We are seeking a Post-Doctoral Researcher/ Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher with experience in stakeholder and public engagement in marine sciences. The role will include: collaborating with multiple stakeholders seeking to empower citizens and communities to engage; capacity building on enabling citizen action and development of associated training resources and tools; applying new methods for co-design and co- implementation with citizens and stakeholders; and collation of appropriate evaluation and impact assessment tools to enable critical appraisal of approaches.
The successful candidate will be part of a research team working on the PREP4BLUE project, funded under Horizon Europe Mission Ocean, Seas & Waters. The PREP4BLUE project aims to support the Mission’s “development and piloting” phase where identified lighthouse (LH) areas will pilot specific measurable goals linked to citizen engagement. The project outcomes will allow the LHs to develop and pilot innovation of all forms: technological, social, business models and governance; with an emphasis on the methodologies that will allow co-design and co- implementation of solutions with citizens and stakeholders. It will develop citizen participation and action methodologies to deepen citizen engagement by leveraging democratic innovations and co-production of participatory methods. A “community of practice” will be established to build capacity of facilitators and test and pilot these methodologies in different settings including Ocean Literacy Networks, Living Laboratories, coastal and riparian initiatives. The UCC research team will lead on a work package empowering citizens to engage with the Mission by enabling stakeholders to leverage citizen and community-led action in support of the Mission, through deepening and widening citizen engagement and by leveraging participatory innovations.
Duties and Role
The main tasks include developing capacity building activities to help mobilise and empower citizens to best engage with the Mission. This will be achieved via training, workshops and toolkits for stakeholders on empowerment and citizen activation. These will be delivered to networks and the “community of practice” and supported by a help desk. A needs analysis exercise will be carried out to identify what supports are required by stakeholders and practitioners to enable citizen action at a pan-European scale. Capacity-building activities will include the development and delivery of a series of expert-led workshops and associated resources on areas such as fostering sustainable behaviour change, supporting volunteerism and activism, encouraging social cohesion and inclusion, and evaluation and impact assessment to enable stakeholders to critically appraise their approach. UCC will also support tasks on citizen assemblies, citizen science, empowering ocean literacy networks, developing a Mission narrative guide, knowledge transfer, and mapping policy in this space.
This role provides the opportunity to join an exciting transdisciplinary team of researchers in MaREI to deliver an innovative programme of engaged research supporting societal engagement in marine science and conservation, and the Blue Economy. The candidate should have relevant experience in engaged or transdisciplinary research, preferably in the marine sector, and experience in research and initiatives which empower citizens and enable community-led action by leveraging participatory innovations. Candidates should have a track record in working in project-based environments, and preferably be familiar with the European funding landscape. They will be self-motivated with ability to conduct independent research to a very high level, and will be expected to contribute to the development of new research efforts, grants, and publications. The appointee will have significant project management experience and experience of working with diverse teams including external actors.
MaREI is the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine, coordinated by UCC’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI), which is an internationally recognised Institute for environmental research dedicated to the understanding and protection of our natural environment and to developing innovative technologies, tools and services to facilitate a transformation to a zero carbon and resource efficient society. The MaREI Centre is an SFI funded research centre headquartered in the ERI and includes 13 other Universities and Third Level Institutes from across Ireland, has 50 industrial partners and has accumulated research funding of approximately €60m. It combines the expertise of a wide range of research groups and industry partners, with the shared mission of solving the main scientific, technical and socio-economic challenges across the climate, energy and marine spaces. MaREI is also funded by SEAI, EI, EPA, ERDF, EU, HEA, Marine Institute, DCCAE and IRC, as well as through contributions from our industry partners. Researchers in the MaREI Centre have over 30 years of experience in conducting fundamental and applied research supported by competitively won national and international funding, and commercial contracts with government agencies and industry. MaREI’s strengths lie in the multi-disciplinary nature of its research teams, allowing it to combine insights across areas such as MRE Technologies, Materials & Structures, Observations & Operations, Coastal & Marine Systems, Bioenergy, Energy Policy & Modelling and Renewable Energy Management.