Indonesia has more than 4.000 higher education institutions and 300.000 academics. However, despite rising research outputs, Indonesia's research impact remains low, based on the country's total and average H-index of its researchers and the continuous decline in its global competitiveness index. Representation of Indonesian researchers in the international scientific and policy-oriented communities is also limited. To address this problem, CARI! supported The Conversation Indonesia (TCID) in conducting a scoping study to understand the specific group within Indonesia that can become the fundamental driving forces and critical mass for changing and improving quality research in Indonesia. This study thus became the foundation for CARI! and TCID in developing a fellowship program for early career researchers (ECRs) in Indonesia by targeting their horizontal and vertical development as future research leaders, i.e. the “Science Leadership Collaborative”.