30 Indonesian Researchers to Participate in A World-Class Leadership Program

JAKARTA, 24 JUNE 2022 — 30 Indonesian researchers from various fields of study are selected to participate in a leadership program that aims to transform them into future leaders in their respective fields.

For nine months, the participants will engage in a series of workshops delivered by international facilitators and speakers. They will also receive mentoring from renowned scientific leaders from Indonesia and abroad, and be involved in collaborative activities.

The “Science Leadership Collaborative” program is developed by The Conversation Indonesia based on a preliminary research of more than 300 early-career researchers about their needs in their careers. The research finds that the potential and ambition of Indonesian researchers to become world-class scientists are not yet supported by adequate leadership capacity development.

Dr. Ricardo Tapilatu, the Head of the Pacific Sea Resource Research Center at the University of Papua who is one of the 30 participants in the program, confirms this finding, “I have collaborated with many individuals and partners, but I still lack leadership,” he said. “I’m motivated to show that researchers from the east part of Indonesia can also lead and initiate collaboration.”

The Science Leadership Collaborative program is specifically designed with a leading-edge method to support the vertical development of the participants, especially leadership and collaboration capacities. This program uses, among others, several approaches, such as Leadership Development, developed at Harvard University, and the frameworks of Salim Ismail—an expert on disruption and exponential organization from India, Barry Oshry—a pioneer in systems thinking from the United States, and Nora Bateson—a system and complexity expert from Sweden.

Senior scientist and former Chairman of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences Prof. Sangkot Marzuki considered this program as an excellent breakthrough. “I think the ability to lead and collaborate are the two capacities we need to develop early in our career as a researcher. I hope this program can nurture new science leaders in Indonesia.”.

Cohort Diversity

Not only specialized in different fields of study, the 30 selected researchers also come from various regions in Indonesia. Some of them are affiliated with universities and research institutions, while the others are researchers from civil society organizations and private institutions.

This diversity is considered crucial to help pave the way for cross-disciplinary and cross-sector collaboration in the Indonesian research ecosystem. According to Dr. Mizan Bisri, an assistant professor at Kobe University who is also the program’s consultant, “The SLC selection process has formed a group of high-potential researchers who represent diverse research areas, institutions, and regions.”

Naimah Talib, a doctoral candidate from the University of Melbourne who is also one of the selected participants, added that aside from more diverse voices, researchers also need louder and more powerful ones so that policymakers and politicians will actually hear and take researchers seriously. “To achieve that, we need to come together as a collective, and I’m excited and humbled to be part of this collective.”, she said.

Prodita Sabarini, the Executive Editor of The Conversation Indonesia, said that this program would complement and strengthen other existing programs, which hopefully can boost optimism for the Indonesian scientific community. “I am proud and grateful that The Conversation Indonesia can play a role in building a community of science leaders who understand the value of collaboration to solve complex challenges,” she said.

In addition to nurturing future science leaders, Fito Rahdianto, the Science Leadership Collaborative’s Program Manager, also hopes that this program will trigger the emergence of more leadership programs for Indonesian researchers in the future.

30 Selected Researchers

Ali Budhi Kusuma

Ali is a lecturer and the Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences and Technology at the University of Technology 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

Amalina 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

Antonia is a researcher and lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing, Gadjah Mada University (UGM), 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

Ayu is a lecturer and researcher at the Faculty of Business and Economics Education, Indonesia University of Education. 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

David 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

Fajar 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

Firman 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

Flori is a lecturer and the Vice Dean of Academics Affairs at the Faculty of Medicine, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, 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

Habib is the Chair of the Institute for Research and Community Service (LPPM) at Fajar University, Makassar. He received his doctorate from Brawijaya University, 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.

Himawan Tri Bayu Murti Petrus

Himawan is an associate professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta. He received his doctorate degree from the Department of Earth Resources Engineering, Kyushu University, Japan. His research revolves around mineral processing, energy conservation, hydrometallurgy, and environment protection. In 2020, he was selected as one of the ASEAN Science Diplomats responsible for developing science in Southeast Asia.

Indra Chandra

Indra is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Telkom University, 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

Krisna is an assistant professor in governance, policy, and public services for health, disaster, and public management at the Faculty of Administrative Sciences, University of 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

Laila is a lecturer and Chair of the Political Science Masters Program at Diponegoro University, Semarang. He received his doctorate from Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta. His 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

Rizky is a lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, Padjadjaran University. 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

Maya 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

Taufik is a hydrologist and lecturer at the Geophysics and Meteorology Department, Bogor Agricultural University, 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.

Muhammad Abdurrahman Munir

Abdurrahman is a lecturer at the Department of Pharmacy, Alma Ata University, Yogyakarta. He obtained his doctorate in 2021 from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Abdurrahman is an expert in analytical chemistry, sensors, polymers, and synthesis. In addition to his busy schedule as a lecturer, Abdurrahman is also active as an editor in the Indonesian Pharmacy and Natural Medicine (INPHARNMED) Journal, a journal that publishes scientific articles in the pharmaceutical field. He is the inventor of three patents, namely “Oil Palm Lumber with Bioresin Treatment”, “Detection of Porcine in Gelatin”, and “Biogenic Amines Detection in the Food Industry”.

Naimah Lutfi Abdullah Talib

Naimah 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

Dita is a lecturer at the Biology Department, Diponegoro University, 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

Aziz is a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Indonesia. 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

Rhesi 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.

Ricardo F. Tapilatu

Ricardo is a lecturer and Head of the Pacific Sea Resource Research Center, University of Papua. He received his doctorate degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA. He received The Pew Fellow Program in Marine Conservation in 2018, a fellowship awarded to outstanding leaders or teams who are working to preserve and protect the world’s oceans and marine species. He is also involved in numerous research and conservation projects to preserve marine megafaunas and the development of sustainable systems in the use of marine resources.

Riska Ayu Purnamasari

Riska 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

Tunjung is a lecturer at the Food Science and Technology Department, Brawijaya University, Malang. 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

Venticia 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

Watumesa is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Biotechnology, Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, 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

Yerik is a lecturer in the Tourism Department, Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia, 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

Yosmina is a researcher who currently serves as an Acting Director of Deep Sea Research Center, 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.

The Conversation Indonesia is an independent source of news and analysis from the academic and research community channeled directly to the public. Since its launch in 2017, The Conversation Indonesia has continued to collaborate with researchers from across the country to continue to disseminate knowledge and strengthen policies in Indonesia.

Science Leadership Collaborative is a program developed by The Conversation Indonesia to transform 30 Indonesian researchers into more effective leaders. This program is funded by The David & Lucile Packard Foundation, designed collaboratively with CARI!, CommonThread, Fraendi, and RQ Genesis, and supported by Ikatan Ilmuwan Indonesia International (I-4), Akademi Ilmuwan Muda Indonesia (ALMI), and UK-Indonesia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Sciences (UKICIS).

Contact Person: Dewi Setiawan (dewi.setiawan@theconversation.com/082210981998)

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