Principal Investigator (Migration patterns and its relation to development processes and climate change) via ReliefWeb

Flowminder Foundation

Southampton, , GB

Role: Principal Investigator (Migration patterns and its relation to development processes and climate change)
Location: Southampton, UK
Duration: 2 year contract (renewable), Full-time position
Start date: Immediate
Salary: £70,000-100,000 per annum
Reporting to: Executive Director


Context and organisational background

The Flowminder Foundation is a non-profit organisation registered in Stockholm, Sweden with a large part of its staff in Southampton UK. Flowminder’s mission is to improve public health and welfare in low- and middle-income countries in partnerships with governments, intergovernmental organizations and NGOs. Our analyses aim to map the distributions, movements and characteristics of vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries. We help save lives and improve welfare by providing analyses and decision support to all relevant parties based on the latest academic advances. Our work includes both research and operational projects, always aimed at having a concrete impact on vulnerable populations. Our funders include BMGF and several UN agencies. We are a rapidly growing organisation with a great team of highly skilled staff, who have a great time together and find meaning in what we do.

Much of the work in Flowminder takes place in close collaboration with University of Southampton and the successful applicant will work closely together with researchers in the WorldPop Program at University of Southampton. Depending on the candidate’s profile and interests, it may be possible to create an academic position at the University of Southampton.

Flowminder and the Worldpop Program have produced a range of pioneering work in the use of mobile operator data and remote sensing data to model and understand migration patterns. Individual migration decisions and migration patterns are associated with, and caused by, a range of social, economical and environmental factors which we seek to understand. Our multidisciplinary team include geographers, mathematical modelers, sociologist, economists and computer scientists.

Read more about Flowminder and the WorldPop Program at, and about Flowminder in the media:


The Position

The Flowminder Foundation and the Worldpop Program are seeking to appoint a Principal Investigator to lead the organisation’s work in the development and application of methods for understanding migration patterns and their causes, focused in low- and middle-income country settings. The successful candidate will have a deep knowledge of internal migration patterns and its drivers. The candidate may have a keen interest in the relationship between migration and particular other phenomena such as climate change, economic development or social change. This position comprises a strong involvement in operational projects with a network of global partners.

You will have an outstanding track record undertaking innovative work that demonstrates mastery of your field and which complements the organisation’s research. You will be attracting international recognition and will have published a number of high quality research papers. You will have proven ability or potential to independently manage project work from the early stages of project design, contract negotiation, communication with stakeholders through to delivery of final results to stakeholders as well as the academic publishing of the findings.



The Principal Investigator

  • Reports hierarchically to the Executive Director

  • Reports functionally to the Executive Director and Director of Worldpop



As a Principal Investigator in this role with Flowminder/WorldPop you will:

  • Oversee complex projects, be responsible for senior project management (scientific and operational) including delegation to other researchers as appropriate

  • Contribute to the planning and development of projects in the organisation, using robust and appropriate study designs.

  • Have responsibility for aspects of consultancy work of the organisation

  • Provide critical input to the strategic planning of the organisation’s work in migration

  • Manage relationships with external partners, including government agencies and UN organisations

  • Oversee and supervise project field activities, such as surveys and ensure that the highest quality standards are attained to

  • Take part in statistical data analysis and mathematical modeling of migration data

  • Develop scientific reports and publications.




  • A Ph.D. in a quantitative field such as Demography, Sociology, Economics or a related field.

  • A strong quantitative research background

  • Experience/training in working with survey and census data

  • Thorough understanding of migration patterns in low/middle income countries

  • Field experience in low/middle income countries

  • Highly proficient in written and spoken English

  • A strong interest in using mobile data and other emerging data sources to improve our understanding of migration patterns.

  • Experience leading expert teams in analytical projects

  • Strong scientific writing skills, evidenced by academic papers and reports

  • Strong project management skills

  • Experience of writing successful funding proposals

  • Ability to work effectively as a member of an interdisciplinary team

  • Willingness to travel internationally to low/middle income countries


  • Experience of working with governments or international organisations on migration issues

  • Publications of quantitative studies on migration in high impact journals

  • Practical experience of working and processing with large-scale spatial datasets such as mobile operator data or remote sensing data GIS/remote sensing experience

  • Knowledge of survey sample design

  • Computer programming experience (esp. Python & R)

  • Multilingual: French, Spanish, Arabic, Swahili or other major languages

How to apply:

Deadline for applications: Until position filled

Please submit your CV and cover letter in ONE file and name the file with your LAST NAME.

Please submit all applications only by email to “[email protected]” stating “CMD0117” in the subject line.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.