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Research Department, New Naratif

Position : Research Editor (RE)

Working Hours : Full Time (40hrs per week) or Part Time

Level : Mid-Level

Salary Offered : US$1,000/- (Full Time) or, if part time, pro rata based on agreed number of hours/week

Location : Online/Digital within any one of the eleven Southeast Asian countries

Reporting to : Research Manager (RM) – direct line supervisor, currently filled by MD. In the absence of MD, the position reports to Operations Manager as de-facto head of the organisation.

Peers : English/BI Editor, Video and Audio Producers (across departments)

Forms part of : Research Team

Qualifications : As a Southeast Asian candidate (preferred), the RE must have native-level English ability (spoken and written) and, preferably, fluency in one or more Southeast Asian languages. The RE must have at least 2 years experience with qualitative research, editing research papers, and research writing. A research-based degree in the social sciences or humanities would be preferred.

Travel Required : Domestically and Internationally as and when necessary and approved by MD.

Type of Contract : Annual Contracts issued from April 1st to March 31, (renewable annually, based on performance and funding available) 

New Naratif is a movement to democratise democracy in Southeast Asia. We publish information, build communities, and empower people to create positive change. We operate like a hybrid of a creative storytelling studio, community organiser and mobiliser, and a think tank. Learn more about us newnaratif.com.

The Research Department epitomises that approach: we work with marginalised groups in Southeast Asia, such as independent media workers, LGBTQIA+ communities, or refugees; we bring them together across the region to learn about and document their challenges and how they overcome them; and we seek to understand their needs and how New Naratif and our community can support them. We call this approach “Research As Activism”, where research participants are co-creators of our outputs and through which we seek to empower marginalised groups to fight for their rights.

As Research Editor, you’ll work with the research team to ensure that our research is of a high level and our research outputs are rigorous, accurate, and accessible. You’ll conduct academic reviews with researchers to ensure that their work is sound, edit research articles, and help to develop our team of Southeast Asian researchers. You’ll oversee research outputs, whether it’s summaries of existing academic research papers, new original research work, or otherwise, and ensure that it’s all of a high standard. You’ll also work with our Design, Community, and Civic Participation teams in developing ways to make our research outputs accessible and actionable. Optionally, you’ll also have the opportunity to participate in our research as well. 

This position would suit someone with experience in research, research editing, and mentoring of junior researchers, who wants to engage in impactful and meaningful research work on marginalised groups and important issues in Southeast Asia. It can be done either full time or part-time in addition to other research work (eg if you already hold a position at an academic institution).

What you’ll be doing

As the Research Editor, your main focus is to ensure that all New Naratif research activities and outputs are of a high quality and meet New Naratif goals. Your priorities include:

  1. Edit or supervise the editing of all research outputs, including research summaries, Explainers, and research reports to a high standard that reflects New Naratif’s goals and purposes.
  2. Review researchers research methodology and practices to ensure high quality of research practices; advise and help develop research capabilities of New Naratif’s Research Department members.
  3. Work with the Research Department to find and compile reading (e.g. academic articles) for use in New Naratif’s projects and events (e.g. The Citizens’ Agenda, Principles of Democracy, etc.); Summarise those articles and edit into accessible formats for publication by New Naratif.
  4. Work with the Civic Participation and Community departments to use research materials/outputs for New Naratif’s events.

Other responsibilities include:

  1. Provide inputs into the implementation process of New Naratif’s research strategy;
  2. Undertake and conduct public interest research that contributes to New Naratif’s goals and purposes as deemed fit by Research Manager (RM) / Managing Director (MD);
  3. Support the team in the implementation of New Naratif Strategy.

New Naratif is fundamentally a movement for democracy, and our content is geared towards helping build capacity for democracy amongst our members and audience. What we do and what we publish is in service of that goal.

What you won’t be doing

  • You will not be creating or formulating strategy. Instead, the Research Manager will set the strategy and you’ll help execute it.
  • You will not be supervising or managing any team members.

What we’re looking for

Strong candidates will have the following capabilities:

1. Research Experience. You’re in charge of quality control of our research activities. You’ll be mentoring and helping to develop a group of Southeast Asian researchers. You’ll need to carry out peer reviews on our work on marginalised groups and Southeast Asian democracy. So you’ll need to have skills and experience in qualitative methodologies  (e.g. personal interviews and FGDs), experience doing academic supervision, research ethics, and be able to critically analyse the conclusions that our researchers are drawing from their work. Familiarity with the field of civic participation/activism/democracy is a plus. 

What is your research experience? 

2. Editing Skills. New Naratif prides ourselves on producing accurate, accessible, and actionable publications: in-depth, evidence-based insightful work that explores and explains the forces which shaped how Southeast Asians think and act, doing so in an accessible manner, and with clear pathways as to how we can create positive change.

Can you edit academic writing so that it is clear and concise? Can you explain complex issues to a broader public? Can you do so on a deadline? Please send us two samples of your editing.

3. Teamwork. New Naratif has no office. We all work remotely. We’re all passionate, and deeply principled. We aspire to a high level of moral values. We’re here to model best practices as a transparent, ethical, progressive organisation. We’ll demand all this from you and hold you accountable. 

Tell us about your experience collaborating online.

4. Empathy for the marginalised and voiceless of Southeast Asia. New Naratif is first and foremost a platform for the people of Southeast Asia to imagine and then create a better Southeast Asia. You need to love and understand this region and its history, in all its complexity and diversity. You need to be willing to learn, explore, and grow alongside this region. It means you need to look beyond the borders and boundaries which are currently imposed on us. We want your experience of living in a Southeast Asian country, your connectivity to the communities, knowing everyday local experiences, concerns and challenges which reflect in your work and outputs you supervise. 

What does Southeast Asia mean to you?

Application Process

If you’re ready to take on the challenge of building capacity for change in Southeast Asia, please send an email to jobs AT newnaratif.com with your CV, cover letter answering the questions above, and a portfolio or examples of your work as necessary. Please provide the names and contact information for two character referees. At least one should be familiar with your recent professional work (e.g. a colleague and supervisor), and neither of whom should be related to you in any way.

Shortlisted candidates will undergo an editing test and an interview. We anticipate the process will last around a month. Following your appointment, you would undergo a three month trial period.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, we encourage you to submit an application as soon as possible as the process may close once we feel a sufficient number of applications are received or a suitable candidate has been found.

More Information

The role is a Mid-level position, depending on your experience, meaning that you will be given clearly defined tasks and responsibilities, and will report to the Research Manager as the head of your department.

  • You have to be responsible, communicate and collaborate well online and be willing to work from home or your own choice of location as long as you are digitally connected with your team and provide the necessary remote supervision and ensure the work schedule is smooth and uninterrupted. 
  • We collaborate chiefly using WordPress, Google Workspace, Wire, and Trello. 

Benefits include 

  • If full time, 28 days of personal leave per year (pro-rated if part time)
  • 12 days of public holiday leave per year (which can be taken on any public or religious holiday of your choice), and 
  • 1 session of company-paid mental health therapy per month. 

New Naratif contracts are governed by UK law, on a consultancy basis.

New Naratif is a not-for-profit, private company, limited by guarantee, registered in the United Kingdom and Malaysia, and headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. 

We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace for all employees regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, or disability. 

We have a strong preference for Southeast Asians who have personal experience of and understand being marginalised and oppressed.


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