Scotland Hydro Nation Place-Based Innovation Fellow

University of Stirling

Stirling, UK 🇬🇧

Post Details

Full time
Open ended

Grade8 ÂŁ42,149-ÂŁ50,296 p.a
Grade9 ÂŁ51,799-ÂŁ60,022 p.a.

The closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 17 October 2021
Interviews are expected to take place on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28th October 2021

For the purposes of sponsorship, this is a role under SOC code 2150.

The University of Stirling recognises that a diverse workforce benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers and welcome applications from those who would contribute to further diversification of our staff and ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is woven into the substance of the role. We strongly encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds including gender, identity, race, age, class, and ethnicity. 

The Post

The University of Stirling hosts the Scottish Water Hydro Nation Chair (HNC), providing the leadership and collaborative relationships required to deliver solutions for sustainable water management in Scotland and beyond. This new ÂŁ3.5 million initiative is funded by Scottish Water in partnership with the Scottish Funding Council. The HNC and associated programme of activity is a catalyst for academic research and innovation specifically to support the water sector in delivering and going beyond net zero. By promoting an inclusive task force, the HNC brings together excellence across Scotland to create an interdisciplinary world leading research and innovation community to deliver on the global net zero and climate challenges as key priority missions.

The HNC is seeking to appoint two highly motivated Hydro Nation Innovation Fellows. This Fellowship focusses on place-based innovation. The postholder will forge collaborative relationships across industry, regulation, communities and third sector organisations, to promote water innovation and solutions to tackle climate and water management challenges and blue-green growth opportunities within catchment or sub catchment contexts.  The second Fellowship (advertised separately) addresses opportunities across digital, data and technology innovation, working with industry, academia and regulation to build partnerships and implement credible solutions for environment and societal benefit, operational resilience and critically support the delivery of the net zero targets for the water sector.

Both innovation fellows will work closely with the Hydro Nation Chair and Scottish Water Research & Innovation, the four Hydro Nation Research Leader Fellows, and other innovation initiatives across Scotland (including for example, the Hydro Nation Innovation Service, Innovation Centres, Converge and Interface) to support the innovation programme of activity.  The Innovation Fellowships have multiple career development pathways, including at the important interface between industry and academia.  The Innovation Fellows will also build on the developments within Scotland’s International Environment Centre and the ground-breaking Forth Environmental Resilience Array (Forth-ERA) programme, which is developing a world-leading digital catchment observatory for the Firth of Forth.  The Innovation Fellowships are funded to March 2027 in the first instance.

Description of Duties

We expect the postholder to be a highly motivated individual, with a passion to drive the co-development and co-delivery of place-based solutions to climate related challenges at the catchment scale. The Innovation Fellow will work across the water sector including with statutory agencies, industry, universities, third sector organisations and communities to deliver effective, acceptable and sustainable solutions to climate, catchment and water management challenges including the delivery of ambitious net zero targets and blue-green growth initiatives. The successful candidate will be a progressive agent for change, familiar with the complex challenges of climate adaptation and water management across the built and natural environment and include: the valuation of nature-based solutions in supporting climate resilience; delivering on net zero and biodiversity targets; driving place-based water innovation opportunities to support the green recovery and blue growth opportunities; and promoting the circular economy and wider health and wellbeing initiatives. The innovation fellowship will be supported by the Hydro Nation Crucible, which provides additional resource to pump prime new initiatives and partnerships. 

Description of Duties

The successful Hydro Nation Innovation Fellow will work closely the Hydro Nation Chair, Scottish Water and with the Hydro Nation Research Leader Fellows to:

  • Horizon scan and build on existing exemplars of place-based innovation partnerships developed at the catchment or sub catchment scale to deliver solutions that benefit all
  • Connect business, statutory agencies, communities, third sector and research institutions to coordinate and maximise the benefit from investment in solutions at the catchment scale and realise the ambitions of stakeholders to deliver appropriate climate adaptation strategies, and deliver on net zero targets and wider societal benefits
  • Lead and co-develop solutions and pilot studies with partners and stakeholders across the sector and attract and demonstrate the value and measurable returns on new investment, including the development of circular economy opportunities and the benefits of behavioural change
  • Lead and support the development of place-based innovation funding bids with partners across the water sector

In addition, for Grade 9:

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of the Hydro Nation Innovation Strategy
  • Work with the Hydro Nation Chair and Research Leader Fellows to develop the Hydro Nations Crucible as a widely recognised, valued and sustainable platform to support the delivery of collaborative partnerships for research and innovation initiatives across the water sector

For Further information and informal discussion please contact Professor Andrew Tyler: [email protected]

Essential Criteria


  • Honours Degree with relevant work-related experience of solutions delivery in the water sector

Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Demonstrable experience of working across sectors, translating needs into action  to affect change including behaviours
  • Highly-developed interpersonal skills necessary to build and maintain effective working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders to test, develop and implement place-based solutions
  • Excellent initiative, negotiation, persuasion, and problem-solving skills to work across place-based stakeholder communities and water sector, understand the challenges and identify and implement solutions to often complex problems in the delivery of climate resilience and net zero
  • Excellent working knowledge of the water sector, climate and net zero challenges and opportunities for place-based solutions deliver
  • Excellent project management skills, and experience of managing large projects,
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills and working within interdisciplinary contexts
  • Self-motivation, initiative and independence in thought and working and ability to work within and motivate a team to deliver on ambitious innovation programmes

In addition, for Grade 9:

  • Track record of success in building partnerships across communities, the water industry and policy sectors and managing innovation partnerships in the water sector (or closely related), where principles of place-based innovation, including for example climate adaptation, behavioural change and net zero have been successfully implemented
  • Track record of developing innovation strategies that have resulted in solutions being implemented with the desired outcomes

Desirable Criteria

  • Relevant higher degree, in water related discipline
  • PhD in an applied water related discipline
  • Experience of innovation and solutions delivery in the water sector
  • Experience in leading workshops and convening cross sectoral meetings and community action

Behaviours and Competencies

The role holder will be required to evidence that they can meet the qualities associated with the following behavioural competencies, as detailed within the AUA Competency Framework.

  1. Managing self and personal skills
    Being aware of your own behaviour and mindful of how it impacts on others, enhancing personal skills to adapt professional practice accordingly.
  2. Delivering excellent service
    Providing the best quality service to external and internal clients. Building genuine and open long-term relationships in order to drive up service standards.
  3. Finding solutions
    Taking a holistic view and working enthusiastically to analyse problems and to develop workable solutions. Identifying opportunities for innovation.
  4. Embracing change
    Being open to and engaging with new ideas and ways of working. Adjusting to unfamiliar situations, shifting demands and changing roles.
  5. Using resources effectively
    Identifying and making the most productive use of resources including people, time, information, networks and budgets.
  6. Engaging with the wider context
    Enhancing your contribution to the organisation through an understanding of the bigger picture and showing commitment to organisational values.
  7. Developing self and others
    Showing commitment to own ongoing professional development. Supporting and encouraging others to develop their professional knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to reach their full potential.
  8. Working together
    Working collaboratively with others in order to achieve objectives. Recognising and valuing the different contributions people bring to this process.
  9. Achieving Results
    Consistently meeting agreed objectives and success criteria. Taking personal responsibility for getting things done.

About Us

Scottish Water

At the heart of Scotland, Scottish Water recognises its crucial role in support of a flourishing Scotland, contribution to Scotland’s health, well-being and prosperity, the sustainability of our natural environment, and Scotland’s long term economic success. Scottish Water is publicly owned and commercially managed and ultimately answerable to the people of Scotland for the services it deliversThe global climate crisis lies at the heart of its 25 year strategic plan. As a result, Scottish Water is showing leadership in mitigating climate change and enhancing Scotland’s natural environment through its mission to deliver and go beyond net zero.

Faculty of Natural Sciences

The Faculty was formed in August 2016 and encompasses the Divisions of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Computing Science and Mathematics, Psychology and the Institute of Aquaculture. The FNS is a distinctive academic arena where new fundamental understandings of the complex and challenging inter-relationships between human behaviours, technologies, biological, environmental and aquatic systems are created, explored and tested. The focus of our research addresses key questions around the resilience of society and the environment.  Results of REF2014 confirmed that our research is regarded as world-leading and internationally excellent. Our research is supported through UK Research Councils, the European Union, a range of research charities, statutory agencies and third sector organisations, industry and private enterprises.  We work with industry and public service organizations both at home and overseas to achieve direct and positive outcomes for society across a range of critical problems.  Recent success in the 2018 City and Region Deal from UK and Scottish Governments is leading to a substantial investment in new infrastructure as a result of Faculty driven initiatives including: a ÂŁ17 million investment for a new Institute of Aquaculture and Global Aquatic Food Security facility; and a ÂŁ22 million investment for Scotland’s International Environment Centre.

Biological and Environmental Sciences

The strength of Biological and Environmental Sciences at Stirling lies in our unique interdisciplinary focus on the interface between people and the environment, which positions us well to exploit growing funding opportunities and to develop strong student interest in environmental and ecological systems science, management and solutions delivery. Our research interests are broad and cluster around four key themes of water, carbon, biodiversity and society.  We deliver the evidence to transform the management of conflicts between the environment, ecosystems and society and predict and mitigate the future impacts of anthropogenic change and natural hazards. Our findings integrate science, policy and practice; they are used to inform national and international policy makers and practitioners in conservation and environmental regulation, planning and management. Our research and impacts are found in all continents of the world and position us as a leading institution in Environmental Protection and Biological Conservation.

The University

The University of Stirling is a leading UK teaching and research-intensive university, created by Royal Charter in 1967. Since its foundation, the University has embraced its role as an innovative, intellectual and cultural institution with a pioneering spirit and a passion for excellence in all that it does.

In 2016, the University launched its current Strategic Plan (2016-2021), with targets to: be one of the top 25 universities in the UK; increase income by ÂŁ50 million; enhance its research profile by 100 per cent; and ensure internationalisation is at the heart of everything it does.

With three-quarters of its research ranked world-leading and internationally-excellent (Research Excellence Framework 2014), the University’s groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research makes a difference to society and has a positive impact on communities worldwide. Stirling’s research is making a positive impact on people’s health, education and wellbeing, with key strengths across our research themes of: Cultures, Communities and Society; Global Security and Resilience; and Living Well. The University collaborates with international governments and policymakers, businesses, industry, and charitable organisations, to tackle and provide solutions to some of the toughest global societal challenges.

For more information on working at Stirling, please visit

The University offers great benefits such as generous annual leave and membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. Additionally staff can benefit from a reduced membership rate at the University’s excellent Sport Centre facilities.

A full list of FAQs can be found here, we recommend you read these before making your application.

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IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development