Research Assistant – Earthquake Response (x2)

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has awarded some short-term impact acceleration account (IAA) funding to members of the Centre for Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tectonics (COMET) at the University of Leeds. The focus of this project is bridging the gap between science and policy for global earthquake response.

We are looking to hire two research assistants for 6 weeks to work on developing policy materials for use by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and overseas collaborators.

This work needs to be completed by 30th June 2024, so we are looking to appoint people to start as soon as possible (latest start date 1st June).

What does the role entail?

• Develop drafts of briefing materials that can be used for global earthquake preparation, primarily tailored for use by the FCDO. This will include a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and reference materials on specific areas of the world.
• Develop templates for providing earthquake-specific information to policymakers and the British Geological Survey (BGS) following an event.

This work will include:

• Supporting research activities, including contributing to the generation of independent and original ideas, ensuring a successful project outcome;
• Writing reports and creating drafts of briefing documents, with guidance as necessary;
• Collating and analysing data to inform the direction and progression of the research project;
• Participating in the research group and presenting research output where appropriate;
• Working both independently and as part of a larger team of researchers and stakeholders;
• Collating, analysing and summarising complex scientific information.

What will you bring to the role?

• Progress towards a postgraduate qualification relevant to the project (e.g. current postgraduate student), or equivalent research experience;
• Knowledge and experience relevant to the project, such as training in environmental or earth sciences, physical geography, or social sciences, experience working with policymakers, etc;
• Good interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal and the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders;
• Well-developed analytical skills;
• Good time management and planning skills, with the ability to meet tight deadlines;
• A proven ability to work well both individually and in a team;
• The ability to work unsupervised and to use your own initiative.


Leeds Grade 6: £30,487-£36,024 pro rata depending on experience

Application process:

To apply, please send your CV and short expression of interest (no more than one page) to Laura Gregory ( by Thursday 16th May 2024.

Further information:
Earthquakes are a devastating natural hazard that occur without warning. We cannot predict earthquakes, but scientists can offer detailed forecasts of the hazard and a deep understanding of
what has occurred during and after an earthquake. The FCDO responds to and prepares for natural hazards globally, and they have identified a need for academic input into earthquake response. This
project aims to develop and expand collaborations between earthquake scientists at UoL, the FCDO, and the BGS.
From 2022 onwards COMET (the Centre for the Observation and Modelling of Earthquakes and Tectonics) held several workshops and conference sessions examining the information that is provided
to stakeholders in the immediate response to an event. These sessions identified new pathways to mobilise and exchange knowledge between scientists, government departments, and humanitarian responders both in the immediate aftermath of an event and in capacity building for future events. COMET does not currently have a remit to be involved directly in earthquake response, but there is opportunity to embed active research into policy through a more established University of Leeds academic-FCDO collaboration