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EarthWatch: Research Lead - Urban Biodiversity (Oxford, UK or Netherlands)

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Terrestrial / Aquatic Ecology & Conservation
Location Netherlands - Europe
Salary Additional Information CIRCA £40,000 per annum (gross)
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 15/03/2020
Company Name Earthwatch Institute
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
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Do you have big ideas on how we can increase biodiversity in our cities and mitigate the effects of climate change? Do you combine applied science skills with the ability to understand and connect people from different sectors and backgrounds? Would you like to make a difference and work in an energetic, mission driven organisation?

Deadline: 15 March 2020

Location: Oxford, UK or Netherlands (location tbd) with occasional international travel. For the right candidate we may consider remote working arrangements from anywhere in Europe.
Department: Research
Reports to: Director of Science, Policy and Innovation 
Direct reports: Project Manager
Salary: CIRCA £40,000 per annum (gross)
Contract: Open-ended. Full-Time. Part-time, job-share and flexible working proposals are welcomed and will be considered in line with organisational needs.
Deadline for application: 15 March 2020
Interviews: W/C 23 March 2020

Please note, we will be reviewing applications as they come in, and may interview candidates ahead of the closing date.


Do you have big ideas on how we can increase biodiversity in our cities and mitigate the effects of climate change? Do you combine applied science skills with the ability to understand and connect people from different sectors and backgrounds? Would you like to make a difference and work in an energetic, mission driven organisation?

Earthwatch is looking for a Research Lead for Urban Biodiversity to lead our applied scientific research in cities, focusing initially on urban trees and wildlife. You will lead a small team that creates and delivers evidence-based Nature-Based Solutions and conducts applied (citizen science) research that informs how solutions can be improved and implemented at scale. This is an exciting opportunity to bring academic skills into the real world and directly contribute to the creation of healthier urban environments for people and wildlife.

We are looking for someone with drive and energy who brings new perspectives and ideas. Our ideal candidate will have a solid scientific background and relevant practical skills e.g. around community organising, nature conservation, policy influencing, fundraising, public engagement or urban planning.

Earthwatch is an environmental NGO with science at its heart. We conduct applied research, in particular through citizen science. We combine this with deep engagement of communities, business leaders and employees, school groups, policy makers and members of the public. We operate internationally and collaborate with a wide range of academic and non-academic partners across disciplines and sectors to inform and stimulate the environmental, social and policy change urgently needed (see www.earthwatch.org.uk for more detail).

The global biodiversity and climate crises have been catapulted into the social and political spotlight. Nowhere are they more visible and urgent than in our cities. Earthwatch is determined to be part of the solution and create positive impact at scale. That is why sustainable cities is one of our key focus areas in our current 5-year strategy (2019-2023). Within this focus area, we are running two large programmes, Naturehood, a community wildlife programme, and Climate Proof Cities, a global research programme on urban Nature-Based Solutions. Within the Climate Proof Cities programme we are also starting to role out and research an exciting new concept called Tiny Forest.

We are passionate about making a difference and believe that a diverse workforce is key to harnessing the best ideas and creating solutions that work for our diverse society. We are looking to promote a more diverse and inclusive environment and would particularly welcome applications from diverse ethnic minority groups.

Please note: Applicants must have the right to work in the UK / EU; Earthwatch is unable to support visa applications.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Role purpose:

To lead Earthwatch Europe’s Naturehood and Climate Proof Cities research, which focusses on urban green infrastructure, trees and biodiversity and on connecting communities with the nature on their doorstep.

Key deliverables:

  • Lead field and desk research within Earthwatch Europe’s Naturehood and Climate Proof Cities programmes, working closely with the programme managers, engagement and communication teams
  • Line-manage a small team of research managers, overseeing and giving direction to projects they are delivering and supporting their professional development
  • Generate new and innovative ideas for Nature-Based Solutions, associated research and public and stakeholder engagement opportunities, using co-creation and citizen science methodologies where appropriate
  • Help to secure funding for new projects and programmes through partnership building, bid writing and by providing subject matter support to the development teams
  • Build and maintain a broad knowledge base and extensive international network
  • Build and maintain relationships with key regional, national and international academics, policy makers and resource managers, identify and pursue opportunities to influence decision makers
  • Perform research data analyses and (co-)author peer reviewed publications
  • Create maximum impact through targeted communications, supported by the communications team
  • Work closely with relevant programme managers to ensure research is delivered to time, within budget and in concert with other programme needs, including engagement, learning, IT and communication
  • Contribute to wider organisational priorities as required

The above list of job deliverables is not exclusive or exhaustive and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post


Personal Specification:

  • Scientific background (PhD or equivalent) in a relevant topic such as biology, ecology, environmental sciences, land management, urban planning or social geography. Knowledge of urban trees and biodiversity, their ecosystem services and the social and ecological factors that influence them.
  • Relevant peer-reviewed publications.
  • Demonstrable experience in designing, delivering and disseminating applied research using a range of research techniques.
  • An excellent understanding of how to create impact through knowledge dissemination, stakeholder engagement and influencing decision makers. Experience in citizen science is highly desirable. Experience of working outside academia (in the private, public or NGO sector) or extensive experience of collaborating with one or more of these sectors is desirable.
  • Strategic thinker and leader, able to inspire and to spot and anticipate opportunities to deliver against organisational objectives. Previous line-management experience is desirable.
  • Written/spoken fluency in English. As a strong communicator you are used to speaking publicly to a wide range of academic and non-academic audiences and you have a demonstrable passion and enthusiasm for environmental issues, which enables you to engage others.
  • Demonstrable understanding of the interests and requirements of funders of applied research. Successful research grant applications and fundraising experience with trusts and foundations are desirable.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, able to build effective relationships.
  • Flexible, self-motivated and goal-oriented with proven ability to manage competing requirements, prioritise, deliver appropriate quality on time and within budget.
  • An established (inter-)national network among relevant academics, NGOs, policy makers, practitioners and funders.
  • Commitment to the mission and values of Earthwatch

 For the full job description, and personal spec please download the document below.

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