Hutton 05-21 - Researcher in People Environment Studies and Modelling

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Posted: 20/01/2021 16:31
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: £31,521.83
Location: Aberdeen
Level: Hutton D
Deadline: 04/07/2021 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 Researcher in People Environment Studies and Behavioral Modelling.

Main Purpose of Job           

Working within an interdisciplinary group including sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, psychologists and economists, this post contributes to the development of social scientific research on person-environment relationships. 

The postholder will be expected to contribute to a portfolio of work in the SEGS department and will be encouraged to develop their own theoretical approach to understanding people-environment relationships as part of a group of researchers working on ‘People and Places’. 

Initially the postholder will work on a large interdisciplinary project looking at encouraging healthy, sustainable diets, and this work will require the postholder to undertake secondary data analysis and find ways to summarise empirical data to help with the empirical grounding of social simulation models. 

This postholder will contribute to all aspects of the research cycle including the development of research proposals, and the collection, analysis and presentation of data through peer reviewed publications and other knowledge exchange channels. 

Main duties of postholder

  • To contribute to discussions in ongoing projects looking at how best to represent social science theories about individual behaviour in social simulation models. 
  • To develop areas of work concerned with understanding dynamic people-environment relationships, with an initial focus on behaviours related to individual food choices.
  • To pro-actively seek opportunities to collaborate on proposals for future research funding
  • To help develop ideas about how social science can utilise open science principles to a greater extent.



  • PhD in a relevant discipline
  • Demonstrable interest and experience in people-environment relationships
  • An awareness of the open science movement, and an interest in applying open science principles within the social sciences
  • Familiarity with social simulation methodologies (particularly agent-based modelling), and an interest in developing skills in this area.
  • Strong team working skills
  • Experience in questionnaire-based empirical social science
  • Potential to publish high quality, peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to design and undertake research with limited supervision
  • Excellent skills in developing accessible materials to support communication
  • Fit with the ethos of the department and the Institute


  • Experience programming agent-based models for social science projects
  • Experience working with both academic and non-academic stakeholders
  • Experience working in an interdisciplinary team
  • Track record of publication in academic journals
  • Experience in supporting funding bids for income generation

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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