We are hiring: Senior Researcher on Ecological Justice

This position offers an opportunity to contribute to an equitable transition while avoiding an environmental and ecological collapse. The aim is to study the governance mechanisms that will allow society to align on what ‘just’ means, especially as we go through the necessary transformation to live peacefully within planetary boundaries.

We are looking for someone that combines a thorough and practical approach. In other words, you should be motivated by transformation but also interested in creating, experimenting, and implementing different mechanisms with decision-makers on the local, national, and international stages.

To start with, through this position, you will lead a team at Demos Helsinki that studies emerging inequalities of low-carbon transition policies and co-designs equitable and just climate transition pathways with stakeholders. This Horizon-funded research project (called TANDEM, read more below) focuses on citizen deliberation as a way of fostering just transition and related policies in Europe.

In addition, the role could hold the following accountabilities, with the support of colleagues:

  • Developing a relevant project portfolio on justice and societal transformation
  • Leading Demos Helsinki’s internal content development on ecological justice
  • Strengthening relationships and collaboration internationally within fields that are essential for the goal

Demos Helsinki is a globally operating, independent think tank. We work with curious governments, cities, companies, universities, and other partners sharing an ethos to fight for a fair, sustainable, and joyful next era. In a given year Demos Helsinki works in 30 different countries in more than 130 projects. More about us here.

Role description 

What should happen in the first 12 months?

  • Successfully lead a work package of a 3-year Horizon project (TANDEM, see below) on equitable energy transition in Europe
  • Successfully lead sales and project development to start at least one other major project in the field
  • Successfully contribute to projects and international networks we are active in

Information about TANDEM
TANDEM – Transdisciplinary ANd Deliberative equity appraisal of transition policies in Energy and Mobility
Main objective: Develop a transdisciplinary approach integrating deliberative, art-based and appraisal methods to identify and analyse emerging inequalities of low-carbon transition policies, as well as to co-design equitable, just and effective alternative transition pathways with stakeholders.
Demos Helsinki’s role: leading the work package on deliberative panels, a case study in Finland on the transition away from peat production and policy recommendations. 3-year project.

What kind of traits are likely to indicate success

The following are not requirements for applying but are indicators of success from our previous experience. Thus, if you don’t feel that you match all of them, you can still apply if you are committed to the goals for the first 12 months (see above).

  • You are a seasoned expert with sufficient academic capabilities from any of the key relating fields or their intersections, for example, but not limited to: sustainability sciences, climate economics, democracy and participation studies, feminist studies, design sciences, climate governance, or law
  • Proven ability to manage multi-stakeholder research projects
  • Understanding of and interest in the main policy environments of climate mitigation, climate adaptation and biodiversity loss issues
  • Sense of urgency for understanding the real-life pathways for the socially fair transition beyond environmental and ecological crises
  • Demonstrated capacity to establish new relationships with strategically relevant networks
  • Desire to work with the institutions that have the biggest change potential, appreciating the fact that there are hard choices to make
  • Strong ability to create and negotiate compelling consulting propositions for clients in public, private and third sectors
  • Curiosity, kindness, a proactive attitude, capability to think big and willingness to lead and be accountable

Examples of activities initially expected

  • Leading a multi-stakeholder European research project
  • Leading project development activities that establish a meaningful position for Demos Helsinki
  • Formalising partnerships with organisations and individuals
  • Disseminating expertise internally on a number of existing projects

What is it like to work at Demos Helsinki?

  • You have a great amount of freedom and thus accountability for your own work.
  • Best results are reached when the potential of the whole of Demos Helsinki is utilized.
  • The ethos of fighting for a fair, sustainable, and joyful next era is visible every day. We approach societal change pluralistically, thus, discussions and argumentation to avoid simple truths is key for us.
  • Working with brilliantly curious people also beyond Demos Helsinki.
  • Starting from our board and Untitled alliance network, we are working with people all over the world who won’t let you down.
  • We take the 37,5-hour workweek seriously.

Some practicalities

  • We are flexible as to where you are located. Demos Helsinki has an office in Helsinki, but you can also live somewhere else. Most of the projects are at the moment in European time zones.
  • Salary 4000-4600€/month
  • Start date during August/September 2022
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English are required. The same skills in Finnish are considered an advantage.

Next steps & how to apply

Demos Helsinki promotes equality in working life and our office and all workspaces are physically accessible. We have an anonymous application process in the first phase of the candidate selection. You can apply for these positions by filling out the application form, but the details that are irrelevant for the preliminary selection (e.g., your name, age, and city) are temporarily hidden when we go through the applications. The anonymous application process ensures that the preliminary selection is influenced only by information that is relevant to the process.

Please submit your application here

Based on this application, we will invite people to interviews starting already during the application period. All applications sent during the application period will be taken into consideration in the recruitment process.

All applicants will be informed of their status in the application process by June 17th. The application period is open until Sunday, June 12th, 2022, 23.59 (EEST).

For further information, you can contact Vincent Lassalle (+33 6 65 27 08 35) on Friday the 27th of May at 14:00-17:00 pm (CEST).

For further reading, here are some examples of our work that are relevant to the goals above: