University of Warwick Job Search: Research Fellow in OHRM

December 3, 2021

[link to the job post at WBS’s site: University of Warwick Job Search: Research Fellow in OHRM (104809-1221) (wcn.co.uk)]

We are seeking to recruit a PostDoctoral Research Fellow to work on a research project funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowship scheme on the theme of 

“Financially redesigning the Anthropocene: 
Investigating tools, data, and practices for climate risks and targets”

The four-year project is led by Dr. Katharina Dittrich and located within the Organisation and HRM (OHRM) group at Warwick Business School. It currently involves the principal investigator, a research fellow and a PhD student. The newly recruited fellow will join as the fourth team member.

This is an exciting opportunity to

  • Conduct research on a pressing societal concern (climate change) and develop real-world impact
  • Participate in the emerging design of the research and its outputs
  • Work with a team of highly committed and motivated researchers
  • Be part of a thriving community of organisational researchers working with practice, process and institutional approaches
  • Develop your academic career and network

The project

Capital allocation is a powerful way of distributing agency – both diverting and directing it. The consequences of this feature of financial markets have never been limited to only direct market participants but, of course, stretch out into virtually all spheres of societies and environments. To a large extent, the global climate crisis is one of these consequences. This research project looks at the various finance-focused programmes that are currently pursued to manage the climate crisis as leveraging this feature of financial markets to redistribute – purposefully divert and direct – agency towards more sustainable economies and societies. These programmes could be described, in other words, as attempts to ‘financially re-design’ the Anthropocene.

This four-year academic research project, funded by the UK Research and Innovation Council and launched in October 2020, aims at tracing these attempts by focusing on one core challenge: the production of actionable data and analytics for climate risks and alignment targets which enable climate risk and impact management practices in the investment industry. While a lot of different high-level policy, NGO and industry programmes have recently been initiated, we are interested in how the proposed tools, data and manuals are actually implemented, used and combined in financial every-day practices. Through the practical integration of climate risk and impact programmes, we currently see an emerging, quickly evolving and still to-be-consolidated financial climate ‘knowledge infrastructure’, which draws on tools and data from an ecosystem of various actors. Four types of actors that are active in climate-related investment practices ‘on the ground’, and which we currently work with, are: institutional investors, investor networks, analytics and data providers, and NGOs. The project is international in scope, with a particular focus on the UK and Europe.

Following a qualitative research approach, we are a team of four researchers drawing on observations, interviews and documents to trace in real-time how those different organisations respond to and engage with climate-related financial risks and alignment targets through deploying and employing climate tools, data and practices. We have just completed the first round of data collection and analysis, and are now preparing for 2nd wave in which we will focus on three particular themes: the production, curation and use of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions data; the development of particular devices, such as portfolio temperature metrics; and the evolution of frameworks for science-based target setting. In addition, we will also expand data collection to additional research partners and sites.

More information about the project can be found here.

The position

This recruitment is for a full-time, 2.5 years fixed position. The anticipated starting date is February/ March 2022. If candidates live abroad, they will be required to move to the UK if the post is accepted.

As part of the project you will:

  1. Collect ethnographic data on the day-to-day activities of people in different organisations, through the use of observations, formal and informal interviews and the collection of documents. Data collection will likely involve a combination of online and face-to-face interactions. Participating organisations are located in the UK and in Europe, so some flexibility and willingness to travel is required.
  2. Participate in regular face-to-face or virtual team meetings to share insights from data collection and analysis.
  3. Contribute your insights and expertise to the evolving research design.
  4. Write or contribute to top academic publications.
  5. Attend and present research findings and papers at academic conferences, and contribute to the external visibility of the team and the department.
  6. Organise and deliver various impact activities aimed at disseminating research findings to project partners and other practitioners, including internal workshops with the organizations studied, targeted talks at practitioner conferences, conversations with policy-makers and practitioner-oriented reports & publications.

Requirements

The ideal candidate has a research background in Social studies of finance (SSF) and/ or Science and Technology Studies (STS) and/ or Sustainability/ Climate Change. Candidates should also have excellent skills and substantive experience with qualitative research (e.g., interviews, observations, ethnography). Experience with multi-sited or inter-organizational research sites would be advantageous. 

We expect applicants to come from one of the following backgrounds or related disciplines.

  • Organisation Studies, ideally with a practice and process perspective
  • Accounting
  • Sociology
  • Anthropology
  • Human Geography

Application

Candidates should provide their application form, a CV, list of publications and two selected papers, either published or unpublished. Informal enquiries to Katharina.dittrich@wbs.ac.uk are welcome.

Please submit your application here.

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