Job Opportunity: Green space quality

We have a post available at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow, working on our project measuring green space quality, and looking at its association with health. It’s very cool.

Apply here:

Closing Date: 8th March 2021

Funding is approved on a full-time basis (35 hours) until 1st May 2023.

As a successful candidate you will contribute to the project `Better Parks, Healthier for All?. This project will make a systematic, longitudinal assessment of associations between a range of green space qualities, and risk factors for/measures of cardiometabolic disease and poor mental health. This is a joint UK-Australia project, led in the UK by Prof Rich Mitchell and in Australia by Prof Xiaoqi Feng. Whilst the state and third sectors in both countries have blueprints for what to capture in measuring green space qualities, there are no spatially comprehensive validated secondary measures of quality available. This post is particularly focused on the co-production of measures of urban green space qualities for 4 cities in Scotland and Australia, using secondary map data, remote imagery including Google Earth and Lidar, and secondary crowd-sourced biodiversity measures.

The successful candidate will also be expected to contribute to the formulation and submission of research publications and research proposals as well as help manage and direct this complex and challenging project as opportunities allow.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Implement the access, analysis and interpretation of secondary spatial and satellite imagery data that will underpin an assessment of green space quality.
  2. Contribute to the creation and use of the green space quality measures and analysis of their association with measures of health cardiometabolic and mental health.
  3. Document research output including analysis and interpretation of all data, maintaining records and databases, drafting technical/progress reports and papers as appropriate.
  4. Establish and maintain your research profile and reputation and that of The University of Glasgow/ School/ Research Group, including establishing and sustaining a track record of independent and joint publications of international quality in high profile/quality refereed journals, enhancing the research impact in terms of economic/societal benefit, and gathering indicators of esteem.
  5. Contribute to surveying the research literature and environment, understanding the research challenges associated with the project & subject area, & developing/implementing a suitable research strategy.
  6. Present work at international and national conferences, at internal and external seminars, colloquia and workshops to develop and enhance our research profile.
  7. Contribute to the identification of potential funding sources and to assist in the development of proposals to secure funding from internal and external bodies to support future research.
  8. Contribute to developing and maintaining collaborations with colleagues in Australia, and across the research group/School/College/University and wider community (e.g. Academic and Industrial Partners).
  9. Contribute to programme / Unit meetings/seminars/workshops and Institute research activities to enhance the wider knowledge, outputs and culture of the Unit and Institute.
  10. Perform administrative tasks related to the activities of the Programme
  11. Keep up to date with current knowledge and recent advances in the field/discipline.
  12. Engage in personal, professional and career development, to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.
  13. Carry out modest teaching / supervision activities if and when requested by the Programme Leader.
  14. Undertake any other reasonable duties as required by the Programme Leader or Unit Director
  15. Contribute to the enhancement of the University¿s international profile in line with the University¿s Strategic Plan, Inspiring People Changing The World.

For appointment at Grade 7:

  1. Perform the above duties with a higher degree of independence, leadership and responsibility, particularly in relation to planning, funding, collaborating and publishing research and mentoring colleagues.
  2. Establish and sustain a track record of independence and joint published research to establish and maintain your expert reputation in subject area.
  3. Survey the research literature and environment, understand the research challenges associated with the project & subject area, & develop/implement a suitable research strategy.


A1. Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 10 (Honours degree) in a relevant subject or a cognate discipline, or equivalent

For grade 7:
A2 Normally Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 12 (PhD) or alternatively the equivalent in professional qualifications and experience, with experience of personal development in a similar or related role(s)

B1 An awarded (or recently submitted or near completion) PhD in subject specialism or equivalent

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

Knowledge & Skills

C1. A comprehensive and up to date knowledge of GIS (ArcGIS or QGIS) / spatial analysis as applicable to the relationships between environment and health.
C2. Management & handling of big and/or spatial data, including parallel and/or automated processing techniques
C3 Excellent communication skills (oral and written), including public presentations and ability to communicate complex date/concepts clearly and concisely.
C4 Expertise in the access and use of satellite &/or aerial imagery for analysis of landscape features and content.
C5 Excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collegiate approach
C6 Ability to search and synthesise literature from different disciplines.
C7 Self-motivation, initiative and independent thought/working
C8 Commitment to open research, through open data, open code, open educational resources, and practices that support replication.
C9 Problem solving skills including a flexible and pragmatic approach

For appointment at grade 7
C10 Ability to lead the design and implementation of spatial analysis of relationships between environment and health
C11 Ability to lead the drafting, revision, and submission of academic research articles.
C12 Sufficient depth of relevant research experience, normally including sufficient postdoctoral experience in a related field, appropriate to an early career researcher

D1. Knowledge of the impacts of urban natural environments on human health
D2 Knowledge of urban analytics, &/or spatial ecology, &/or applied human/physical geography
D3 Knowledge of the use of biomarkers and clinical measurements of cardiovascular / cardiometabolic health
D4 Programming (ideally R or Python) or platforms (e.g., Google Earth Engine) for spatial data handling and analysis


E1 Sufficient relevant research experience [or equivalent] appropriate to an early career researcher
E2. Experience of running stakeholder workshops or similar
E3. Experience of scientific writing
E4. Proven ability to deliver quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner
E5. Evidence of an emerging track record of publications in a relevant field

For appointment at grade 7
E6. Proven ability to deliver quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner
E7. A strong track record of presentation and publication of research results in quality journals/conferences
E8. Experience of making a leading contribution in academic activities
E9. Ability to demonstrate a degree of independence as illustrated by identification of project objectives from assessment of the literature, design & analysis of experiments & drafting of papers.
E10. Experience in undertaking independent research

F1. Experience of collaborative working across disciplines.
F2. Experience of using cardiovascular / cardiometabolic health indicators

Standard Terms & Conditions:

Salary will be on the University’s Research and Teaching Grade, 6/7 £29,176 – £32,817/£35,845 – £40,322 per annum.

Funding is approved on a full-time basis (35 hours) until 1st May 2023.

New entrants to the University will be required to serve a probationary period of 6 months.

The successful applicant will be eligible to join the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme. Further information regarding the scheme is available from the Superannuation Officer, who is also prepared to advise on questions relating to the transfer of Superannuation benefits.

All research and related activities, including grants, donations, clinical trials, contract research, consultancy and commercialisation are required to be managed through the University¿s relevant processes (e.g. contractual and financial), in accordance with the University Court’s policies.

It is the University of Glasgow’s mission to foster an inclusive climate, which ensures equality in our working, learning, research and teaching environment.

We strongly endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, including a supportive and flexible working environment, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equality.

The University of Glasgow, charity number SC004401.

Vacancy Ref : 049068, Closing date : 8 March 2021.

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