Researcher in Rural Development

City of Edinburgh (GB)
£36,777 - £40,531 per annum
Wednesday, 15 September 2021
End of advertisement period
Sunday, 10 October 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

SRUC is unique in Scotland and one of the largest organisations of its kind in Europe.  Our ambitious and exciting vision is to work at local, national and international levels, leading innovation and sustainable development in agriculture and rural sectors.

The Rural Policy Centre (RPC) is looking to recruit a Rural and Regional Development Researcher with a strong skillset particularly focused on quantitative data collection, analysis and visualisation. This might include mapping and GIS, statistical analysis and coding, and social network analysis.

We require an individual who has undertaken analysis of economic and social change at regional level, with a particular focus on understanding the dynamics of rural communities and economies, including land-related issues. While having particular skills and experience in quantitative analysis, the post holder will need to be willing to work in a multi-method way alongside researchers from other disciplines (including agricultural economics, ecology, and other natural sciences) in the RPC, the wider Rural Economy, Environment and Society Department and elsewhere in SRUC’s Academic and SAC Consulting Divisions.

The post holder will explore regional and rural development issues in Scotland, with a particular focus on improving understanding of the key challenges and opportunities facing rural economies and rural communities (e.g. the characteristics and potential of rural enterprises; land-related issues, including changing land values; persistent rural challenges such as housing, connectivity, poverty and exclusion, depopulation, and geographical peripherality). The postholder will be a key member of the team of research staff delivering work proposed in ‘Theme E: Rural Futures’ of the Scottish Government Rural Affairs, Food and Environment Portfolio Strategic Research Programme 2022-27, as well as working in other parts of Programme (e.g. on issues relating to water management in rural and island communities and crop improvement). The postholder will ideally have experience of using R (including coding), undertaking network analysis and developing creative and novel data analysis/visualisation techniques.

You will be expected to contribute to policy- and practice-focused knowledge exchange activities, including: writing policy briefings and evidence-based opinion-pieces; web, blog and social media work; the design and development of our proposed new Rural Exchange, a web portal for large-scale citizen science on rural issues and for disseminating work undertaken as part of the Strategic Research Programme.

You will be expected to work both independently and with colleagues to generate external research income, publish in high quality peer-reviewed academic journals and to engage in the teaching and supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The successful applicant will have a PhD in a relevant discipline and ideally relevant post-doctoral research experience exploring rural socioeconomic change in the UK and/or EU/OECD countries.  Essential requirements for the post include: a proven ability to win research funds; a strong background in quantitative data collection and analysis; and a sound publication track record.

Alongside these attributes, applicants must demonstrate: a thorough knowledge of a range of regional and rural development issues relevant to Scotland; the ability to present complex research findings in a clear and understandable manner for different target audiences; and experience of working in multi-disciplinary team-based research projects. The candidate must be keen to contribute to the key RPC priority of producing policy-relevant research.

Desirable skills, abilities and knowledge include experience of: using a range of relevant computer software packages, such as R, Stata, SPSS, etc.; undertaking social network analysis; using GIS mapping techniques; qualitative data collection and analysis. Most importantly, he/she must have sound knowledge of a range of rural socioeconomic issues and the policy and practice context, built up in the UK, and/or EU/OECD countries.

Further details on the requirements of this role can be found in the Job Description document which you must read before applying for this role. This is downloadable when you click the link below.

Closing date: 3 October 2021