National Young Academies
• Opportunities for ASEAN SLP 2017 fellows to apply the skills that they have acquired

C. Strategising ASEAN SLP Sustainability:

• Establishment of an ASEAN Young Science Leaders Network

Expected commitment

The ASEAN SLP is seeking ambitious and values-driven young researchers with high leadership potential who are committed towards actively contributing to or establishing their National Young Academies as well as promoting greater collaboration within a network of young ASEAN researchers. Selected ASEAN SLP 2017 fellows will be expected to:

a) apply the acquired skillsets in existing or new initiatives in the 12 months following the initial training
b) evaluate how the application of the acquired skillsets have impacted the outcomes of the initiatives and write brief half-year reflections (not-exceeding 200-words)
c) contribute towards the progress and development of their respective National Young Academies
d) continue interacting with other ASEAN SLP fellows via events and/or online means of communication.
e) share their skillsets and experience with fellow researchers in their respective countries


Training, meal and accommodation costs will be covered by the organisers for all selected fellows. Travel support will also be made available to selected fellows who require the support. There will be some costs that will not be covered by the programme, such as visas and vaccinations, for which the fellow may need to seek support from their local institution or fund personally. Fellows will also be required to provide us with their personal travel insurance details as a condition of participation.

Selection criteria and application process

Applicants will need to display compelling evidence of their leadership potential. This potential can be demonstrated in areas such as research excellence, talent development, advocacy, science advice, outreach, education etc. The selection process will not only consider individual qualities but also focus on ensuring diversity of culture, subject background (natural and social sciences, engineering, arts, humanities etc.) and gender among the ASEAN SLP fellows. Where possible, the programme will also attempt to create small nodes of leadership; multiple strong applicants from the same centre or country will thus be considered.

The following criteria are used as a guide for the nomination and selection of fellows:
• A continuing research/academic position at a research institute, institution of higher learning, or industry;
• A sustained record of outstanding scientific output;
• Interest in translating and communicating the results of their work to create positive impact in society;
• Demonstrated leadership ability in research and beyond;
• Demonstrated leadership ability in research and beyond;
• Interest in the role of research in addressing complex issues affecting society;
• Interest in collaborations across disciplines and sectors (e.g. industry, government, etc.);
• Desire to champion National Young Academies as the voice of young scientists
• Commitment towards engaging in the activities of the fellowship; and
• Intent to share what is learned in the programme with their broader networks.

All applicants have to provide two recommendation letters from their proposed referees (details are provided in the ASEAN SLP 2017 Fellowship Application Form). Please ensure that the support letters are sent from an accredited institutional email address. At least one of the referees has to commit to be involved in future communications and mentorship of successful ASEAN SLP fellows. This referee should express their willingness towards supporting the ASEAN SLP fellow’s development as an academic leader.

Deadline of applications is on the 7th of July 2017.

Please contact: Mr. Hendy Putra Herman (Tel. No.: +6 03 6203 0633; Email: for further enquiries.

Contact us

Young Scientists Network
Academy Science Malaysia

Academy of Sciences Malaysia
Level 20, West Wing
Jalan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah
Off Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia

P +603.6203.0633
F +603.6203.0634