I would think twice. LOL.
Okay I was joking. However, from an objective point of view, I should say it is not easy for somebody who plan to do so. There is a complicated procedure (and bureaucracy) coming with the process. So here is a few tips for you:
1) Apply online! It is so much faster and easier since you won’t have to deal with the *you know how* bureaucracy. Indonesian government has launched a new system for foreign researcher to apply online in The Ministry of Research and Technology’s website (the agency responsible for issuing foreign research permit in Indonesia). You can access it in http://www.frp.ristek.go.id. Just fill the form, upload all necessary files, and done. Make sure you do it once, I mean, apply online when you already have all the documents. By applying online, you could save more papers! Save our mother earth! LOL.
2) Again, upload everything at once.
3) Make sure your counterpart letter is signed by at least Dean of Faculty OR Director of research center, in form of formal letter (with letterhead), and addressed to the Ministry of Research and Technology . There are some particular tips for this point. First, you would BETTER have local counterpart from a government institution (could be state universities or government research center) or well-known private universities. NGO’s and private institutions are not good. Believe me, NOT GOOD. Second, make sure the counterpart’s specialty and skill are in line with your field of research; and it is even better if the counterpart is based in the same city or province where you would conduct the research. The letter should contain the information about you (your name), your project, project duration, project location, and the name of local researcher who will accompany you in the field.
4) Send one copy of your complete document to nearest Indonesian Embassy, and do this in parallel with the online application process.
5) Do not just write a one-page proposal. Oh please, be realistic. Abstract is one page, but proposal? You tell.
6) Use your creativity, make sure to have photograph with red background. Use your red blanket, red papers, red crayons, photoshop if you can. Just make the background RED. Not pink, RED.
7) Copy of passport means the passport page which contains your personal information and photo. No need to scan all pages and send them to the Secretariat. It’s just a waste (of your time and energy). And…passport should be valid at least 6 (six) months from the date of your final departure from Indonesia (when you finish the research) or 18 (eighteen) months since your application is approved at the first time. So, if your passport validity is less than that, RENEW! Renew before applying.
8) If you plan to bring family, make sure you prepare the scanned copy of your marriage/partnership certificate, birth certificate, and the scanned copy of your family’s passport.
9) Do not even think to conduct your research in some *considered* sensitive areas in Indonesia (read: Aceh, Papua, Maluku).
10) Do not write Aceh or conflict related to Aceh in your proposal.
11) For political scientist…avoid the word “politics”, “national policy”, and other sensitive phrases. Or if you really had to, explain as detailed as possible that you would NOT analyze *and mess up* Indonesian national policy in any way.
12) Submit your application at least 2 (two) months before your schedule to enter Indonesia.
13) If you are going to do a long project (that could take more that a year), mention it in the “research duration” box.
14) Check your email and your account at the online application system as often as possible because they only use this channel to communicate with you.
15) The last one, before applying for foreign research permit, read the procedure carefully. You can access it in http://www.ristek.go.id in the left side (Foreign Research Permit section)
So, good luck! ^-^