Social scientist in people-environment studies

The James Hutton Institute
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

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.

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences (SEGS) are an innovative, dynamic group of about 40 researchers using a wide range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods and often taking interdisciplinary and/or participatory perspectives.

We are seeking a highly motivated post-doctoral researcher to undertake quantitative or mixed methods social research on people-environment interactions involved in planning, placemaking and green infrastructure.  The post-holder will contribute to a number of projects and play a role in consolidating insights to inform policy and practice.

The candidate must have a PhD in a related field (e.g. environmental psychology, environmental sociology), with a strong background in questionnaire-based social scientific research.

This post will be based in Aberdeen, Scotland; there will be a requirement for occasional travel within Scotland and to Europe for project meetings.

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

Main Purpose of Job 

The purpose of this job is to carry out research in people-environment studies with a particular focus on placemaking, planning and green infrastructure. This includes contributions to a project on green infrastructure and placemaking (GRETA), as well as to an EU funded project called SMARTEES (, which is focussed on social innovation as a driver of energy transitions.  The Scottish case study in SMARTEES addresses coordinated place-based responses to fuel poverty in a context of planning and placemaking through infrastructure.  

Main duties of post holder

  • To undertake research on planning, placemaking and green infrastructure, in particular, consolidating existing findings and disseminating to both academic and practice audiences.
  • To undertake questionnaire-based research in the H2020 SMARTEES project as part of the wider project team.
  • To develop a portfolio of work in people-environment studies, and pro-actively seek opportunities to collaborate on proposals for future research funding



  • PhD in a relevant discipline (or nearing completion)
  • Ability to design and undertake research with limited supervision
  • Strong team working skills
  • Experience in questionnaire-based empirical social science
  • Potential to publish high quality journal articles
  • Good fit with the overall ethos of the James Hutton Institute
  • Ability to work independently


  • Demonstrable interest and experience in green infrastructure, planning and/or placemaking
  • Experience working with both academic and non-academic stakeholders
  • Experience working in an interdisciplinary team
  • Track record in journal publications and 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. As they are under-represented in this area of our work we would particularly welcome applications from men.