Job opportunity: urban forestry and human wellbeing

We are currently looking to recruit a postdoctoral researcher to contribute to an ESRC funded study concerned with the role of urban forestry in understanding human wellbeing, particularly amongst children.

Fixed Term, 19 months, Full Time (35 hours per week)

1/04/2021 – 30/10/2022 (dates negotiable)

Closing date: 12th February 2021

The researcher will be appointed based on the statistical and geospatial skills that this study will require. They will be responsible (under supervision of the Investigator team) for preparing and quality checking variables to measure woodland and forest exposure over time. They will also be responsible for identifying relevant data from the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) and associated linked health datasets to provide longitudinal data for SLS members and their children over the period of the WIAT programme, and for undertaking appropriate statistical analyses.

The post involves working in the context of two world-leading centres of research, exploring links between environment and health. The post is based in OPENspace research centre, which focuses on inclusive access to outdoor environments and their associated benefits for wellbeing and quality of life. The study will involve close collaboration with the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH), a virtual centre joining scientists from the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, focused on exploring how physical and social environments can influence population health, for better and for worse.

The successful candidate will play a lead role in utilising environmental datasets provided by Scottish Forestry (SF) to extract and process relevant geographical data that records details of SF’s Woods In and Around Towns (WIAT) programme from 2005-2015, link them to individual level census, health and child development data, and use appropriate analyses to provide better evidence on the contribution urban forestry can make to human wellbeing. The post-holder will contribute to final publications and support the impact activities relating to the research.

The study and work of the post-holder will be overseen by Professor Catharine Ward Thompson, as Principal Investigator, with experience of multi-disciplinary research and engagement with research partners and end-users. Co-supervision of the post-holder by Co-Investigators (Co-Is) Professor Jamie Pearce and Dr Tom Clemens (CRESH, University of Edinburgh) will assist with details of data identification, manipulation and longitudinal analysis. The post-holder will also collaborate with Co-I Professor Richard Mitchell (MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit/CRESH, University of Glasgow) on operationalisation, linkage and analysis of environmental datasets in relation to health outcomes.

 Other key contacts will include liaison with staff in Scottish Forestry, Forest Research, Public Health Scotland and other stakeholders as necessary to undertake the project, and to share and disseminate its results.

For further details please contact Professor Catharine Ward Thompson

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