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Senior Research Fellow

SEI Oxford is seeking a Senior Research Fellow to lead pioneering research in areas like sustainability and climate adaptation. This role offers the opportunity to shape future policies and practices on a global scale.


SEI Oxford, UK


26 July 2024

Salary range

GBP 45 500 to 55 000 depending on experience

Contract details

Two years including a six-month probation period
Full time

Join an impactful international research organization. At SEI Oxford, we are committed to creating a sustainable and prosperous future for all.

SEI Oxford conducts innovative research and develops new tools, networks and platforms that generate broad insights and guide policies and practices towards sustainability. Our expertise helps inform effective adaptation to climate change, influencing both policy and practice. Our research areas include transboundary climate risk, decision-making related to climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and climate services. SEI Oxford also manages weADAPT, a collaborative knowledge-exchange platform and network for climate change adaptation research and practice.

SEI Oxford is a not-for-profit organization registered in the UK, fully owned by the SEI Foundation. Our dynamic workplace in central Oxford comprises around 12 employees, with an additional 343 colleagues across seven global centres. Our headquarters is located in Stockholm, Sweden.

The role

We are seeking an experienced Senior Research Fellow to pioneer new research areas that complement our existing expertise. The successful candidate will play a crucial role in expanding SEI Oxford’s impact and supporting the implementation of the SEI Strategy 2025-30.

The role focuses on developing and leading research initiatives in one of the following key research areas:

  • Sustainability and resilience of critical raw materials supply chains

  • Oceans governance

  • Climate change adaptation and net zero strategy and policy in the UK and globally

  • Migration and global environmental change

Key duties and responsibilities:

  • Supporting the successful implementation of portfolio projects, including line management, mentoring and developing junior colleagues

  • Collaborating on team strategies and contributing to a collegial workplace atmosphere

  • Identifying new partnerships, fundraising opportunities and project initiatives

Formal qualifications and knowledge:

  • A Ph.D. or equivalent experience in environment, climate, policy, sustainability, or a related field, with a demonstrated track record

  • At least 10 years of leadership experience in sustainability or climate action research related to the stated disciplines

  • Strong research networks

Required skills:

  • Proven project management skills with a successful record in coordinating complex projects
  • Research and analytical capabilities, with an ability to synthesize complex information into actionable insights
  • Fluency in English

Desired skills:

  • Experience in leading and cross-functional teams and working with various stakeholders to achieve impactful results
  • Ability to engage with high-level decision-makers, government bodies and international organizations to advance sustainability agendas
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, both written and verbal, essential for conveying complex ideas to diverse audiences and stakeholders

Our offer

At SEI, we offer a stimulating position in an international environment. You will be part of a leading multinational, multidisciplinary and multilingual team of experts in an organization where the well-being and development of our employees is a high priority.

Employment at SEI Oxford includes:

  • 37.5-hour work week
  • 33 days total of holiday entitlement, including bank holidays, with mandatory holidays on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
  • Pension contributions: 5% from employee and 8% from SEI Oxford, with a voluntary top-up scheme allowing contributions up to 10% (matched up to 13% by SEI)
  • Sick pay scheme
  • Subscription to the Headspace mindfulness and meditation app
  • Access to the UK government’s Bike to Work Scheme, offering tax savings on purchases of bikes and cycling equipment
  • Opportunities for professional growth and development.

Additional information

This is a temporary two-year year full-time position with possibility for permanent employment and includes a standard six-month probation period. The start date is as soon as possible or by arrangement.

Where permitted by funders, candidates are welcome to bring existing UK, European or other research grants with them when they transition to the role at SEI.

SEI Oxford has a hybrid work environment, which allows employees to share their time between the SEI office and working remotely from their homes in the UK with requirement to attend the office at least one day a week.

SEI Oxford will support the process of obtaining a visa if required. Please note that it is not possible to work from outside the UK.

SEI is an equal opportunity employer and we consider all applicants on the basis of qualifications and competencies regardless but not limited to race, national origin, religious beliefs, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability and marital status. We are committed to ensuring diversity and equality within our organization and applicants from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

How to apply

We are reviewing applications on an ongoing basis, so please submit your application as soon as possible, but no later than 26 July 2024 23:59 Stockholm local time.

We only accept applications through our recruitment system; please apply online using the button below and submit the following in English:

  • Cover letter highlighting relevant qualifications and experience (one page)
  • Curriculum vitae (two-page, maximum)
Apply now


Inquiries concerning the content of the position can be directed to Ruth Butterfield, Centre Director: [email protected].

Inquiries concerning the recruitment process can be directed to Silvia Chapple, Centre Administrator: [email protected].

Ruth Butterfield
Ruth Butterfield

Centre Director and Senior Research Fellow

SEI Oxford

Silvia Chapple

SEI Oxford Centre Administrator

Human resources

SEI Oxford

Meet the team

About SEI

Stockholm Environment Institute is an international non-profit research and policy organization that tackles environment and development challenges.

We connect science and decision-making to develop solutions for a sustainable future for all.

Our approach is highly collaborative: stakeholder involvement is at the heart of our efforts to build capacity, strengthen institutions, and equip partners for the long term.

Our work spans climate, water, air, and land-use issues, and integrates evidence and perspectives on governance, the economy, gender and human health.

Across our eight centres in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, we engage with policy processes, development action and business practice throughout the world.

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