Research Assistant (Media Framing of Deep Geothermal Energy)

The United Downs Geothermal Power project (UDDGP) is an innovative multi-partner, cross-disciplinary endeavour to explore if geothermal technology can produce commercial energy in the UK. It has been funded by an investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Energy has become an important topic for policymakers, industry and householders globally. Changing the way we generate and use energy could make a huge contribution to reducing carbon emissions and help to address climate change. Generating energy from the earth’s mass by harvesting heat from rocks in the sub-surface is an important and growing technology that can be categorised as renewable energy.

This research post will explore public perception and communication of geothermal power, geothermal technologies and the subsurface environment. It will provide support to the element of the project focusing on media framing of geothermal energy. You will be required to carry out literature-based work and undertake content and sentiment analysis, focusing particularly on social media coverage. It will also analyse how messages are ‘read’ by ‘receivers’ through using eye tracking technology. You will also work closely with industrial partners and other stakeholders involved in delivering the project.

You will be working with Professor Alison Anderson and Professor Iain Stewart, Director of the Sustainable Earth Institute (SEI) as part of the Sustainable Earth Institute.

The project officially started in July 2017 and this post will last for 18 months.

We are looking for a highly motivated, hard working person who is both collaborative and open-minded in their approach. You should have strong qualitative skills and knowledge of a range of research methods as well as a broad understanding and/or interest in the energy field. The position would suit a Social Science graduate who wishes to apply their training to a real-world challenge. Natural Sciences graduates who can demonstrate an interest in the social dimension and who would be able to pick up communication theories and research skills quickly are also encouraged to apply.

Applicants should have (at least) a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant MSc or MRes qualification.

This is a full-time position working 37 hours per week on a fixed-term basis due to funding.

Closing Date:  Midnight Monday 14th May 2018.

Please demonstrate how you meet the essential criteria outlined in the knowledge, qualifications, training and experience elements of the job description in your supporting statement.

For an informal discussion, to find out more about the role, please contact Professor Alison Anderson by email A.Anderson@plymouth.ac.uk.

Interviews are likely to take place on Thursday 24th May 2018.

We offer a competitive salary package and a generous pension and holiday scheme. We also offer a range of other benefits, including ongoing development opportunities.

University of Plymouth is committed to an inclusive culture and respecting diversity, and welcomes applications from all sections of the community and is a Stonewall diversity champion.

The University holds a Bronze Athena SWAN Award, which recognises commitment to advancing women’s careers in STEMM academia.

University of Plymouth has been recognised by Bloomberg as one of the 50 best UK employers for 2016.


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