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Research Associate / Postdoctoral Scholar

The Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN) through the Monitoring and Evaluation of Climate Change Education (MECCE) project, is seeking a Research Associate or Postdoctoral Scholar to conduct research activities and support data collection oversight on climate change education and communications (CCEC). Research activities include landscape analyses of CCEC in particular countries, overseeing country case profiles, and contributing to dataset development.

About the MECCE Partnership and Project

There is an urgent need for increased quality and quantity of CCEC globally, across primary, secondary, and higher education, as well as government, civil society, business, media, and communications sectors. Unfortunately, we still lack clear understandings of effective CCEC (its quality). We also lack global benchmarks and targets to support national and state level governments to increase CCEC across sectors (its quantity). Better data on the quantity and quality of CCEC can help with state-level, national-level, and international target-setting and progress, as well as with national policy and other supports to advance CCEC.

The Monitoring and Evaluation of Climate Change Education (MECCE) partnership responds to this context and involves over 80 leading experts and international agencies, including the IPCC, UNFCCC, UNESCO, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, who will collaborate to address the climate crisis globally. It has been awarded a six-year Partnership Grant from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, is directed by Prof. Marcia McKenzie, and housed out of the Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN).

The MECCE project aims to increase the quality and quantity of climate change education, training, and public awareness (‘CCEC’) to advance global climate literacy and action. It also seeks to advance the provision of CCEC globally by making robust cross-national data available for intergovernmental and governmental target-setting and progress. See sepn.ca/mecce for more information.

Role Description & Conditions

We are currently seeking a Research Associate or Postdoctoral Scholar to help advance the work of the MECCE Project. Research activities are anticipated to include: 1) conducting education policy analyses, including working with data collected via web scraping/crawling technologies; 2) overseeing the development of country profiles summarizing extent and quality of CCEC in a range of national contexts; and 3) overseeing the development of monitoring data and indicators related to CCEC.

The successful candidate will take a lead role in developing and coordinating research activities, including assisting in the coordination and daily operation of the research; overseeing the research activities of Master’s and PhD students and research assistants; preparing methods documents and data collection protocols, collaborating on the development of approaches to machine learning for web-based data collection and analysis; and drafting reports and academic manuscripts. Oversight work will be done in collaboration with the MECCE Project Director, Associate Director, and Project Manager, as well as other project researchers.

The work commitment for this project is expected to be 30-40 hours per week for one year with the possibility of extending for a second year.

Remote work is possible. The selected candidate will be compensated based on standard academic rates. The continuation of the appointment is dependent upon satisfactory performance and availability of funding.

Qualifications

Required Qualifications: Candidates should at a minimum be in the process of doing their PhD, with preference for post-PhD candidates. Applicants should have knowledge and experience in conducting research; familiarity with quantitative and qualitative research methods and analysis; experience interacting with collaborators and working with multidisciplinary teams; and a demonstrated interest in machine learning research methodologies. Candidates should also possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal); the ability to work productively, both individually and in groups; and the ability to work independently, following timelines to complete work in an efficient manner.

Preferred Qualifications: Preference will be given to candidates with training or previous research experience in any of the following: a) indicator development; b) translating research for policy audiences; and c) the use of artificial intelligence, especially web crawling, for gathering web-based data. Experience with intergovernmental processes, especially within the United Nations; government policy, especially in climate change; and/or social science research on climate change are considered an asset.

Application

Please submit a Curriculum Vitae detailing your education, awards, publications, research experience, and a writing sample (e.g., sample paper) to the address below (please include ‘MECCE Research Associate / Postdoctoral Scholar’ in the email subject line):

Professor Marcia McKenzie, Director
c/o Nicola Chopin
SERI, College of Education
University of Saskatchewan
28 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, SK, S7N OX1 Canada
nicola.chopin(at)usask.ca

Application review will continue until the position is filled. The position is expected to begin as soon as possible. Only those selected for an interview will be notified.

Research Associate

Climate Outreach (through the Climate Engagement Initiative) and the Sustainability and Education Policy Network (through the Monitoring and Evaluation of Climate Change Education project) are seeking a Research Associate to develop objective ways to measure and report on current country performance (i.e., that of national governments and other actors) in public engagement on climate change. This work forms the central part of a MECCE/CEI research partnership.

MECCE/CEI Research Partnership

With this work, applicants will have the opportunity to develop valuable career experience, while being part of two projects (MECCE and CEI) that aim to have significant influence in the international climate policy field. The research partnership described here covers the identification of indicators to monitor public engagement, development of an indicator database and contributing to an analysis of the current status of climate engagement in countries around the world.

The Research Associate will achieve this by:

  • Identifying reliable and internationally comparable datasets, of governments as well as other actors, suitable for tracking country performance in public engagement, in consultation with other team members
  • Developing appropriate indicators from these datasets for tracking both quality and quantity of public engagement, in consultation with other team members
  • Collecting data globally with the aim of informing an international baseline analysis of country-wide performance of national governments and other actors.
  • Potentially contributing to a report describing the current status of climate engagement in countries around the world, drawing from the baseline analysis described above.
  • Planning structures to enable continuous collection of data as part of a longer-term strategy for monitoring and reporting on country performance.

Role Description & Contract Terms

We are currently seeking a Research Associate to contribute full-time to this research partnership: Developing Indicators for Public Engagement on Climate Change. The position will be co-supervised by the CEI and MECCE research programmes, and supported by CEI and MECCE management. The successful candidate’s contract will be with the Sustainability and Education Policy Network through the Monitoring and Evaluation of Climate Change Education project. The research will be organized to fit within the framework of the MECCE project’s Axis 2 on Indicator Development; as a result, the Research Associate will work closely with other MECCE Axis 2 team members.

The work commitment for this project is expected to be full-time over the course of at least 16 months, beginning as soon as possible. This will be a remote working contract that is expected to coordinate with both UK GMT and Canada MST. The selected candidate will be compensated based on standard Canadian academic rates. The continuation of the appointment is dependent upon satisfactory performance and availability of funding.

About Climate Outreach and the Climate Engagement Initiative (CEI)

Climate Outreach is an ambitious and rapidly growing non-profit organisation that has built an international reputation for its pioneering and creative approach to one of the greatest challenges of our time: how to truly engage different communities across society with climate change. As a leading European specialist in climate engagement, Climate Outreach bases its work on social research and partners with a wide variety of organisations, ranging from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) to the World Bank to Climate Action Network (CAN) International.

The Climate Engagement Initiative (CEI) is a high level, multi-partner, international initiative that is ambitious in its aim to strengthen national governments’ commitment to public engagement on climate change, so that it becomes ‘front of mind’ in the design and application of all climate policy. The primary target will be national government and relevant international policy bodies, as the actors with the resources and responsibility for broad public engagement.

About the MECCE Project

The Monitoring and Evaluation of Climate Change Education (MECCE) project involves over 80 leading experts and international agencies, including the IPCC, UNFCCC, UNESCO, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, who will collaborate to address the climate crisis globally. It has been awarded a six-year Partnership Grant from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, is directed by Prof. Marcia McKenzie, and housed out of the Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN).

The MECCE project aims to increase the quality and quantity of climate change education, training, and public awareness (‘CCEC’) to advance global climate literacy and action. It also seeks to advance the provision of CCEC globally by making robust cross-national data available for intergovernmental and governmental target-setting and progress.

Qualifications

A minimum of a Master’s degree is required, with preference for PhD or post-PhD candidates. Applicants should have knowledge and experience in conducting research; familiarity with research methods; experience interacting with collaborators and working with multidisciplinary teams.

Candidates should also possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal); the ability to work productively, both individually and in groups; and the ability to work independently, following timelines to complete work in an efficient manner.

Preference will be given to candidates with training or previous research experience in any of the following:

  • the theory and practice of public communications, especially climate change
  • social research on climate change
  • intergovernmental processes, especially within the United Nations 
  • government policy, especially in climate change
  • indicator development
  • the use of artificial intelligence, especially web crawling, for gathering web-based data

Application

Please submit a Curriculum Vitae detailing your education, awards, publications, research experience, and a writing sample (e.g., sample paper) to the address below (please include position title in the email subject line):

Professor Marcia McKenzie, Director
c/o Ms. Nicola Chopin
SERI, College of Education
University of Saskatchewan
28 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, SK, S7N 0X1, Canada
nicola.chopin(at)usask.ca

Application review will continue until the position is filled. The position is expected to begin as soon as possible. Only those selected for an interview will be notified.

Graduate Student Research Assistant

Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has recently awarded a 6-year Partnership Grant for the Monitoring and Evaluation of Climate Change Education (MECCE) to Professor Marcia McKenzie of the University of Saskatchewan. As a member of the MECCE Steering Council, Professor Aaron Benavot (Dept. of Educational Policy and Leadership, UAlbany School of Education) will lead research activities that address a key project aim – namely, to develop new data sources and innovative indicators of Climate Change Education and Communication (CCEC) for global CCEC benchmarking, target-setting and monitoring. Overall, the project involves nearly 80 leading experts and international agencies, including the IPCC, UNFCCC, and UNESCO, who will collaborate to address the climate crisis globally. Dr. Brett Levy of UAlbany’s School of Education, an expert in climate change content in textbooks, is also a project partner.

The MECCE partnership aims to increase the quality and quantity of climate change education, training, and public awareness to advance global climate literacy and action. The MECCE project will go beyond increasing scientific literacy to address climate change and engage psycho-social and action dimensions necessary for personal, practical, and political change. It will also advance the provision of CCE globally by providing robust cross-national data available for intergovernmental and governmental target-setting and progress. See sepn.ca/mecce for more information.

MECCE will address these aims through 3 Axes of project activities: 1) Case Studies, to generate novel understandings of quality CCE based on synthesized literature and select case studies; 2) Indicator Development, to innovate new CCE indicators and data for global CCE target-setting and monitoring; and 3) Knowledge Mobilization, using high impact deliverables to advance policy and practice.

By building a repository of case studies from around the world, developing new monitoring indicators and datasets, and leading innovative training and knowledge exchange, MECCE intends to:

  • accelerate intergovernmental target-setting and progress on CCEC
  • improve CCEC policy and practice across sectors and countries
  • enhance climate leadership globally; and
  • close global gaps in climate literacy and action

Role Description & Qualifications

The UAlbany branch of the MECCE project is currently seeking a Graduate Student Research Assistant to contribute part-time to activities related to Axis 2 activities, Indicator Development. The RA will report to Professor Aaron Benavot, in his capacity as Axis 2 Lead, as well as to the Director of the MECCE project, Prof. Marcia McKenzie, and work closely with other Axis 2 team members. The commitment is expected to be 10 hours per week over the course of one calendar year, beginning in March or April 2021. The selected candidate will be compensated based on standard UAlbany rates.

A minimum of a Master’s degree is required, with preference for PhD candidates (both beginning and more senior). Candidates should have knowledge and experience in conducting research; familiarity with research methods; experience interacting with collaborators and working with multidisciplinary teams. Candidates should also possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal); the ability to work productively, both individually and in groups; and the ability to work independently, following timelines to complete work in efficient manner.

Preference will be given to candidates a) with a background in climate change or environmental education policy, indicator development, and/or intergovernmental processes; and b) who are considering a dissertation in the area of climate change education, which draws on planned MECCE activities and outcomes. Candidates do not need to be UAlbany students in order to apply.

Conditions

Remote work is possible, given office space limitations due to Covid-19. The continuation of the appointment is dependent upon satisfactory performance and availability of funding.

Please submit a Curriculum Vitae detailing your education, awards, publications, research experience, and a writing sample (e.g., sample paper) to the address below (please include the words ‘MECCE RA’ in the email subject line):

Professor Aaron Benavot
Dept of Educational Policy and Leadership School of Education/UAlbany
1400 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12222
abenavot(at)albany.edu

Application review will continue until the position is filled. The position is expected to begin as soon as possible. Only those selected for an interview will be notified.