Two Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships available

BIOSEC Biodiversity and Security: Understanding environmental crime, illegal wildlife trade and threat finance

Closing date for applications: 13th April 2017

The Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield is pleased to offer two Post-Doctoral Research Associate posts for exceptional candidates. The BIOSEC fellowships are for three years (1 Sept 2017-31 August 2020). The posts will offer the successful candidates the opportunity to pursue innovative research in one of the UK’s leading departments of Politics.

The two BIOSEC posts are part of a bigger programme of research led by Professor Rosaleen Duffy on the interlinkages between biodiversity conservation and security, funded by an European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant of EURO 1.8 million (2016-2020). The project is Biodiversity and Security: Understanding environmental crime, illegal wildlife trade and threat finance. More information on https://biosecproject.org and Twitter @biosec_erc

Applications are welcomed from candidates who already have a good honors degree and have completed a PhD (or are nearing completion) on biodiversity conservation in any of the sub-fields of Politics and International Relations, Human Geography or Development Studies. You should also possess knowledge and experience of qualitative and/or quantitative research methods, be able to work as part of team and a proven track record of successfully managing a research project over a long period of time. Successful candidates will be expected to build on existing links to other Departments and Centres at the University, notably the Sheffield Institute for International Development (SIID), the Department of Geography and the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.

Further information about the two posts and how to apply can be founded on the detailed job advert and specification: http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AXN514/post-doctoral-research-associate-2-posts

Post-Doctoral Research Associate 1:

You will be responsible for delivering Work Package Four: Sourcing wildlife: environmental crime, security and biodiversity protection. This work package focuses on how the framing of environmental crime and security is influencing responses to illegal hunting and collection of wild species in ‘source countries’. This project will focus on responses by government, conservation NGOs and the private sector to increased levels of poaching, for example of rhino horn and ivory, to meet rising demand from East Asia, and (for example) responses to illegal reptile and amphibian collection in Madagascar for the international pet trade. The appointee will have considerable flexibility to develop the work package to build on their own knowledge and skills- hence the country/species focus is not fixed.

Applicants should use the covering letter to set out how they would develop work package four and provide a rationale for their plans. In the first 6 months the post-doctoral researcher will undertake literature reviews, documentary and web searches. The post-doctoral researcher will organise and undertake a 4-week pilot study in in the chosen field locations in order to establish contact with key organisations and individuals and to test the feasibility of interviewing and participant observation. On return the researcher will review the pilot studies with the PI to refine the plans for the main period of empirical data collection. They will then undertake the main period of 8 months fieldwork in total, which may be split across several field trips. The successful applicant will also organise a knowledge exchange workshop with key stakeholders and user groups during fieldwork. At a minimum the post-doctoral researcher will develop at least two journal articles for leading journals, two conference papers and engage in communication, dissemination and impact activities.

Post-Doctoral Research Associate 2:

You will be responsible for delivering Work Package Five: Consuming wildlife: environmental crime, security and biodiversity protection
This work package will focus on how the environmental crime and security framing is influencing responses to consumption and use of wildlife products in ‘end-user countries’. This project will examine how state agencies, international organisations and NGOs are responding to the perceived and actual involvement of organised crime networks in smuggling to end-user markets; further this project will investigate how the focus on crime is shaping approaches to demand reduction efforts.

These themes will be explored via specific case studies, examples might include (but are not limited to): China as a major global consumer of rhino horn, tiger bone, ivory and pangolin scales; and the UK as a leading consumer of caviar from the Black Sea region and of vicuna wool from Latin America. The appointee will have considerable flexibility to develop the work package to build on their own knowledge and skills- hence the country/species focus is not fixed. Applicants should use the covering letter to set out how they would develop work package five and provide a rationale for their plans. In the first 6 months the post-doctoral researcher will undertake literature reviews, documentary and web searches, working closely with the PI and research team; the researcher will then turn attention to empirical data collection via fieldwork. The post-doctoral researcher will organise and undertake a 4-week pilot study to establish contact with key organisations. On return the researcher will review the pilot studies with the PI to refine the plans for the main period of empirical data collection. They will then undertake the main period of 8 months fieldwork in total, which many be split across several trips. Data collection will focus on undertaking elite interviews with representatives of key stakeholder organisations (government, NGO, donors). These will be supplemented by a questionnaire on the key challenges of the international wildlife trade for distribution across our network of relevant stakeholders. The post-doctoral researcher will also organise a knowledge exchange workshop with key stakeholders and user groups during fieldwork. The Post-Doctoral Researcher will develop a minimum of two articles publications in leading journals, contribution to the book project, impact and dissemination activities, conference papers.

Financial Information:
Terms and conditions of employment: Will be those for Grade 7 staff
Salary for this grade: £30,175 - £38,183 per annum. Potential to progress to £41,709 per annum
through sustained exceptional contribution.

Informal enquiries:
For informal enquiries about this job and the recruiting department, contact, the PI Professor
Rosaleen Duffy on r.v.duffy@sheffield.ac.uk
For administration queries and details on the application process, contact BIOSEC project manager
Ruth Wilson, ruth.wilson@sheffield.ac.uk or Sarah Beddow, s.k.beddow@sheffield.ac.uk
For all online application system queries and support, visit:
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/jobs/applying