Research Assistant in Seismic Risk Communication


University of Cambridge


Cambridge, UK


Research Assistant in Seismic Risk Communication (Fixed Term: 1 year)
University of Cambridge
Winton Centre for Risk & Evidence Communication
Closing date: 12 December
Salary: £26,715-£30,942

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.

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 and extensive work talking with 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, although someone with a background in geoscience or engineering accompanied by experience in qualitative techniques and analysing experimental data might also suit. The ideal candidate will have a range of research skills including reviewing literature; designing experimental studies; experience conducting focus groups and structured interviews; and analysing complex data. Excellent English and an ability to interview people in another language is essential: ideally Italian but French, German or Japanese would also be useful.

Duties include reviewing literature, telephoning and meeting 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. 

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

Please indicate the contact details of two academic referees on the online application form and upload a full curriculum vitae (not to exceed three pages) and a covering letter (not to exceed two pages). Please ensure that at least one of your referees is contactable at any time during the selection process, and is made aware that they will be contacted by the Mathematics HR Office Administrator to request that they upload a reference for you to our Web Recruitment System; and please encourage them to do so promptly. Please do not exceed the page limit in order to keep selection as fair as possible we have a strict recruitment procedure.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society. We particularly welcome applications from candidates from a BME background for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented at this level in our Department. 

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

Full details and applications: