Insights North East Fellow (Planet, Net Zero theme)

Faculty of Engineering and Environment

Insights North East Fellow (Planet, Net Zero theme)

We are seeking to recruit a post-doctoral research fellow with expertise in the broad area of sustainability and carbon reduction to work in the Insights North East project, a collaboration between Northumbria University, Newcastle University and local partners. The role is attached to Northumbria University’s Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Strategy.

Insights North East is a £5.5 million pound, three-year project, led by Newcastle University, with Northumbria University, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, North of Tyne Combined Authority (NoTCA), and Newcastle City Council, and over time may expand to include other partners including private sector companies and voluntary and community organisations. The project has received £2.8m from Research England’s Development Fund with the remaining funding from the INE partners. INE aims to build a shared understanding of the knowledge and data within each partner organisation and develop new ways of connecting and interrogating that knowledge base so that regional policymakers can better address the needs of local communities. The project is structured around three policy challenges that align with the expertise in the two universities and align with the priorities of policymakers in the region – improving health and wellbeing, a just transition to net zero, and delivering inclusive growth.

Within each policy challenge, the post-doctoral researcher will work with professorial academic leads and local policy champions to identify policy needs and priorities, locate relevant expertise and data, develop policy briefs and reports, and disseminate to stakeholders. The process will involve considerable co-creation with a range of relevant stakeholders to identify potential policy solutions as well as identifying evidence gaps and the need for new research projects. Some pilot research will also be implemented within the project. Several topics will be examined each year, so this is a project with a broad orientation rather than a detailed focus on one or two research questions. Topics could include issues such as work being undertaken by the two universities and local partners in decarbonising their energy sources as well as helping to identify how they can decarbonise and localise their supply chains, and the technological, social and behavioural changes necessary to achieve net zero across the North East. The research fellow position is one of several post-doctoral research positions within the cross-disciplinary environment of INE and they will need to work closely with each other, as well as lead academics and partners

Whilst the project is funded only for three years, there is an aim to develop a sustainable model for INE which may lead to further funding. One of the aims of the project is also to develop a series of spin off research projects. Longer term, the vision is for INE to become a National Innovation Centre for Policy, with INE leading to the establishment of a new policy research hub in the North East that will harness the knowledge and expertise of each partner, maximise the opportunities for knowledge transfer and place an evidence-based approach at the centre of policy making across multiple sectors.

For this post, we are seeking a fellow with expertise in net zero carbon reduction policies, qualitative and quantitative data analysis and data sharing for and with policymakers and citizens. It is expected the successful candidate will have a PhD (or one that is close to completion) in a relevant environmental, social science or a closely related field, and will have a research track record or interest in net zero policy. You will have experience of publishing in relevant conferences and journals in these fields, and have a developing profile of academic community leadership and involvement commensurate with a post-doctoral researcher. Since the work conducted through INE is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary, ideally the successful candidate will have experience of working within interdisciplinary teams or demonstrate a strong ambition to work in them. Excellent communication skills and ambition to collaborate across disciplines, as well as familiarity with both quantitative and qualitative research methods is essential.

It is expected that there will be a need to travel around the UK and the North East of England for short periods in order to work with partners and to conduct engagements and studies. Occasional weekend work may also be necessary but compensated for in time off elsewhere.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Professor David Charles (david.charles@northumbria.ac.uk).

To apply for this vacancy please click 'Apply Now', and submit a covering letter, CV including research /education statements, and grants and publications list. Please highlight your highest quality research outputs up to a maximum of 4.  In addition, candidates are asked to provide copies of the top 2 research outputs (Journal / book chapter /practice-based portfolio). Where possible candidates are asked to combine all of these documents into a single file.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

We welcome applications from the UK and across the world. Visit our web pages for details about the Relocation Assistance Scheme

Northumbria University is an on-campus organisation where colleagues work regular patterns of hours and on campus, with some flexibility on the timing of their hours and the location of their work in discussion with their manager. 

Please note this vacancy will close on 25/08/2022

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