Researcher-in-Residence on Coastal Adaptation at PICS

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Researcher-in-Residence, Coastal Adaptation

Location: University of Victoria, Victoria, BC
FTE: Four-year term, full-time
Salary: Commensurate with qualifications
Start Date: 1 April 2021 (preferred, but negotiable)
Application Deadline: 1 February 2021

Position Description

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) Researcher-in-Residence position offers an exceptional opportunity to be at the nexus of climate solutions research and engagement focusing on the impact of sea level rise on coastal communities and the development of integrated flood adaptation strategies and design solutions.

PICS is a multi university institute encompassing the four major research intensive universities in British Columbia: University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Northern British Columbia. Our mandate is to produce leading climate solutions research that is actively used by decision makers to develop effective mitigation and adaptation policies and actions. PICS has a global remit, but a focus on BC.

PICS’ major new project on coastal adaptation Living with Water brings together an interdisciplinary group of researchers with decision makers from multiple municipalities and First Nations communities in the South Coast of British Columbia. The project will study the impact of sea level rise on this region, and develop solutions across local and regional scales to help coastal communities successfully plan and adapt to uncertain futures The project will develop effective tools and frameworks to support solutions across shared ecosystems and shorelines, including frameworks for collaboration, integrated policies, design guidelines, and coordinated governance arrangements.

The Researcher-in-Residence will be an active contributor to the Living with Water project (50%) and PICS operational activities in support of PICS’ mandate to produce leading climate solutions research that is actively used by decision makers (30%). The Researcher-in-Residence will also advance their own
original research and professional career (20%).

The Researcher-in-Residence reports to the Executive Director of PICS, but works with considerable independence within the broad parameters outlined below.

Key Responsibilities

  • The primary role of the Researcher in Residence is to develop and support the Living with Water project by facilitating active communication and engagement between all members of the project team. This means working with and drawing together academic researchers, decision makers and other knowledge users to ensure the project meets its impact goals.
  • Contribute domain expertise to the Living with Water project, participating in scientific work as appropriate and ensuring that knowledge from the various workstreams is integrated and consistent. They will participate in the preparation of publishable papers and reports as appropriate.
  • Serve as an effective liaison between PICS and the project.
  • Develop knowledge mobilization and engagement strategies to link climate solutions knowledge on coastal adaptation with users within and beyond the project team. They should aim to become a go to person on climate solutions for coastal adaptation so that external partners can rely on PICS to provide relevant information when needed or provide a link to experts who can provide such information.
  • Work proactively with the PICS and university communications teams to create original content that communicates the latest thinking about coastal adaptation to a broad audience. Organize events that advance knowledge and action around coastal adaptation.
  • Support the peer review process for research proposals submitted to PICS that are related to the Researcher-in-Residence’s area of expertise.
  • Participate in student engagement activities, such as organizing events for PICS Scholars across projects.
  • Lead the development of publishable papers synthesis reports or other innovative content related to coastal adaptation that will serve the broader academic and/or solution seeker community.
  • Participate in relevant workshops, conferences, industry organizations, standards councils, government solicitations etc. relevant to coastal adaptation


  • PhD (preferred) or Master’s Degree from a recognized post secondary institution, with relevant specialization in one or more of the following knowledge areas coastal management; regional and urban planning; adaptation policy and governance; coastal engineering and landscape architecture.
  • Knowledge of issues concerning integrated coastal management, resilience planning, nature based solutions, and sea level rise adaptation.
  • Expertise in community engagement processes, including work with First Nations or other Indigenous communities would all be strong assets.
  • Strong analytic capability.
  • Experience working at the interface between science and policy.
  • Dynamic, people-and-results oriented with a passion for implementing climate change solutions.
  • Ability to communicate complex issues involving risks and probabilities of stochastic events to broad audiences both orally and in writing.
  • Demonstrated leadership and project management skills.
  • Ability to initiate and execute plans to ensure smooth financial operations of research activities within multipartner projects.
  • Ability to travel (generally 1-3 days/trip) within BC, but also Canada and internationally, as needed.

To Apply

Please send a CV and cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position to by 1 February 2021 In your cover letter, please concisely describe your experience in science policy, and any expertise in developing adaptation solutions for coastal communities.