Research Fellow - School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences - 96842 - Grade 7

University of Birmingham
Birmingham, United Kingdom
£30,942.00 - £42,792.00
Mar 11, 2021
Apr 11, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,942 to £40,322, with potential progression once in post to £42,792.

Grade 7

Full Time/FTC for 12 months

Closing date: 11th April 2021

The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES) at the University of Birmingham (UoB) seeks a fixed term (12 months) Research Fellow to support research and associated activities of the ESRC/Open Research Area (ORA)-funded research project 'Atmospheres of (counter)terrorism in European cities' (ES/V01353X/1).

Working with PI Dr Sara Fregonese and operating across political geography and urban geographies of experience, the post holder will play an integral part in the UK data collection phase of an international project team led by Dr Sara Fregonese, addressing critical questions about the role of contemporary terror threat and counterterrorism measures in the ordinary felt experiences of urban populations. This will be pursued through a combination of a large-scale international survey and site-specific qualitative research across 5 case study sites (Berlin, Birmingham, Nice, Paris, and Plymouth).

Applicants should hold a PhD/DPhil in a relevant discipline (e.g. human geography, urban and architectural studies, political sciences/IR). They should have an emerging publication record commensurate with their career stage. Applicants should possess a strong foundation and demonstrable experience in some or all of the methods relevant to the project, ideally in relation to geographies of experience and/or to terrorism/counterterrorism. These methods include: sensory ethnographies, interviews, and archive research into urban histories. They should also be willing to further develop their methodological skills with appropriate training and mentoring. They should have excellent oral and written communications skills, strong organisational skills, and exemplary interpersonal skills with the ability to work constructively and effectively both within an international research team and under their own initiative. Experience with ethnographic fieldwork research around geographies of experience and/or terrorism/counterterrorism, and with collecting, organising and analysing research data, as well as website management and research data management are essential. UK-based and/or comparative fieldwork experience, ability to communicate in French and/or German and experience of quantitative data analysis are an advantage.

The post is full-time and fixed-term for 12 months, starting on 1 September 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. The post-holder will be based in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham and be line managed by Dr Sara Fregonese, but will also collaborate with UK Co-I Dr Paul Simpson (Plymouth), and with the project international academic and non-academic partners, based at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena (Dr Simon Runkel, DFG funded) and at CY Cergy Paris Université and Institut Paris Region (Dr Damien Masson and Hélène Heurtel, ANR funded). Fixed and limited funding is included to allow the post holder to visit project partner institutions/field sites for knowledge sharing, analytical comparison, and development of international research and stakeholders activities and networks within the project.

Further information about the project itself is available at:

The University of Birmingham is committed to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

Role Summary
  • Work within the ESRC/ORA-funded international research project 'Atmospheres of (counter)terrorism in European cities' (ES/V01353X/1) with PI Dr Sara Fregonese (University of Birmingham) and operate across the project partners' areas of specialism (mainly political geography and urban geographies of experience)
  • Generate, analyse and interpret UK-based research data specific to the Birmingham study site and to the UK-wide part of the project
  • Contribute to management of project research activities
  • Contribute to publication and dissemination of research findings, and to public engagement, in line with the University of Birmingham's code of practice for research

Main Duties

Responsibilities include:
  • Planning and organising the Birmingham- and UK-specific fieldwork / data collection
  • Generate UK-based research data through a variety of qualitative and/or non-representational methodologies, including: sensory and atmospheric methods (such as participant observation with inhabitants and users of the surveyed areas); archive research into urban histories; and interviews, including with professionals in urban planning, public and private security, emergency services representatives, public space managers, local authorities and elected officials. It is not expected that the successful candidate will already have experience of all of these methods - they will work with the investigators to develop expertise.
  • Analyse and interpret data, including contributing to comparisons with the other project study sites
  • Organising and conducting data analysis and interpretation including data transcription and inputting into analysis software package
  • Manage the project website
  • Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding of terrorism and its everyday experiences in cities
  • Contributing to developing new models, techniques and methods Disseminate research findings
  • Co-organizing and contributing to project meetings and workshops
  • Undertake administration arising from the research
  • Participate in the dissemination of research outputs and support associated public engagement activity
  • Present research outputs, including through project-specific media (e.g. website), drafting academic publications or parts thereof
  • Dealing with day-to-day management and storing of research data, in line with the project data sharing agreement and ethics framework
  • Provide guidance, as required, to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research
  • Promote equality and value diversity, acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.

Person Specification

The candidate will have the following essential competences:
  • First degree in a relevant area of specialism (such as human geography, urban and architectural studies, political sciences/IR) and normally, a PhD relevant to the research area
  • Experience of qualitative methodologies and/or non-representational methodologies ideally in relation to geographies of experience and/or terrorism/counterterrorism, and of at least one of the following types of research methods: (a) atmospheric methods and/or sensory ethnographies (b) in-depth interviews (c) archival research, and a willingness to develop skills in the remaining methodologies, again in relation to the project research area.
  • High level analytical capability
  • Experience in using qualitative analysis software
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods and ability to contribute to developing new ones
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration
  • Ability to contribute to the planning and organising of the research project
  • Ability to co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort
  • Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly

Desirable competences:
  • Ability to communicate in French and/or German
  • Quantitative data analysis experience and/or skills
  • UK-based and/or comparative fieldwork experience

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community '

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