Hutton 20-17 - MDT Fellowship in Natural Capital

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Posted: 26/06/2017 15:57
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: £37,500 to £48,000
Location: Aberdeen
Level: Hutton E
Deadline: 19/11/2017 23:59
Hours: 37
Benefits: Competitive
Job Type: Fixed term - 3 years

We are seeking a well-established transdisciplinary researcher to provide leadership in characterizing and valuing Natural Capital, both in terms of original research and in knowledge exchange, advice and staff development. The three year fellowship has been funded by the Macaulay Development Trust to contribute to existing research on natural capital, particularly the emerging field of natural capital accounting, allowing us to support the ambition of Scottish Government to encourage more investment in natural capital by businesses.  

The successful candidate would help to develop and link the many strands of research on natural capital within the Institute, and to promote it at national and international levels.  The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work closely with many partners, including the Scottish Forum for Natural Capital, Natural Capital Initiative and the Ecosystem Service Partnership. The successful candidate also has the option of supervising a PhD studentship on the topic, due to start in Spring 2018.

The Fellowship is funded for three years, with the option of extension subject to further research funding being won.

More information on the detail of the post and the post holder can be found below in the job description.

Main Purpose of Job

To provide leadership in characterizing and valuing Natural Capital, both in terms of original research and in knowledge exchange, advice and staff development.

To undertake research into the implementation of natural capital accounting and investment approaches.

To help develop the impact pathway for existing research on Natural Capital.

There is already a range of research on natural capital funded through the Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme as well as within H2020 and other large international projects and these would benefit from bridging between the research programme and other communities of policy and practice.

Main duties of post holder

  • To undertake research including project design, data collection, data analysis, interpretation of the results and producing final research products
  • To address challenges such as:
    • How to account for the combinations of assets that make up ‘natural capital’?
    • How to adequately take account of the spatial heterogeneity of natural capital?
    • How to adequately take account of temporal dynamism in natural capital?
    • How to consider the distribution of benefits derived from natural capital?
  • Initially the focus will be on a multi-scale Scottish land based case study in which the Natural Capital Protocol is being trialed.  There will be ample opportunity for the Fellow to shape their own research agenda either in a national and international context, or both
  • To promote and disseminate their own, and other work ongoing within the Institute, in national and international settings both to scientific and policy-practitioner audiences
  • To lead proposals for external funding, identify funding opportunities for others, and contribute where appropriate to other bids in the area
  • To supervise staff and potentially co-supervise research students
  • To contribute to the procedures of the Science Group and Institute
  • To undertake, and where relevant provide, training and profession development



  • PhD in relevant discipline  OR (where the candidate does not have a PhD) a Masters and 10 years’ relevant experience
  • Awareness of the range of methods and datasets available to characterize and evaluate natural capital assets
  • Evidence of project and people management experience e.g. working with budgets, line management; ability to lead teams
  • Potential to contribute to income generation
  • Evidence of effective written communication in English
  • Interdisciplinary research or work experience
  • Ability to interpret and use spatial modelling outputs
  • Ability to communicate to a range of audiences including academic, business, NGOs and policy
  • Fit with the ethos, values and mission of the Institute
  • Willingness to travel and work off-site


  • PhD in environmental or ecological economics; environmental accounting or natural resource valuation.
  • Knowledge of the range of methods for natural capital valuation and accounting
  • Evidence of leading successful bids
  • Publication record in international journals
  • Ability to programme and use GIS and other spatial analysis tools
  • Vision for the Fellowship

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