Research and Knowledge Exchange Officer (Climate Adaptation)

University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh, , GB

The School of GeoSciences
The School of GeoSciences explores the factors and forces that shape our world. The School aims to understand the world through fundamental curiosity-driven research and to support prescient decision-making at individual to global scales. We undertake world-leading research; offer new ways of understanding natural and social drivers of change; provide inter-and trans-disciplinary solutions; and work in partnership to improve livelihoods and explore ways to manage the environment that are both sustainable and socially equitable.

With over 500 academics, researchers and research students, we are the largest and most successful interdisciplinary grouping of geoscientists and geographers in the UK. Research activity is coordinated within three main Research Institutes – Global Change, Earth and Planetary Science, and Geography and the Lived Environment – and within smaller research groupings that reach across and beyond the School.

A distinctive feature of the School is the combination of academic strength, intellectual breadth and societal relevance. Our interdisciplinary research and teaching builds on established core disciplines (ecology, environmental sciences, geography, geophysics, meteorology, oceanography) to provide a variety of approaches to understanding the world (including, for example, system-scale modelling, process studies and the development of urban and social theory). The School’s research covers fundamental ‘blue-skies’ questions, as well as having application to key societal challenges including inequality and vulnerability; urban precarity; nature and cultural meaning; development and sustainability; climate and environmental change; energy, food and water security; health and wellbeing; natural resources; and natural hazards.

The School holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to gender equality in higher education. Our aim is to recognise and value diversity in our staff and students, and to support flexible and family-friendly working.

More details about the School is available from

College of Science and Engineering (
The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) is one of the largest and highest-ranked science and engineering groupings in the UK. Headed by Professor Dave Robertson, CSE comprises seven Schools (Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, GeoSciences, Informatics, Mathematics, and Physics and Astronomy). Informatics is located in the University’s Central Area near George Square, with the other six 2 miles further south at the King’s Buildings. The College has over 3,000 academic and support staff, and educates some 6,000 undergraduates, over 1000 taught postgraduates and more than 2,000 research students. It is in the front rank of UK university science and engineering groupings for research quality and income, and is a key player in many European and international research collaborations.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

In the 2014 REF over 95% of our staff were submitted. Of our seven submissions, four of which were as a joint research school in combination with a strategic research university partner through pooling, 3 were ranked top in the UK and all 7 were in the top 5 in their discipline in the Times Higher Power rankings.

The University of Edinburgh
For more than four centuries, our people and their achievements have rewritten history time and again. They’ve explored space, revolutionised surgery, published era-defining books, paved the way for life-saving medical breakthroughs and introduced to the world many inventions, discoveries and ideas from penicillin to Dolly the sheep. We have believed that anything is possible, we still do.
The latest Research Excellence Framework highlighted our place at the forefront of international research. This adds to our international reputation for the quality of our teaching and our student experience excellence. The University is proud of its success with online teaching initiatives, with 2550 students currently studying its online distance learning postgraduate programmes, and a total to date of more than 2 million enrolments for Edinburgh MOOCs.

As a member of staff, you will be part of one of the world’s leading universities, with 20 Schools spread over 3 Colleges that offer more than 1600 undergraduate and 600 postgraduate programmes to over 35,000 students each year. Professional services are critical to this success as well as our world-class teaching, research and student facilities. In fact, we are one of the top employers in Edinburgh, with over 13,000 people spread across a wide range of academic and supporting roles.

As a world-changing, world-leading university, we offer an exciting, positive, creative, challenging and rewarding place to work. We give you support, nurture your talent, develop and reward success and integrate academic, professional and personal career goals, as well as give your career the benefit of a great and distinguished reputation. In addition, our employees benefit from a competitive reward package and a wide range of staff benefits, which include generous holiday entitlement, a defined benefits pension scheme, staff discounts and much more. Access our staff benefits page for further information and use our reward calculator to find out the total value of pay and benefits provided.

The University of Edinburgh holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. We are members of the Race Equality Charter and we are also Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champions, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment, including flexible working and childcare vouchers. See our University Initiatives website for further information.

University Family Friendly Initiatives

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

1. Job Details

Job title: Research and Knowledge Exchange Officer – Climate Adaptation
School/Support Department: GeoSciences
Unit: Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
Line manager: ClimateXChange Adaptation Research Manager

2. Job Purpose

To provide specialist expertise to the Scottish Government on climate adaptation, with a focus on flood risk management, in order to inform the development of the second Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme and to provide advice and support to the ClimateXChange secretariat team on climate adaptation issues – supporting the development, commissioning and communication of adaptation related projects.

3. Main Responsibilities (Approx. % of time)

• Provide specialist advice and support to the Scottish Government on climate change adaptation. Work closely with Scottish Government staff in the Flood Risk Management and Adaptation teams to provide advice on science and evidence, focusing particularly on flooding and the development of appropriate adaptation indicators. Identify gaps in information and suggest approaches to fill these. Communicate complex information effectively verbally and in writing to the Scottish Government, including to a non-specialist policy audience. (40%).

• Provide adaptation policy advice. Working with Scottish Government staff to contribute towards the development of adaptation policy that reflects the latest science and evidence and practical experience. Collaborate with Scottish Government colleagues to prepare and present the information ready for inclusion in the second Climate Change Adaptation Programme. (20%).

• Develop and lead a stakeholder engagement process to review Scottish Government guidance on flood risk management, communicating effectively with stakeholders from a range of backgrounds in a succinct and engaging manner. (20%)

• Research project development, initiation and management. Liaising with the Scottish Government policy teams and CXC Communication and Adaptation Manager to support identification of adaptation research needs and provide advice on research specification and draft research outputs. (10%)

• Communicating CXC research outputs for policy audience. Working with the CXC Adaptation Research Manager to ensure CXC adaptation outputs meet requirements and quality standards, including editing and reformatting to ensure accessibility and policy relevance. (10%)

4. Planning and Organising

• Plan and prioritise own workload on a regular basis to deliver required outputs whilst ensuring the ability to respond to ad hoc demands.
• Collaborate and co-operate with a wide range of stakeholders.
• Plan and organise stakeholder engagement process to review Scottish Government guidance for local authorities on flood protection.

5. Problem Solving

• Recognise challenging situations and takes appropriate and timely action.
• Ability to work effectively both independently and as a member of a team;
• Proactive in proposing improvements to current CXC procedures and management tools to CXC colleagues and CXC Programme Manager.
• Use foresight to identify potential challenges and deal effectively with unforeseen problems as they arise.

6. Decision Making

• Liaise closely with Scottish Government staff in the Flood Risk Management Team to agree approaches and make decisions accordingly.
• Formulate and provide clear advice to the CXC Programme Manager on project delivery issues.
• Decide when resolution of difficulties falls within own competence and when to seek support.

7. Key Contacts/Relationships

• Build effective and close working relationships with Scottish Government staff in the Flood Risk Management and Adaptation Teams, as well as SEPA and Responsible Authorities.
• Build close working relationships with other members of the CXC Secretariat team
• Develop links with key academic institutions, networks and advisory bodies including Adaptation Scotland and the Committee on Climate Change.

8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

• An appropriate degree and relevant post-graduate research relating to climate change adaptation.
• Significant policy research expertise in climate change adaptation as it relates to flooding and buildings.
• Experience in knowledge exchange on delivering climate change adaptation through established policy mechanisms.
• Detailed understanding of the Scottish adaptation policy landscape.
• Experience of communicating complex/technical information clearly, including in written form for a policy audience.
• Good IT and time management skills and the ability to self-organise around tasks

• Familiar with policy development processes in the Scottish Government.
• Demonstrable experience of leading stakeholder engagement processes

9. Job Context and any other relevant information

The job is part of the ClimateXChange Secretariat, and is line-managed by the CXC Adaptation Programme Manager. The Secretariat sits within the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, part of the School of Geosciences. It is envisaged that the post-holder would be based in CXC one day per week and in the Scottish Government four days per week where they would be based in the Scottish Government’s Flood Risk Management Team.

Informal enquires

Informal enquiries may be made to Dan Barlow, CXC Programme Manager on: [email protected]

Application Procedure

All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

We anticipate interviews will be held in the week commencing 25th June or 2nd July 2018.You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.

The closing date is 5pm GMT on 20th June 2018.

Eligibility to Work

In accordance with UK legislation the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).

To do so, the University requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work website

In the circumstances where the vacancy does not meet the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) criteria for sponsorship the successful applicant must have the existing right to work in the UK or individual circumstances which enable permission to work to be obtained.

For further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes please visit the GOV.UK website

Conditions of Employment

Pension Scheme

This role is grade UEO7 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

For further information please visit our Pensions website.


The role is grade UE07 and attracts an annual salary of £32,548 to £38,833 for 35 hours, each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.