Syaikhu holds a doctorate in development sociology and a master’s degree in rural sociology from Cornell University, USA. He got his undergraduate degree in social science teaching from the Institute of Teacher Training and Education Sciences, Yogyakarta.
Syaikhu is a senior research fellow, specializing in public policy and poverty analysis. His research interests include local governance, citizen participation, and education. As a senior research fellow, Syaikhu takes on the responsibility of a leader, advisor, or reviewer at various stages of research activities. He also assists in completing certain stages of delayed research activities, especially the final report. In addition, he serves as chair of the Board of Trustees of SMERU Foundation, Jakarta.
Before joining SMERU, Syaikhu was a lecturer at Sriwijaya University, Palembang. Prior to that he was a researcher at the Center for Policy and Implementation Studies (CPIS) and Social Monitoring and Early Respond Unit, Jakarta.
Syaikhu was awarded the best graduate of a one-year research training program at the Social Science Research Center, Banda Aceh, in 1976. The training was attended by lecturers from several Indonesian universities.