Hutton 04-21 - Social Scientist in Sustainable Land Management

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Posted: 20/01/2021 15:25
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: £31,521.83
Location: Aberdeen
Level: Hutton D
Deadline: 17/03/2021 23:59
Hours: 37.00
Benefits: Generous
Job Type: Fixed term - 3 years Tenure Track

The work undertaken by The James Hutton Group is right at the top of the global agenda tackling problems such as the impact of climate change and threats to food and water security. 

We are recruiting within our Social Economic & Geographical Sciences department for a Social Scientist in sustainable Land Management.

Main Purpose of Job           

Working within the interdisciplinary SEGS department, which includes sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, psychologists and economists, this post contributes to the development of social science insights on agri-environmental land management in the context of climate change. 

The postholder will be expected to contribute to the work of SEGS and encouraged to develop their own contributions as part of the group of researchers working on ‘Environmental Governance and Land Management’. One important focus of this post-doctoral position is on supporting and informing research to improve outcomes from agri-environmental management. 

Examples of current work within SEGS include projects focusing on land reform, nature-based solutions, environmental policy coherence, partnership working and food systems. Our research reflects a range of theoretical perspectives using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods, but always reflects a strong commitment to informing and supporting change beyond academia.  

Main duties of post holder

The postholder will contribute to all aspects of the research cycle from the development of research proposals, the collection, analysis, and presentation of data, through to peer reviewed publications and approaches for knowledge exchange with non-academic audiences.   Over time the postholder will be supported in their professional development to further develop their own research contribution and academic profile.  

  • To contribute to team-based qualitative or mixed methods research: research design, data collection and analysis on a variety of topics, relating to ongoing work connecting land manager decision-making with agri-environmental climate policy goals.
  • To write reports and other material for non-academic audiences
  • To contribute to publication of research in highly ranked peer-reviewed journals
  • To collaborate with Hutton researchers on interdisciplinary research across multiple departments
  • To contribute to the internationalisation of the SEGS group through targeted engagement with policy makers and academics at national and European levels



  • PhD in relevant topic discipline (e.g., geography, sociology, political science, anthropology etc.)
  • Experience of qualitative or mixed methods social science data collection and analysis
  • Knowledge of social, cultural, and economic factors shaping land-management in support of climate and environmental goals
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Potential to publish for academic and non-academic audiences
  • Interest in, and knowledge of, agricultural, environmental and/or land use policies
  • Fit with institute ethos


  • Experience in mixed methods (e.g., surveys) or interdisciplinary research
  • Experience of engagement with land managers and other stakeholder groups in the global North
  • Experience in supporting funding bids for income generation
  • Ability to combine team-working with independent work
  • An awareness of the open science movement, and an interest in applying open science principles within the social sciences
  • Experience of publication in academic journals
  • Skills in other major European language

Other Skills

  • Valid driving license due to remote work location

We will not consider the use of 3rd party recruitment agencies for the sourcing of candidates for this position.   

The James Hutton Institute is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

The James Hutton Institute is a: Stonewall Diversity Champion; Athena SWAN Bronze Status Holder; Disability Confident Committed Employer and a Living Wage Employer.

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