Research Associate in Global Population, Sustainability and the Environment

University of Cambridge
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) invites applications for a postdoctoral Research Associate in the area of global population, sustainability and the environment. This is a fixed term post with funding available until 30 September 2022 in the first instance.

Over the next few years, CSER will lead research and outreach to develop a deeper understanding of the impacts of overpopulation on the global environment, and work towards establishing a new consensus that these impacts must be included in global policy. CSER's approach to the study of extreme and existential risks emphasises interdisciplinarity and engagement with policy and technology communities.

CSER's work on environmental risks focuses on establishing new approaches to assess and manage trends that could lead to globally catastrophic impacts, human extinction and civilizational collapse. There is growing awareness of the potentially catastrophic risks associated with global scale environmental changes, including biodiversity loss, climate change, ocean eutrophication and resource scarcity. The empirical challenges in assessing these risks are complicated by their global scale, complexity and unprecedented nature.

Many of these pressing issues relate to human population dynamics. The Sustainable Development Goals are reticent about the imbalance between a rising population and a diminishing biosphere and its connection to humanity's unsustainable demands, and yet it is inconceivable that these goals can be met without addressing this subject.

While many of these trends are widely studied and well understood, we are seeking a researcher with the curiosity and passion to work on hard problems and extreme risks emerging from the intersection of environmental and population changes. It is particularly important to understand appropriate ways of managing such risks within the context of wider technological developments that could both contribute to human welfare and flourishing and help to manage these risks.

Supported by CSER's research team and expert advisory board, the Research Associate will produce independent and collaborative research outputs targeted at academic, government, industry and other audiences.

Applicants must have:

i) A PhD in a relevant field or professional experience in a relevant area commensurate with the requirements of the role

ii) Expertise relevant to the focus area

iii) Evidence of ability to work in collaborative environments

iv) Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills

v) Evidence of a serious research interest in the research foci of the Centre

vi) The inclination and the intellectual versatility to engage with a range of 'big-picture' questions, and the ability to pursue such questions in a rigorous way, integrating findings from different academic disciplines using a variety of analytic methods.

If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please contact Ruth Farley, HR Administrator on The closing date for applications is midnight (GMT) on Monday 26 August 2019 and we anticipate interviews will be held week commencing 9 September 2019.

The funds for this post are available for 36 months in the first instance.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please quote reference GO20002 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.