Vacancy: Senior Research Associate

The Department of Statistics and Department of Biology are recruiting for a Senior Research Associate in Machine Learning on a fixed-term basis for 36 months.

We are seeking to appoint a Senior Research Associate with a keen interest in large language models, natural language processing, information retrieval, and their use in nature recovery and addressing the impacts of climate change. The post holder will engage in internationally leading research on using large language models (LLMs) for the analysis of heterogeneous scientific text data (e.g. published scientific articles and web-based text reports), to enable researchers to track and understand the rapidly evolving field of nature recovery. The post holder will achieve this by advancing state-of-the art LLM capabilities (e.g. factuality, helpfulness, continual learning), and by taking a collaborative and full stack approach to machine learning (data collection and processing; unsupervised, supervised and RLHF finetuning; verification; deployment; and downstream analysis).

This post will work in a team of machine learning experts within the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery (LCNR), which is a virtual cross-disciplinary centre established to address the challenges of deploying nature-based solutions and delivering effective nature recovery at scale in a way that addresses climate change, supports biodiversity and enhances human wellbeing. In particular, they will be working closely with the Nature-based Solutions Initiative (NbSI) at the Department of Biology and the Oxford Computational Statistics and Machine Learning (OxCSML) group at the Department of Statistics.

At the NbSI the Senior Research Associate will collaborate with a team of multidisciplinary researchers to mine the evidence base for the effectiveness of nature-based solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Their work will produce state-of-the-art machine learning methodologies and algorithms that identify effective ways of working with natural ecosystems within the published literature, track sentiment towards restoration initiatives and summarise key scientific reports. Outputs will form the basis of guidance and tools for decision-makers and land managers.

At OxCSML the Senior Research Associate will be part of a vibrant research community developing fundamental tools and state-of-the-art techniques for machine learning. They will conduct world leading research on LLMs, publish in high quality machine learning conferences and journals, and mentor MSc and DPhil students. This role will also contribute to teaching on undergraduate/masters courses within the department.

We proudly hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze Award and a departmental Athena SWAN Silver Award, which guide our progress towards advancing racial and gender equality. As part of our commitment to openness, inclusivity and transparency, we would particularly welcome applications from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are currently under-represented in positions of this type at Oxford.

If you would like to discuss this post and find out more about joining the academic community in Oxford, please contact Professor Yee Whye (y.w.teh@stats.ox.ac.uk) or Professor Nathalie Sneddon (nathalie.seddon@biology.ox.ac.uk). All enquiries will be treated in strict confidence and will not form part of the selection decision.

To apply and more information here

We’re recruiting: Postdoctoral Research Assistant: Influence of Natural Environments on Health and Wellbeing

There is increasing evidence from population-level studies to indicate a positive association between nature, improves mental and physical health and cognitive ability. Preliminary clinical studies indicate that interactions with different aspects of nature via the senses of sight, smell, sound, and touch can trigger various physiological and psychological changes that could account for this apparent association. However, it remains unclear which of these interactions (sight, sound, smell or touch) has the most influence, what types of nature are needed and how much time is needed in it (dose) to gain these benefits.

One of the most interesting sets of clinical trials to date relates to smell and the effects of volatile organic compounds emitted by different tree species on physiological and psychological measures. In these studies, pinene and cedrol (monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes), appear to have statistically strong outcomes indicating improved physiological and psychological measures when inhaled for set intervals of time. There are few studies based in the field to look at this relationship – although there are hints that it could be significant; for example, one study demonstrated that when people walk in pine/cedar forests etc. significantly higher concentrations of these compounds were found in the participants’ blood and they demonstrated greater reductions in physiological and psychological measures for stress. Our understanding of the relationship between smells of nature and its beneficial role on human health is limited. To address this knowledge gap, our work will use a combined approach using field and clinical experiments in a range of nature-based settings.

The role

We are seeking an experienced scientist with a background in Biology and/or Experimental Psychology with interests in plant ecology, environmental science and the nexus between nature and human well-being. Experience in developing field and clinical experiments is also desirable

The goal is to build on existing work to coordinate and run a set of field experiments measuring subjects’ physiological and psychological; responses to being exposed to a range of natural environments or natural stimuli. The experiments will be conducted throughout a range of site on the University of Oxford Estate.

Your main activities will involve implementing and managing academic research activities, including coordinating multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines and desired goals. This will involve designing, overseeing, and conducting field experiments and clinical experiments, working with a wide range of researchers from different disciplines, stakeholders and project partners. You will be responsible for a suite of physiological (blood, salivary amylase, cortisol) and psychological measurements to determine dose-response relationships as well as playing a key role in experimental design and subsequent data analysis.

You will also support team members in their activities, contribute to policy engagement and knowledge exchange activities and prepare manuscripts for submission to peer reviewed journals. You will have a proven capacity to produce excellent research and you will be expected to collaborate on initiatives to further cross-disciplinary research at the centre

The University of Oxford is committed to equality and valuing diversity. All applicants will be judged on merit, according to the selection criteria.
This post is full time (although applications to work part-time are welcome)

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on 30th August 2023, interviews are likely to be scheduled for September. Applications for this vacancy are to be made online via our e-recruitment system, and you will be required to upload a supporting statement and CV as part of your online application.

More information and to apply here

 

We’re hiring: Research Assistant, Kwahu archival work

The Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery’s Society Theme, together with the Ecology Theme are looking to hire a casual employee (12 week position) to conduct archival work on the Kwahu landscape in Eastern Ghana. The work has been requested by our Ghanaian partner organization, the Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC in Ghana), and will be guided by NCRC, Connie McDermott and Jesus Aguirre Gutierrez.

Requirements: competence in GIS analysis and systematic literature reviews; ability to conduct research in Oxford and Bristol (as needed) to access physical archives, interest in socio-cultural history and good writing and communication skills.

Desirable: Experience conducting archival research, experience in Ghana/West Africa

The Kwahu landscape has been identified as a future site for LCNR research on nature recovery, and hence this archival work will provide important historical data and context for LCNR’s future research in the area.

Pay level based on experience – either Master’s or PhD candidates encouraged to apply. The role can be carried out on a full or part-time basis and the start-date is flexible although the work will need to be completed within 12 weeks.

More information about the Ghana Kwahu historical land cover assessment archival assistance request can be viewed here

To apply, please send a CV and short statement of interest to: naturerecovery@ouce.ox.ac.uk

 

Senior Researcher in Modelling Policy Scenarios to support Nature-based Solutions and Nature Recovery

We are seeking an experienced scientist with significant expertise in quantitative policy assessment and scenario modelling to examine the social, economic, and environmental outcomes of scaling up nature-based solutions (NbS)  and  nature  recovery  (NR) in  the  UK.

Your  main  activities  will  involve  managing  academic  research  activities, including coordinating multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines and desired goals. This will involve designing, overseeing and conducting land use scenario modelling for the UK, working with a wide range of researchers from different disciplines, stakeholders and project partners. You will agree clear task objectives for other team members in their activities, contribute to policy engagement and knowledge exchange activities and prepare manuscripts for submission to  peer  reviewed journals. You will have a proven capacity to produce excellent research and you will be expected to collaborate on initiatives to further cross-disciplinary research at the centre. You will regularly write research articles at a national level for peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and reviews. Presenting papers at national conferences, and lead seminars to disseminate research findings will be a key duty.

The successful candidate will hold a relevant PhD/DPhil with research experience. You will have a strong publication record and familiarity with the existing literature and research in the field. You will possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop research projects and methodologies. The ability to independently plan and manage a research project, including a research budget is essential. You will have experience of co-designing scenarios with various stakeholder groups, and conducting scenario modelling experiments. You will have experience in publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

Applications are particularly welcome and encouraged from women, black, and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in posts in SoGE. SoGE is committed to equality and values diversity.
The role is fixed term for 3 years.

Applications for this vacancy are to be made online. You will be required to upload a CV and supporting statement as part of your online application.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Wednesday 5 April 2023, and interviews will be held in Mid-April.

More information and to apply here

We are hiring: Monitoring & Evaluation Data Manager – North East Cotswold Farmer Cluster Landscape Recovery Pilot

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a pioneering Landscape Recovery Pilot (The Project) on a timely and high-profile environmental issue – the challenge of reversing water quality and biodiversity decline, climate change, and flood risk by implementing large-scale nature recovery.

The successful applicant will understand the data needs of the Landscape Recovery Project (e.g. MRV of natural capital markets) and engage with a breadth of stakeholders and data providers to obtain and/or commission additional data where necessary. You will rationalise existing baseline data, condition assessment, modelling and evaluation plans within the Project area from the breadth of stakeholders. You will act as a point of connection, knowledge exchange and support between the Centre and the activities of the support, identifying research needs and helping channel the expertise of researchers across the Centre to support the Project. Understanding the digital data handling requirements (a ‘portal’) of a highly complex, far reaching project, necessary to unlock large sums of private and public finance is a key duty. You will manage data including financial and contractual requirements and manage and contribute to the preparation of data reporting requirements.

You will have proven data management skills including detailed knowledge of mapping software (Geographical Information Systems) and database systems together with the ability to use software tools for generating high-quality, accessible and engaging data interpretation such as charts, visualisations and maps. An understanding of key scientific issues in nature recovery and natural capital markets is desirable. The ability to build and manage good, collaborative working relationships at both an individual and institutional level, and spanning a range of cultures is a must. You will have excellent organisational skills and the ability to manage and prioritise varied and diverse work streams.

This is a full-time fixed-term contract until 31 December 2024.

Applications are particularly welcome and encouraged from women, black, and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in posts in SoGE. SoGE are committed to equality and values diversity.

Applications for this vacancy are to be made online. You will be required to upload a CV and supporting statement as part of your online application.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Wednesday 19 April 2023 and interviews will be held 24 and 25 April 2023.

More information and to apply herefiled

We are recruiting a senior research associate for nature recovery finance

The Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery (LCNR) is being established to address the challenge of delivering effective and socially inclusive nature recovery at scale. Providing sufficient financial resources and prioritisation is among the greatest challenges facing nature recovery.

As a Senior Research Associate for Nature Recovery Finance you will be working with a team of multidisciplinary researchers to conceptualise, develop and scale a financial architecture that can sustainably resource nature recovery at the scale required. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of an ambitious research and engagement programme on one of the most high-profile environmental issues.

You will prepare and publish in high quality academic publications and regularly write and publish articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and reviews. You will raise research funds through grant applications and manage your own area of a larger research budget. You will participate actively in research within the LCNR; developing collaborations with others. You may contribute to teaching a wide range of courses, including undergraduate and MSc/MPhil courses.
The successful candidate must hold a relevant PhD/DPhil with significant research experience in either business, economics, finance, or law. Academic training in one of these disciplines is required for this post. You must have an established reputation as a leading authority in the field, strong academic publication record, and familiarity with the existing literature and research in the field.  You will have the ability to lead and motivate a team of research staff.  Sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop novel research projects and methodologies is a must. A demonstrated ability to secure significant research funding through a track record of successful grant applications is essential.

Whilst the role is a Grade 8 (£43,414 p.a.) position, we would be willing to consider candidates with potential but less experience who are seeking a development opportunity, for which an initial appointment would be at Grade 7 (£34,308 – £42,155 p.a.) with the responsibilities adjusted accordingly.

Applications are particularly welcome and encouraged from women, black, and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in posts in SoGE. SoGE is committed to equality and values diversity.

This is a fixed term post for 36 months with the possibility of extension depending on funding.

Applications for this vacancy are to be made online. You will be required to upload a CV and supporting statement as part of your online application.

The closing date for applications is 12:00 noon on Friday 12 May 2023, and interviews will be held late-May 2023.

Read more about the role and apply for the position.

We are recruiting a postdoctoral researcher in ecological remote sensing

We are seeking a researcher with expertise in the collection and application of remote sensing data to assess ecological function and diversity in intact and human-modified landscapes. You will combine remote sensing skills with familiarity and experience of on- the-ground work in ecological systems. You will be working as part of a large interdisciplinary team that spans different departments and research programmes, whose goal is to determine how to best monitor the effectiveness of nature recovery and nature- based solutions in the UK and the tropics.

The post holder will be part of the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery, focusing on exploring and developing advances in satellite and drone-based remote sensing approaches for understanding and mapping nature recovery. An initial focus of this work will be on the biodiversity and ecosystem outcomes of restoration efforts in the two case study landscapes of Oxfordshire and the central Scottish Highlands, while also drawing on wider evidence and case studies across the UK. Later years of the work may also expand this work to case studies in the tropics. This work will be in close collaboration with colleagues working on computer vision and machine learning, in order to incorporate state-of-the-art approaches to image analysis.

Your main activities will involve managing your academic research activities, including coordinating multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines and desired goals. This will involve designing, overseeing and conducting field work in the UK (including operating advanced drones), working with a wide range of researchers from different disciplines, stakeholders and project partners. You will also be responsible for analysing data and preparing manuscripts for submission to peer reviewed journals. You may also have opportunities to co-supervise Masters and PhD projects.

You must hold, or be close to completion, of a PhD in a relevant subject area, or have equivalent experience, and possess experience analysing ecological, Earth Observation and other spatial datasets. The projects you will be working on are interdisciplinary and so the ability to work collaboratively across disciplinary boundaries is essential. You will have excellent communication skills, including the ability to write for publication, present research proposals and results, and represent the research group at meetings. You will be responsible for managing your own academic research and associated activities.

Applications are particularly welcome and encouraged from women, black, and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in posts in SoGE. SoGE is committed to equality and values diversity.

The role is fixed term for 3 years.

Applications for this vacancy are to be made online. You will be required to upload a CV and supporting statement as part of your online application.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Tuesday 11 April 2023 and interviews will be held in Early/Mid May.

Read more about the role and apply for the position.

We are recruiting a knowledge exchange officer

The Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery is being established at the University of Oxford in 2022. Its purpose is to draw on and consolidate the world-leading expertise of the University and its partners to address the challenge of delivering effective and socially inclusive nature recovery at scale, in order to support goals of reversing national and global biodiversity decline by the end of this decade. As Knowledge Exchange Officer your role will be to play a proactive and leading role at the interface of research, policy goals and public engagement in the arena of nature recovery in both national and international contexts. You would keep the Centre researchers informed of relevant national and international policy developments, help ensure that Centre research is shaped and directed in ways that make a concrete difference, and cultivate a wide network of engaged partners and stakeholders.

Your duties will include taking a proactive and leading role in understanding and contributing to shaping the nature recovery agenda in the UK and internationally. You will gain a close understanding of nature recovery research and activity in all sectors of the University (inside and outside of the Leverhulme Centre) and identify and facilitate opportunities for policy engagement and public outreach. You will produce regular briefings and research, develop and maintain a stakeholder map for business and policy audiences. Conducting research and evaluation into the effectiveness of Knowledge Exchange across the Centre, who uses such knowledge and what impacts it has is a key responsibility.

The successful candidate will hold a relevant qualification at Masters or doctoral level, or equivalent experience in business, civil society or the public sector. You will have excellent communication skills, including the ability to write for publication, present results, and represent the Centre at meetings. Demonstrable skills and experience in knowledge exchange activities at a high level are essential.

Applications are particularly welcome and encouraged from women, black, and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in posts in SoGE. SoGE is committed to equality and values diversity.

The role is fixed term for 5 years.

Applications for this vacancy are to be made online. You will be required to upload a CV and supporting statement as part of your online application.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Tuesday 21 March 2023, and interviews will be held in late March 2023.

Read more about the role and apply for the position.

We are recruiting a researcher on the landscape aesthetics of nature recovery

The post will form part of the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery (LCNR), a large interdisciplinary research programme that launched in May 2022 and running through to 2032. Halting and reversing the ongoing loss and degradation of nature and its biodiversity are amongst the greatest challenges of our time. There is new political will and public demand to restore the natural world, but no previous experience of doing so at the scales required while also fully meeting societal needs. The LCNR will tackle this challenge by addressing the ecological, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of nature recovery in a single framework, harnessing state-of-the-art technologies, and thereby developing and testing an innovative model to deliver nature recovery at scale, and monitor progress towards this recovery.

We are seeking a Researcher to examine the role of landscape aesthetics in configuring nature recovery in the UK. Key themes for the research will include: 1) documenting the aesthetics of nature recovery in UK; 2) examining how these compare and contrast with prevalent landscape aesthetics like the pastoral and the sublime; 3) tracing the political role of aesthetics in shaping land management; 4) using participatory approaches to engage diverse publics and stakeholders in visualising landscape futures. The primary focus will be the UK, with detailed attention to case study sites in Oxfordshire and the Scottish Highlands.

The main duties will involve designing and conducting academic research, including coordinating multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines and desired goals. This will involve conducting field work online and, in the UK, working with a wide range of academics, stakeholders and project partners, which might include farmers and private land-owners, industry bodies, governmental and non-governmental organisations. We anticipate using digital methods in this project, including the quantitative analysis of social media and other visual data, working in collaboration with a data scientist. You will also be responsible for collecting and analysing data and preparing manuscripts for submission to peer reviewed journals. The projects you will be working on are interdisciplinary and so the ability to work collaboratively across disciplinary boundaries is essential.

The successful candidate must hold a Master’s degree in a relevant subject area which could include Geography, Sociology, Science Studies, Anthropology, Digital Media, Politics/Political Ecology. You will possess relevant knowledge of UK landscape aesthetics and experience of conducting research on the social dimensions of land use in the UK. You will have excellent communication skills, including the ability to write for publication, to present research proposals and results, and to represent the research group at meetings.

Whilst the role is a Grade 7 (£34,308 – £42,155 p.a.) position, we would be willing to consider candidates with potential but less experience who are seeking a development opportunity, for which an initial appointment would be at Grade 6 (£30,502 – £36,386 p.a.) with the responsibilities adjusted accordingly.

Applications are particularly welcome and encouraged from women, black, and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in posts in SoGE. SoGE and ECI are committed to equality and values diversity.

Read more about the role and apply for the position.