Syamsul Rijal commenced his PhD study in 2012 at the Department of Political and Social Change (PSC), School of International Political, and Strategic Studies, ANU. He is the recipient of the Endeavour Scholarship Awards from Australian Government (2011).
He has MA in Asian Studies from ANU (2009), MA in Interdisciplinary Islamic Studies from The Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Jakarta (2005), and BA in Religious Studies majoring in Arabic Language and Literature from The Alauddin State Institute for Islamic Studies in Makassar, Indonesia (2001).
Since 2007, he has moved to Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, to teach at IAIN Antasari. His academic interest includes Islamic Thought and Movements, Media, Islamism, Hadhrami-Arab Diaspora, and Religious Commmodification and Piety in Contemporary Indonesia.
His current research is on the religious authority of the Sayyid-Arab elite and their social-political significance in contemporary Indonesia.