Seema Pannaikadavil was as an intern at UNRISD from July to August 1999. Her work concentrated mainly on the research programme (gender and development) directed by Shahra Razavi.
After graduating from the Geneva Institut Universitatire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (IUHEI) where she obtained her M.A. in International Relations, she completed postgraduate studies at the Geneva Institut Universitaire d’Etude du Dévelopement. Her M.A. thesis was on Kerala's women empowerment and the Human Development Index