The Faculty of Political Science and the Graduate School of Chulalongkorn University, and the Stockholm Environment Institute Asia (SEI) are pleased to announce the award of the:

Doctoral Scholarship in Sustainability and Environmental Politics

to Ms. Sara K. Phillips, a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Research in International Development Studies program (GRID).

The Doctoral Scholarship in Sustainability and Environmental Politics builds on more than a decade of successful collaboration between Chulalongkorn University and SEI to foster innovative research and address critical environmental issues in the region. The scholarship is a three-year award, jointly administered by the Faculty of Political Science and Graduate School of Chulalongkorn University and SEI. During the period of their PhD study, scholarship recipients are also invited to work with SEI staff members on research projects related to the student’s doctoral studies, gaining valuable skills and insights in a multidisciplinary, international atmosphere.


SEI is an international nonprofit research organization that has worked with environment and development issues from local to global policy levels for a quarter of a century. SEI bridges science and policy to find robust responses to the challenges of sustainability. Their vision is a sustainable future for all, with the mission “to support decision-making and induce change towards sustainable development around the world by providing integrative knowledge that bridges science and policy in the field of environment and development”. SEI in Asia plays a key role in fulfilling SEI’s mission to bridge science and policy to help advance sustainable development through research, capacity-building and engagement with stakeholders.

Integrating participatory approaches with technical expertise, SEI’s work is evidence-based and integrates broader social, cultural and political factors to benefit all. SEI works with partners to support, co-develop, and share knowledge and offer sustainable and evidence-based options, to support countries to develop on a more sustainable path, while incorporating the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for a better future for all. Their work is divided into research clusters that focus on these critical areas: gender, environment and development, reducing disaster risk, water resources management, adaptation to climate change, agriculture in transition, Sustainable Mekong Research Network (SUMERNET), and urbanization. SEI aims to produce evidence-based science crucial for leaders in civil society, the private sector and government, to positively influence policy decisions throughout Asia and beyond. Additionally, SEI places emphasis on linking research to policy-makers and building capacity among regional partners, to enable them to more effectively inform and influence policy.


Sara K. Phillips is a Doctor of Philosophy candidate in the Graduate Research in International Development Studies Program (GRID) at the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University. She is the inaugural recipient of the Doctoral Scholarship in Sustainability and Environmental Politics: A scholarship jointly administered by the Faculty of Political Science and Graduate School of Chulalongkorn University and the Stockholm Environment Institute Asia. In conjunction with her doctoral studies, Sara is an Associate Researcher at the Center for Social Development Studies, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, where she is a recipient of the Center of Excellence on Resource Politics for Social Development’s Student Research Grant. Her doctoral research focuses on natural resources, sustainable development, and cross-border investment, and the relationship of social, environmental, and governance factors in Southeast Asia’s mining sector. She is also an Associate Fellow with the Natural Resources Programme at the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, an international research center based in Montreal, Canada.

Sara earned a Master of Laws in environment degree from McGill University, where she was awarded a GERI Fellowship and studied concurrently under the Faculty of Law and School of Environment. She holds a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Vermont Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder. As a student at Vermont Law School, Sara received the Clinical Legal Education Association’s Outstanding Student Award for her clinical fieldwork in Argentina on natural resource development and corporate social responsibility. She was also a recipient of Vermont Law School’s Academic Excellence Award.

Sara was raised in the Middle East and has an extensive international background. Prior to joining GRID, she worked in the private sector in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, where her legal practice focused on energy and natural resources, with an emphasis on mining. She has also acted as a consultant to NGOs, government bodies, and multinational corporations on issues pertaining to human rights, sustainable resource development, and corporate social responsibility.