Post-doctoral Researcher Wanted - James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen

Post-doctoral Researcher Wanted - James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen

To undertake social science research on farmer decision-making and agri-environmental governance.

The Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences (SEGS) group contains a range of researchers, using a range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods and often taking interdisciplinary and/or participatory perspectives.

They seek a highly motivated post-doctoral researcher. The successful candidate will be part of a team of researchers undertaking research on farmer decision-making and agri-environmental governance, particularly as it relates to agri-environmental management, governance of knowledge systems, land manager co-operation and agro-ecological practices in agriculture. The main focus of the post is to undertake primary data collection, analysis and stakeholder engagement within Scottish Government research addressing policy interventions to enhance sustainable management at the landscape scale and land management decision-making, and within the EU H2020 projects PLAID and Agri-Link on enhancing peer learning and on-farm demonstration.  This is an exciting time to be doing applied research in this area, with potential to influence policy makers at Scottish, UK and EU levels.

The candidate must have a PhD (or be nearing completion) in a related field (e.g. human geography, rural sociology, interdisciplinary agricultural research, behavioural economics), with a strong theoretical background in the areas of farmer co-operation, decision-making, farmer-to-farmer learning and/or governance and institutional analysis.

The successful candidate will be responsible for collaborating within interdisciplinary teams to design and implement multiple research projects. The candidate’s main strengths should be in qualitative or mixed methods research, particularly in relation to understanding and influencing farmer behaviour, and investigating policy instruments and governance mechanisms. Experience of engaging a variety of land managers and an established publication record would also be assets.

This post will be based in Aberdeen, with occasional requirements to travel within Scotland and throughout Europe.  More information below. Salary: Circa £30,750. Fixed term - 3 years Tenure Track.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 30 April 2018

Main Purpose of Job

The main purpose of the post is to undertake social science research on farmer decision-making and agri-environmental governance, particularly as it relates to agri-environmental management, governance of knowledge systems, land manager co-operation and agro-ecological practices in agriculture. 

Main duties of post holder

To undertake case study research in H2020 PLAID (https://www.plaid-h2020.eu/) and develop policy recommendations and a decision-support tool for the design of demonstration activities.

To undertake case study research on collaborative agri-environmental schemes in H2020 Agri-Link (https://www6.inra.fr/agrilink/).

To lead Hutton research on governance of agricultural advisory services in H2020 Agri-Link.

To work on Scottish Government-funded projects as part of the Strategic Research Programme (http://www.hutton.ac.uk/research/srp2016-21/theme-1-natural-assets) that aim to design and implement interventions to realise multiple benefits and manage trade-offs at the landscape and farm scale, working in collaboration with other social scientists at the James Hutton Institute and Scotland’s Rural College (see http://www.hutton.ac.uk/research/srp2016-21/wp143-practical-interventions-realise-multiple-benefits-and-manage-trade-offs).  

To develop additional work as appropriate, including the pro-active and creative development of relevant research topics and involvement in funding proposals.

Qualifications/Skills/Knowledge

Essential

  • PhD in a relevant discipline (or nearing completion)
  • Ability to design and undertake research into with limited supervision
  • Experience in qualitative or mixed methods data collection with land managers and data analysis
  • Strong theoretical background in farmer or stakeholder co-operation, decision-making, peer-to-peer learning and/or governance and institutional analysis
  • Ability to interact positively with government, industry and NGO stakeholders and land managers
  • Ability to deliver to multiple projects simultaneously
  • Strong team-working skills
  • Potential to publish in highly ranked academic journals
  • Fit with the overall ethos of the institute
  • Ability to work independently and, when appropriate, remotely from the office (e.g. collecting field data, attending meetings)

Desirable

  • Postdoctoral work experience
  • Familiarity with Scottish and European legislation on policies relating to contemporary farming or environment (e.g. CAP reform, RDP, Habitats or Water framework Directives)
  • Experience undertaking interdisciplinary (social-natural sciences) and transdisciplinary research (with non-academic stakeholders)
  • Ability to communicate with nonacademic audiences (e.g. presentations, policy briefs, networking events)
  • Project management experience
  • Experience of delivering multiple projects
  • Track record in journal publications and income generation

 

 

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