University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant in Seismic Risk Communication (Fixed Term)

We are looking for a research assistant to join the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication as part of the European RISE project to help communicate seismic risk across Europe. This position will suit someone with excellent interpersonal and language skills keen to help us understand the needs of our audiences and how things are currently done in a number of fields using mostly qualitative approaches. More than 170 million people in Europe are at risk from significant earthquake activity and yet we know that it is very difficult for people to act on information about future low-probability, high-impact events.

The successful candidate will be working at a very practical level to develop, implement and then evaluate new pathways of seismic communication in three European countries: Italy, Switzerland and France. There will be close collaboration with international teams, led by ETH Zurich. This work will involve applying knowledge of existing psychological research into how people understand risk as well as extensive work collecting data from potential audiences for the communications (from general public to emergency responders and policy-makers) to develop and implement graphically-displayed and dynamically-changing risk information.

The ideal candidate will likely have a degree in psychology, or another social science, although someone with a background in geoscience or engineering accompanied by experience in qualitative techniques could be considered. The ideal candidate will have a range of research skills including reviewing literature; experience conducting focus groups and semi-structured interviews; designing interview guides; designing, implementing and analysing experimental studies; and analysing complex qualitative and quantitative data. Excellent English and an ability to interview people in Italian is essential German, French or Japanese in addition would be an advantage.

Duties include reviewing literature, organising focus groups and semi-structured interviews with people in different countries who either communicate or make decisions based on risk information, and helping develop, conduct and analyse both qualitative and quantitative studies to evaluate how people understand and perceive risks when they are presented in different formats. The post holder will be expected to be willing to travel to and work in a number of countries when necessary.

The Winton Centre is committed to the highest standards of academic research, both in terms of replicability and reproducibility, and in Open Science practices.

The position is available immediately, and we are ideally looking for someone to start before March 2020.

If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please contact

Fixed-term: 9 months

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please indicate the contact details of three academic referees on the online application form and upload a full CV and a description of your recent research (not to exceed three pages). Applicants should indicate their areas of interest Please let your referees be aware that they will be contacted by the Mathematics HR Office Administrator to request they upload a reference for you to our Web Recruitment System; and encourage them to do so promptly. Ensure that at least one of your referees is contactable at any time during the selection process.

Please quote reference LF21584 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society. The Department would particularly welcome applications from women, since women are, and have historically been, underrepresented on our research staff.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online