Rikardo Simarmata currently teaches Agrarian Law, Adat Law and Sociology of Law at Faculty of Law Gadjah Mada University. Before working as a lecturer, he worked as an NGO activist who extensively involved in the advocacy of legal reform issue concerning indigenous rights and natural resources management. During that time, he also conducted some research on that fields from which he produced several writings which were published nationally and internationally.
From 2007-2012 he took a PhD program at Faculty of Law Leiden University. He conducted a research in which he examined how local government officials formed and implemented laws and regulations concerning natural resources. The research which was held under the East Kalimantan Program, applied a multidisciplinary approach. Through the multidisciplinary research, he applied social sciences perspective into his research so he could explain the legal phenomena from social point of view.