Research Associate in Socio-Ecology

Perth, Australia
08 Nov 2017
End of advertisement period
08 Jan 2018
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Sociology
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

UWA Oceans Institute

  • 3 year fixed term appointment
  • Level A, Step 8 position: $91,397 per annum plus 17% Super

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is ranked amongst the top Australian universities and a member of the prestigious Group of Eight research-intensive universities ranked among the top 100 universities in the world.

About the work area

The UWA Oceans Institute brings together the strength of UWA’s marine researchers into a multidisciplinary, integrated research focus. The goal is to capitalise on UWA’s existing research strengths – in areas such as oceanography, ecology, engineering, resource management, and governance – and utilise them to deliver Ocean Solutions for Humanity’s Grand Challenges (

The  Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation  (CSIRO) is Australia’s preeminent scientific organisation.  CSIRO plays a central role in the translation of science and technology into products and services that benefit our nation and enhance our productivity and our prosperity.(

CSIRO and UWA have a long-standing collaborative relationship including co-location at the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre in Western Australia.  The Partners have recently entered into a research collaboration agreement for the project in the area outlined in this position description.

The role

The position will take a lead role in a research theme around socio-ecology with a particular focus on Social Licence to Operate. Attitudes underlying the granting of ‘Social Licence to Operate’ are likely to fluctuate as a result of overall volatility in environmental outlooks, economic climate and political mood. While changes in social attitudes at a global or national scale may be relatively easy to detect, changes at the local scale may go unnoticed. For specific development initiatives local attitudes may be as important global ones in the granting of Social Licence to Operate. In this research theme we would like to develop a virtual ‘thermometer’ of local social mood which can help predict attitudes towards the granting of ‘Social Licence to Operate’ for specific projects.

Previous work has identified a number of archetypical attitudes towards economic development, social relations, the environment and the future, as well as a number of specific beliefs which provide signatures for these attitudes. A thermometer will monitor fluctuations in public endorsement of these areas.  The research will involve collation and analysis of attitudes and opinions, predications and validation of those predictions, and the development of a thermometer for specific environmental issues.

The researchers will be responsible for their research, including sampling design, field work, effective team collaboration and liaising between UWA and CSIRO research partners and supervision of technical staff.

To be considered for this position you will need to demonstrate:

  • A PhD in sociology, behavioural science, statistics, media studies, marine conservation, natural resource economics, marine management or related field
  • Independent research skills, as evidenced by relevant publications and/or scientific reports
  • Knowledge and experience in the application of theory, statistics, quantitative and sampling methodologies
  • Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills
  • A proven ability to work within a collaborative team
  • An understanding of research principles and applications
  • A recognition and focus on workplace health and safety and promoting a supportive culture in addition to hazard reporting, risk analysis and following appropriate policies and procedures
  • A drivers licence
  • A willingness to go beyond minimal requirements, a strong work ethic and a cooperative ‘can-do’ attitude will be well regarded

Closing date: 8 January 2018

This position is open to international applicants.

Application Details: Please apply online via the Apply Now button. 

Interested applicants should read the following advice carefully: the application should include a short resume and two page (maximum) statement of research interest addressing the theme around socio-ecology with a particular focus on Social Licence to Operate

  • UWA has been awarded Top Ten Employer for LGBTI – inclusion of the Australian Workplace Equity Index (AWEI -2016).
  • The University is also a proud member of the Athena SWAN/SAGE Pilot for Gender Equity.