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Postdoctoral Research Fellow – European Research Council [PD2)

JobRef: 9330
  • Accepted file types: pdf.
  • Accepted file types: pdf.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – European Research Council [PD2)

Level:Postdoctoral Researcher
POSTED:June 25, 2021
LOCATION:Trinity College Dublin
CLOSES:July 30, 2021
Duration:2 Years (with possible extension)
Reports to:Prof. Marcus Collier:
Salary:€39,186 - €42,200
Closing Date:July 30, 2021

This post is tenable from October 1st, 2021 or very soon thereafter depending on TCD post-COVID approval processes and subject to Government of Ireland recommendations on travel. Research Fellows will be expected to reside in Ireland. Shortlisting will be completed during August 2021. Candidates will be invited for interview (using Zoom or by phone) during the week of August 9th, 2021.


NovelEco is five-year research project funded by a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Award to Professor Marcus Collier (School of Natural Sciences and the SFI ADAPT Centre) that commenced on June 1st, 2021. The aim of NovelEco is to explore novel ecosystem theory as a bridging concept and a conduit for rewilding urban society. NovelEco is a citizen science project that will measure for the first time the societal attitudes to urban wild spaces (novel ecosystems) by working with citizens to study them and generate data on urban ecosystems. It will engage citizens in co- creating an online instrument to enable ecological data collection within urban novel ecosystems. During data collection the citizen scientists will also record their attitudes to novel ecosystems and reveal whether engagement with them alters their values and perhaps even their environmental behaviour. Comparing these data with the wider community this project will be the first to quantify the social and ecological values of novel ecosystems. NovelEco will refine and redefine the novel ecosystem concept and create a new awareness of the transformative potential of urban wild spaces. The NovelEco project team will initially consist of the PI, Professor Marcus Collier, three Postdoctoral Research Fellows, two PhD candidates, and a Research Team Manager with team members expected to grow during the lifetime of the project.

Post Summary

NovelEco has an exciting opportunity for an ERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow. The Research Fellow (PD2) will carry out world leading research on urban social-ecological systems by engaging with urban communities at least 6 case study cities around (in the US, UK, Ireland and possible other locations). The aim is to co-design and co-create a citizen science online tool for crowdsourcing social and ecological data in urban novel ecosystems and to crowdsource research questions with citizen scientists. This post is tenable for a minimum of two years, with the possibility of extension subject to available funding. The successful candidate will be a core member of the NovelEco team based in the School of Natural Sciences and the ADAPT SFI Centre and artificial intelligence-based approached for qualitative data analytics. All positions in NovelEco are to be based in Dublin, Ireland.

Person Specifications Qualifications

The successful candidate will hold a PhD (to be awarded by October 1st 2021) in the area of: (restoration) ecology, sustainability science, transdisciplinary, collaborative planning, co-creation and co-design, volunteered GIS and stakeholder mapping, social-ecological systems, digital humanities, or related areas.

Duties & responsibilities

The Postdoctoral Research Fellow 2 (PD2) will have specialties in (urban) ecological data collection and analysis including, but not limited to, collaborative processes, co- creation, co-design and (adaptive) co-management, volunteered GIS (PPGIS) and collaborative mapping, transdisciplinarity research, web-based data collection (including AI), and/or urban transformative processes.

PD2 will engage with urban citizens (referred to in NovelEco as communities-of- interest) and citizen science stakeholder groups to co-design, test and refine a new online instrument that specifically enables novel ecosystem ecological data to be collected (and analysed separately), and simultaneously facilitates the collection of social attitudes and values. As part of its design, this instrument will have a corroborative purpose: to facilitate the self-reporting of values and attitudes towards urban novel ecosystems, collecting and mapping socio-cultural values, cultural ecosystem services, perceptions of wellbeing and social learning of the users.

PD2 will also work with, and potentially co-supervise, a PhD candidate (PhD2) in the gathering of qualitative and supportive data from the randomly selected, non-expert members of urban communities in each case study location. This PhD candidate will carry out their own independent research into the societal relationships to urban novel ecosystems using an environmental history framework and socio-historical methodologies such as backcasting, storytelling, and focus group research (concurrent with the co-design process). This will combine with the work of PD2 by generating the vision, the prototype and testing the online instrument.

The Research Fellow will be given opportunities to enhance their reputation through publishing in top-quality journals and conferences in collaboration with team members. All NovelEco Research Fellows will be key contributors to the NovelEco dissemination plan which includes, but is not limited to, the submission of at least three peer-reviewed publications (as a sole / lead author) in high quality journals; the submission of articles and podcasts to non-academic or media outlets; conference submissions and presentations; and occasional project blogs.

The Research Fellow will have the opportunity to present and represent the ground breaking research carried out by themselves and the whole research team, nationally and internationally. In addition, the Research Fellow will be tasked with the hosting of international meetings and reflexive workshops, in addition to the research workshops envisaged for the NovelEco research programme itself. This position will involve extensive travel for field research in cities in Ireland, the UK, the US and, subject to additional funding, Australia, Malta and Cyprus. Thus, the Research Fellow will build a strong network and have opportunities to liaise with internal and external stakeholders including industry and academic partners/collaborators.

Postdoctoral Research Fellows are not required to teach or to lead on funding proposals, but these will be strongly encouraged in order to build their skills and reputation as academics and increase their academic employment options. ADAPT’s Research Development Team will help them develop their ideas into projects and establish a strong funding track record.

Postdoctoral Research Fellows may be asked to assist with student field trips, mentoring, as well as supervising taught MSc theses. Research Fellows will themselves be mentored by the PI in the writing of their own ERC project and other proposals if they so desire. Research Fellows will have many opportunities to visit and integrate with established academics in other universities.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience (Essential)

  • Excellent and proven research skills, gathering and analysing qualitative data, and ethical research practices,
  • Experience in publishing, as lead author, at least one paper in a high quality, international peer-reviewed journal,
  • Experience in conducting and analysing structured and semi-structured interviews, large and small workshops, focus groups, and participatory research activities,
  • Experience in volunteered GIS or other mapping software,
  • Ability to gather, analyse, and interpret qualitative data,
  • Ability to perform high quality systematic analysis / literature reviews,
  • Experience in presenting research findings at an international level,
  • Excellent communication skills,
  • Excellent command of the English language (in both written and oral form),
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team, and
  • Ability to lead, to think independently and to overcome difficulties in research process.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience (Desirable)

  • Potential of further developing a track record of publishing in leading international peer-reviewed journals,
  • Knowledge of global environmental policies,
  • Experience in managing websites and/or social media,
  • Experience in organising research seminars, workshops and/or other events,
  • Willingness to acquire new skills as required for the implementation of the project.

The ideal candidates should

  • Commit to on-going developments in the School of Natural Sciences and its mission of excellence and quality,
  • Engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of the NovelEco research group and contribute to its profile by participating in promotional activity,
  • Participate in internal/external networks for the exchange of information and to form relationships for future research collaboration,
  • Conduct individual and collaborative research to the highest ethical standards,
  • Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research by producing at least three high quality academic papers as lead author,
  • Carry out administrative and management work associated with the research,
  • Contribute to the identification of external funding sources, the preparation of grant proposals and the assessment of research findings for potential commercial exploitation,
  • Interface confidently with others and remain calm under pressure,
  • Have a co-operative and responsive attitude that fosters positive working relationships,
  • Work conscientiously, often to tight deadlines, and to write reports,
  • Record, report and present data in a clear and organised manner,
  • Produce well-written, error-free material for inclusion in reports (or sections of reports,)
  • Show integrity and professionalism in the course of their work,
  • Operate effectively and supportively as part of a team,
  • Prioritise work to meet deadlines,
  • Identify problems and propose solutions,
  • Be flexible, shifting focus as and when required in a busy and changing work environment.

Further information

Informal enquiries concerning the post should be addressed to Prof. Marcus Collier ( prior to July 9th, 2021.


●        Competitive salary ●        Bike to Work Scheme
●        Flexible working arrangements ●        Employee Assistance Programme
●        Computer and peripherals of your choice ●        Sports Facilities
●        A fast-paced environment with impactful work ●        22 days of Annual Leave
●        Pension ●        Paid Sick Leave
●        Day Nursery ●        Training & Development
●        Travel Pass Scheme ●        Staff Discounts


Application Procedure

Candidates should submit a full curriculum vitae to include the names and contact details of 3 referees (email addresses if possible) together with a cover letter (maximum on 2 pages) that specifically address the application procedure set out above to: Prof. Marcus Collier by 18.00CEST on July 30th 2021.

If you have any query regarding this, please contact:

  • Ms. Collette Kelleher, Recruitment Partner, Human Resources, House No. 4, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
  • Tel: +353 1 896 1893
  • Email:

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