Postdoctoral Research Associate

Durham University - Department of Geography

NATURVATION I: Conceptualising the dynamics and impacts of Nature-Based Solutions in urban socio-technical systems

Job Description

The Department of Geography at Durham University wishes to appoint a full time Postdoctoral Research Associate for 42 Months to work on the research project Nature Based Urban Innovation (NATURVATION) with Professor Harriet Bulkeley and Professor Louise Bracken. NATURVATION is led by Professor Bulkeley and funded under the H2020 Smart & Sustainable Cities Programme of the European Commission. It involves partners from Universities, Research Institutes, Environmental Agencies, Municipalities and NGOs in Germany, Hungary, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK, supported by an international task force of public and private organisations involved in the development and use of nature-based solutions to urban sustainability challenges.

The aim of NATURVATION is to critically examine the potential for Nature-Based Solutions to respond to climate change, enhance biodiversity and improve environmental quality while contributing to economic regeneration and social well-being and to devise means through which such interventions can be developed and used in different urban contexts. While there is currently a substantial gap between the promise of NBS and their uptake, multiple forms of innovation and experimentation are emerging in this domain. To unlock the potential of NBS for sustainable urban development, NATURVATION will take a transdisciplinary, internationally comparative approach to:

Advance assessment approaches to capture the multiple impacts & values of NBS to deliver a robust evidence base for decision-making;

Enable innovation to identify the most promising governance, business/finance and participation models and how to overcome the systemic conditions that currently limit their use to support systemic integration;

Generate momentum to realise the potential of NBS through co-design, co-development & co-implementation of new partnerships, knowledge, recommendations, processes and tools required to build capacity, enable replication and foster cultural change .

The successful candidate will join the team at Durham Geography. Key roles of the post are to:

  • Contribute to the development of the conceptual approach and analytical frameworks of NATURVATION for analysing the dynamics and impacts of NBS in the urban arena;
  • Conducting research on the structural conditions that enable and constrain the uptake of NBS innovations in different European contexts.
  • Produce a range of outputs designed to engage different audiences with the potential and limitations of NBS for sustainable urban development.
  • Liaise with project partners and our international task force to ensure the work programme is successfully delivered and the full potential of the research findings are realised.

For further details regarding this post please contact Professor Harriet Bulkeley:- 


Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.

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Northern England