Adrian received his bachelor's degrees (2012) in history and international relations from Universitas Airlangga, Indonesia. He is a lecturer at the Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya and a PhD candidate at the University of Leiden. His dissertation is about the role of the Java-Instituut's network in the development of Javanese cultural nationalism and how they managed to incorporate many Javanese nationalist ideas into Indonesian nationalism. In this work, he briefly touches on the parallel of this network with the cultural nationalist movements in Bengal and Burma.

He was a Local Principal Investigator in Surabaya as part of the Southeast Asian Neighborhoods Network (SEANNET), the auspices of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) from 2017 to 2021. Formerly, he was a fellow at several institutes, including the Asia Research Institute, Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), and NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies.