Research Associate - Politics of Climate Change Loss and Damage

University College London - UCL Political Science - School of Public Policy


Salary:£34,635 to £41,864 per annum, inclusive of London Allowance. UCL Grade 7

Hours:Full Time

Contract Type:Fixed-Term/Contract


Placed on:8th February 2018

Closes:11th March 2018

Job Ref:1711531

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The Department of Political Science wishes to appoint a full-time Research Associate to work with Dr Lisa Vanhala, the principal investigator (PI) on a European Research Council (ERC)-funded research project, The Politics of Climate Change Loss and Damage (CCLAD). The Research Associate will work collaboratively with the PI and with other members of the research team, including a PhD student and a research assistant.

This project will explore why some norms emerge and gain traction globally whereas others do not. The politics of loss and damage related to climate change offers a paradigm case for studying norms. The parties to the UNFCCC have acknowledged that there is an urgent need to address the inevitable, irreversible consequences of climate change. Yet within this highly contested policy area there is little consensus about what addressing loss and damage means for the global community, for states and for the victims of climate change. The research will examine the micro-politics of the international negotiations and implementation of loss and damage policy and also involves cross-national comparative research on domestic loss and damage policy practices. The Research Associate will work closely with the PI and the rest of the research team in developing and delivering the project with specific responsibility for the work-stream exploring the cross-national politics of loss and damage policy-making. This will involve exploring loss and damage policy-making in the Philippines, Kenya, Saint Lucia and the United States. The Research Associate will be involved in conducting fieldwork, building networks and disseminating the findings of the research in at least two of these jurisdictions. The Research Associate will also have the opportunity to undertake training, present work at international conferences, and develop project-related publications.

The post is funded for three years in the first instance, to commence on the 1st May 2018, or as early as possible thereafter, but by 1st September 2018 at the latest.

The candidate must hold, (or be near completion of) a PhD in comparative politics, international relations, international development, comparative politics, socio-legal studies, sociology, geography, anthropology or a related subject.

Expertise in climate change politics and governance, training and having on-the-ground experience of applying qualitative research methods; including semi-structured interviews, document analysis,  process-tracing and/or ethnographic research/participant observation and a confidence about conducting field research in developing country contexts is essential.

Having expertise and networks in some of the relevant case study countries (Kenya, Philippines, Saint Lucia, United States) or in similar contexts would be desirable.

Information about the Department of Political Science is available at<>

UCL vacancy reference: 1711531

Applicants should apply online. To access further details about the position and how to apply please click on the 'Apply' button.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Lisa Vanhala ( If you have any queries regarding the vacancy or the application process, please contact Ajay Patel, email, tel +44 (0)20 7679 4944

Latest time for the submission of applications: 23:59.

Interview Date: 19 April 2018

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