27 Indonesian Researchers Graduated from the Science Leadership Collaborative

27 researchers from across Indonesia have successfully completed a nine-month leadership development program initiated by The Conversation Indonesia, the Science Leadership Collaborative (SLC). The SLC graduation ceremony took place in Ungasan, Bali, on 17 March 2023.

Prominent scientists such as Prof. Sangkot Marzuki, Former Chairman of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences (AIPI), and Prof. Jatna Supriatna, a professor from Universitas Indonesia, delivered inspiring and heartwarming speeches during the graduation.

“This cohort is the pioneer. I am hoping (they do) not only know how to collaborate but also mature as a scientist,” said Prof. Jatna Supriatna in his speech.

For nine months, the researchers participated in a series of learning activities designed using cutting-edge methods with leadership development experts from America, Europe, and Asia. The activities include seminars and workshops, 1-on-1 coaching, peer learning, and self-learning through a learning management system.

In addition, each of the 27 researchers is paired with a mentor who is a world-renowned scientist in their field. “I was so happy to participate in this program… I think the work that you guys are doing is so important, and I hope that you continue,” said Karen Osborn, one of the SLC mentors from the Smithsonian Institution, USA.

When asked about her feelings, Yosmina Tapilatu, a deep-sea researcher from the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), expressed her gratitude for successfully completing the program. “However, there is a sense of sadness that the program has ended after nine months of learning together to become scientists who can become leaders in their communities and have an impact on Indonesian societies,” she added.

In the graduation ceremony, the researchers were first challenged to present the innovation projects they had developed at the end of the program. Prof. Sangkot Marzuki as the academic representative, Prodita Sabarini as the media representative, Rifa Atsari as the start-up representative, as well as an audience consisting of various stakeholders provided various feedback to help the researchers develop their projects further.

The graduation was then closed with dinner and inauguration. Ardiantiono, a researcher and conservationist who is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at the University of Kent, England, said that even though this program is of long duration, time flies so quickly. “It’s like a baby that’s been in the womb for nine months and is now ready to face the world with new insight, capacity, and enthusiasm,” he said.

The completion of the SLC program brings so much hope, one of which was related to the impact researchers could create after completing this program. Prodita Sabarini, the CEO/Publisher of The Conversation Indonesia, hopes that there will be many new collaborations, new initiatives, as well as a wider network among the researchers. “I am very proud of you”, she said to the 27 researchers graduating that night.

The 27 researchers are:

Ali Budhi Kusuma is a lecturer and the Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences and Technology at Universitas Teknologi Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara. He received his doctorate degree from Newcastle University, UK, in 2020, with a specialization in microbiology of extremophiles. He established his own research group, the Indonesian Center for Extremophile Bioresources and Biotechnology (ICEBB), the only research center for extreme environmental microorganisms in Southeast Asia. In addition, he is also a manager at Sumbawa Technopark, an innovation area established to encourage sustainable research and development in Sumbawa.

Amalina Ghaisani Komarudin is a researcher at Eijkman Research Center for Molecular Biology, The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN). She was a postdoctoral research fellow at Dengue Research Unite, Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, after finishing her doctoral study at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. Her specialization in molecular biology led her to various collaboration projects, including collaboration between the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology with Edinburgh Napier University and the development of the Merah Putih Vaccine. 

Antonia Morita Iswari Saktiawati is a researcher and lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta. She received her doctorate from the University of Groningen, Netherlands, with her research on tuberculosis. She won multiple awards, including Faculty for The Future Award from Schlumberger Foundation in 2014, Excellent Academics Awards in Publication from Gadjah Mada University in 2019, and the Rising Star Award, a recognition from the 7th International Workshop on Lung Health in Prague in 2020 for her research on the diagnosis of tuberculosis using the “electronic nose”.

Ardiantiono is a researcher and conservationist who is also a doctoral student at the University of Kent, England. Previously, he served as Biodiversity Science Coordinator at the Wildlife Conservation Society-Indonesia Program (WCS-IP), an organization working in the field of wildlife conservation. His research is closely related to human-wildlife conflict, social conservation, statistical modeling, and population ecology. He is also active in the HarimauKita Forum, an organization that focuses on Sumatran tiger conservation.

Ayu Krishna Yuliawati is a lecturer and researcher at the Faculty of Business and Economics Education, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Bandung. She received her doctorate degree from the same university in 2017. She also serves as a senior advisor and fellow at Resilience Development Initiative (RDI), a research institute that focuses on issues related to community resilience. Ayu’s current research focuses on topics around Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and entrepreneurship, community empowerment, women and youth, management, marketing, and gender studies.

David Virya Chen is a specially appointed researcher at the Systems Immunology Department, Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC), Osaka University, Japan. He obtained his doctorate in 2021 from the same university with the Taniguchi Scholarship funded by the BIKEN Foundation and the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases (RIMD). David’s research is closely related to the molecular biology of cancer, aging, virology, and immunology. Currently, David is also conducting research on SARS-Cov-2.

Fajar Ajie Setiawan is a lecturer at the International Women University, Bandung, who is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at Kobe University, Japan, with the MEXT Scholarship from the Japanese Government. His specializations include international environmental law and global environmental politics. His research also deals with hazardous waste and plastic waste in the ocean. Fajar was one of 20 people selected to participate in ASEAN-Japan’s Future Leaders and Preamble Committee for Future Leaders’ Declaration on ASEAN-Japan Cooperation for International Marine Plastic Waste in Tokyo on March 15, 2021.

Firman Zulkifli Amin is a clinical doctor who currently serves as a director at PT. MFK Baraka Corpora. He specializes in dermatology, dermatologic surgery, and regenerative medicine. His current research studies Nigella Sativa’s (Habbatussauda) potential for COVID-19 treatment. He completed his doctoral study at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, in 2019. He also holds two patents in Indonesia, one of which is for the treatment of COVID-19. In 2019, Firman was selected as one of 21 candidates that contend for the Rector of the University of Indonesia position.

Flori Ratna Sari is a lecturer and the Vice Dean of Academics Affairs at the Faculty of Medicine at UIN Syarif Hidayatullah, Banten. She received her doctoral degree from the Niigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Sciences, Japan. Her research focuses on pharmacology, including molecular pharmacology, pharmacoepidemiology, and drug development. In 2019, Flori became one of the 25 best researchers at the Biannual Conference on Research Results (BCRR) organized by the Directorate of Islamic Higher Education, Directorate General of Islamic Education, Ministry of Religion of the Republic of Indonesia.

Habib Muhammad Shahib is the Chair of the Institute for Research and Community Service (LPPM) at Universitas Fajar, Makassar. He received his doctorate from Universitas Brawijaya, Malang, in 2020. His interests include environmental management and natural resource management. In addition, his background as an activist drives him to study the social and environmental impacts of the activities and policies of public and private institutions on local communities.

Indra Chandra is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universitas Telkom, Bandung. He is also a director at the Sandhy Putra Telecommunication Engineering Academy, Jakarta. He obtained his doctorate from Kanazawa University, Japan. His research is closely related to atmospheric science, environmental science and technology, air and water pollution, and the Internet of Things. Indra is the inventor of two patents in Indonesia, namely “Internet of Things-based Indoor Air Quality Monitoring Tool” and “Internet of Things-based Outdoor Air Quality Monitoring Tool”.

Krisna Puji Rahmayanti is an assistant professor in governance, policy, and public services for health, disaster, and public management at the Faculty of Administrative Sciences, Universitas Indonesia, Depok. She is also a doctoral student at the University of Birmingham, UK, with a research focus on disaster management. She co-founded the Center for Collaboration & Resilience, a community that encourages cross-sector collaboration forums, increased literacy in higher education, and disaster risk mitigation.

Laila Kholid Alfirdaus is a lecturer and Chair of the Political Science Masters Program at Universitas Diponegoro, Semarang. She received his doctorate from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta. Her research focuses on the areas of public policy, including planning and evaluation in public and non-profit institutions, gender analysis, environmental politics, and civil society research. In addition, Laila also has practical experience as a consultant to policy and government experts. Currently, Laila also serves on the editorial board of POLITIKA, a journal on political science issues published by Diponegoro University.

Mas Rizky A. A. Syamsunarno is a lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung. He received the MEXT Monbukagakusho scholarship in 2010 to pursue his doctorate degree at the Graduate School of Medicine, Gunma University, Japan. He specializes in metabolism and cardiovascular disease. Among his achievements are the Dean’s Awards for Excellent Research from Gunma University, Japan, and the Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Heart Research – Japan Section.

Maya Puspita is the Head of the Research and Development Department at the Indonesian Seaweed Association. She was also appointed as a consultant by INDIKA Group for its Seaweed Business Feasibility Study Project in 2021. She received her doctorate from University Bretagne Sud, France, in 2014. Her research interests are in marine biotechnology and chemical ecology, valorization of seaweed, and seaweed aquaculture. Recently, Maya collaborated with the Ocean University of China (OUC) to conduct research on seaweed aquaculture.

Muh. Taufik is a hydrologist and lecturer at the Geophysics and Meteorology Department, Institut Pertanian Bogor. He received his doctoral degree from Wageningen University, Netherlands. His research revolves around hydrology, water resources, drought, fire, and tropical peatland fire warning systems. For the past four years, Taufik has collaborated with the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BKMG), the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), and the Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency (BRGM) to develop an early warning system for fires on peatlands. He and his team at IPB then developed and patented the algorithm of a web-based peat fire hazard monitoring system called SIGambut.

Naimah Lutfi Abdullah Talib is a doctoral candidate at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her doctoral research explores the social justice implications of mega-infrastructure projects taking place in coastal areas in Indonesia. Her research interests are in social development, natural resources management, and the resilience of coastal communities and small islands. Naimah also works as a consultant for the World Bank and a visiting researcher at the Research Center for Society and Culture, National Research and Innovation Agency, BRIN.

Ni Kadek Dita Cahyani is a lecturer at the Biology Department, Universitas Diponegoro, Semarang. She received a doctorate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and specializes in identifying species and measuring biodiversity with genetics and molecular approaches. Prior to joining Diponegoro University, Dita worked as a researcher at the Marine Education & Research Organisation (MERO) Foundation, an education and research center based in Bali, and the Indonesia Biodiversity Foundation (Bionesia), a non-profit organization working on education, research, and conservation of Indonesian biodiversity.

Nuraziz Handika is a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Depok. He obtained his doctorate from INSA Toulouse, France. He is an expert in the field of structural engineering, especially in experimenting and modeling fracture mechanics of structures and materials. Nuraziz is also a member of the Bridge and Road Tunnel Safety Commission, a group of bridge experts from a variety of backgrounds in charge of ensuring the security of bridges and road tunnels meets applicable standards.

Rhesi Kristiana is a researcher and Chairwoman of the Marine Education & Research Organisation (MERO) Foundation, an education and research center based in Bali. She received her master’s and doctoral degree from Diponegoro University, Semarang. Her research is closely related to marine microbiology and the discovery of molecules from the sea for medicine. Rhesi is also involved in several collaborative research projects on marine molecules with scientists in Indonesia, the Netherlands, Germany, and Malaysia. She received Science & Technology Research Grant 2021, research funding assistance from the Indonesia Toray Science Foundation (ITSF) for young researchers at universities and research institutes.

Riska Ayu Purnamasari is a researcher at the Innovation Center for Tropical Sciences (ICTS), an organization that focuses on research, development, education, utilization, and empowerment in tropical science and technology. In addition to having a doctorate in multidisciplinary spatial science from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, Riska is also an expert in agriculture, biology, environment, plant pathology, remote sensing, and geographic information systems (GIS). Her research is closely related to the application of GIS and remote sensing in agriculture as well as studying the impact of climate change on agricultural productivity.

Suwarti is an infectious disease researcher who is a postdoctoral fellow at Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit (now Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Indonesia). She first joined Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit (EOCRU) in 2019 as part of the team in the tuberculosis program. Prior to joining EOCRU, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Indonesia Medical Education and Research Institute (IMERI). She was also involved in the development of the tuberculosis vaccine at the National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition, an organization focusing on research and technology development for medicines and medical devices in Japan. She has a doctorate degree from Hokkaido University, Japan, and has been involved in various research projects, especially in molecular diagnostics for tuberculosis, leptospirosis, and Covid-19.

Tunjung Mahatmanto is a lecturer at the Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Universitas Brawijaya. His research focuses on molecular bioscience and industrial biotechnology. He received his doctorate degree from the University of Queensland, Australia, in 2015. From 2016 to 2018, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, USA, where he received an Aristotle Award for the most transdisciplinary approach in research. Recently, Tunjung was appointed as Lead Scientific Advisor for Product Development at PT. PG Rajawali I, a company that focuses on the sugarcane agroindustry.

Venticia Hukom is an aquaculture economist who currently serves as Agricultural Food System Manager at Inobu Foundation (now Kaleka), a research institute established to inform policy and design innovations that leads to the sustainable and equitable production of commodities and use of natural resources. She has a doctorate degree in food and resource economics from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. With her expertise in agriculture management, Venticia also has experience working as a project manager and researcher at a private company in Malaysia, Global Satria Sdn. Bhd, Malaysia.

Watumesa Agustina Tan is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Biotechnology, Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya, Jakarta. After earning her bachelor’s degree in 2007, she continued her doctoral study in 2010-2016 at the University of California Davis, USA, on a Fulbright scholarship. Her research centers on a sustainable environment through waste management, especially from the microbiological genetics and molecular aspects. She was awarded the Science and Technology Grant from the Indonesia Toray Science Foundation (ITSF) for her research on the application of bacteria in the decomposition of biodegradable plastics.

Yerik Afrianto Singgalen is a lecturer in the Tourism Department, Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya, Jakarta. He received his doctorate degree from Satya Wacana Christian University, Salatiga, in 2019. His research focuses on tourism studies, information systems, and development studies. Yerik has the vision to design an integrated tourism destination management system in Indonesia that also empowers the community. Currently, Yerik is conducting research related to ecotourism management on Dodola Island in Morotai, North Maluku.

Yosmina Tapilatu is a researcher who currently serves as an Acting Director of the Deep Sea Research Center, Badan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional (BRIN). She has a doctorate degree from Universite Aix-Marseille II (now Aix-Marseille University), France. Her research focuses on marine ecology and deep sea studies. In 2011, she became one of the female researchers who received the L’Oreal-UNESCO Indonesia For Women in Science, a prestigious recognition and award for young female scientists who have contributed to the world of science. She also received a postdoctoral grant from DAAD, a funding organization for the international exchange of students and researchers from Germany, in 2020.

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