Thematic Research Lead on Climate and Environment

N/A - See details in Guidance Notes for Applicants

1st August 2022 at 23:55

Early September

We have an exciting opportunity for a university-based researcher to take up a new, part-time role as Thematic Research Lead on Climate and Environment, embedded in Parliament for 12 months.

About the role

Later this year, pilot thematic policy hubs will be created in Parliament to bring together experts from select committees, library staff and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). These hubs will allow parliamentary staff to share and develop expertise to inform scrutiny, legislation and debate that addresses key economic and societal challenges. POST is collaborating with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to pilot the creation of a network of Thematic Research Leads (TRLs) in support of this work.

TRLs will be mid-career researchers embedded part-time in the hubs, bringing their academic expertise and experience of working with research evidence to the policy, research and analysis work that is carried out across Parliament.

The TRLs that POST and the ESRC will appoint as part of this pilot will help to shape the development of this new approach to evidence engagement in Parliament. They will help to ensure that:

  • thematic policy hubs take a strategic, forward-looking, evidence-informed approach to engaging with policy areas
  • the best available research evidence feeds into the committees, libraries and POST
  • networks and connections between Parliament and the wider research community are strengthened

The role presents a unique opportunity for you to shape the development of this position and to work closely with policy, research and analysis staff from across the organisation. It offers an exciting opportunity for you to see first-hand how research feeds into policy, through shaping parliamentary work with your research expertise and participating in core parliamentary processes.

You will be uniquely placed to build connections with parliamentary and government stakeholders to take forward through your career. Participation will provide you with rich and varied experiences to support you on an upward professional trajectory.

What will you be doing?

The purpose of the Parliamentary Thematic Research Lead on Climate and Environment is to explore and assess the extent to which this role can bring the research perspective to work carried out by select committees, libraries and POST in this area, through being embedded in the pilot thematic policy hub.

Within the hub, the Thematic Research Lead will work closely alongside the hub leader(s) (appointed parliamentary staff) to conduct activities including:

  • Provide impartial and independent specific policy support to staff in the hub 
  • Lead horizon scanning and futures work, in collaboration with POST. This will feed into committee, POST and library work
  • Support the Commons library, POST and relevant committees to take a strategic approach to planning their work programmes, including supporting development of committee Areas of Research Interest
  • Proactively identify upcoming needs for Parliamentary Academic Fellowships
  • Identify opportunities for coproduction of briefings between academics and members of hubs, including briefings by academics from key policy-focused ESRC and wider UKRI investments
  • Expand and bring in their existing networks (including from research, learned societies, industry) to support parliamentary activities
  • Liaise with ESRC and UKRI to increase visibility and accessibility of ESRC and UKRI, therein enabling increased parliamentary impact of ESRC and UKRI investments

Beyond the hub, the Thematic Research Lead will meet with the other Thematic Research Leads to:

  • Identify cross-cutting opportunities or issues and develop strategic responses
  • Share information, learning, insights and best practice

Candidate requirements

The successful candidate should be able to demonstrate the following on their online application form:

  • An established national reputation in your discipline. Broad knowledge of the work and experts in climate and environment, as well as knowledge of the policy landscape relating to this policy area.
  • The ability to get up to speed quickly on areas outside of your specialism and make these understandable for non-specialist audiences.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with the ability to synthesise large amounts of information and present it accessibly and impartially to non-specialists.
  • Ability to liaise and collaborate impartially with diverse stakeholders at different levels of seniority.
  • Ability to work at speed, to tight deadlines, as well as to adapt to changing priorities.

Next steps

If you are interested in this role, please submit your application form, three-page CV and completed ‘support and funding verification’ form through this portal. This is not an employment recruitment process; an online recruitment portal is being used for best practice, including protection of your data and diversity monitoring. For more information on this role, or to contact the Knowledge Exchange Unit who are coordinating this call, please refer to the documents found above (Person Specification and Guidance Notes for Applicants).


This Vacancy is closed to applications.