Postdoctoral researcher position on urban adaptation under the ERC-funded project IMAGINE Adaptation (2nd call)

The Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) offers a full-time postdoctoral researcher position to support the research activities in the context of the European Research Council (ERC) project IMAGINE Adaptation (ID: 101039429), led by Dr. Marta Olazabal. This is a 5-year research project funded by the ERC that will be developed in the framework of the Adaptation Lab (Research Line 4) and the cross-cutting Urban Theme at BC3.

The project ‘IMAGINE adaptation’ addresses the imperative of how to evaluate adaptation in urban areas as a contemporary complex phenomenon with implications across governance scales. It argues that the current focus on policy progress can be useful as a first step, but it is not indicative of effective adaptation. In this project, we aim to explore broader understandings of success in adaptation that transcend technocratic approaches and consider equity, justice, and maladaptive issues.

To enable evaluation and learning from these diverse understandings of adaptation, ‘IMAGINE adaptation’ has four timely and ambitious objectives: first, the reformulation of the concept of successful adaptation using expert and local views. Second, the exploration of trends and needs regarding monitoring and evaluation and how these may enable or hinder adaptation. Third, the development of a comparative case study research across 12 urban areas worldwide. Finally, the analysis of how evaluations of local progress can inform global goals. The outputs of this project aim to be a reference for future adaptation assessment studies and to pioneer the understanding of the ways to enable far-reaching transformative urban adaptation through processes of evaluation and learning.

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher who can support the Principal Investigator in the kicking off of the project and its scientific development along its 5 years of project life.

Job description: The postdoctoral researcher will be participating in various activities in the project related to research and science communication. The researcher is expected to lead a large-scale experiment in 100 cities worldwide to elicit urban adaptation imaginaries through the application of the Q methodology. They are also expected to lead case studies during Years 3 to 5 of the project and help set up communities of practice for the evaluation of adaptation. International travel will be expected to develop fieldwork and a short-term scientific stay is also foreseen. Generally, the researcher will support the PI and the rest of the team to achieve the scientific objectives of the project, develop effective task management and collaboratively work, publish and disseminate project findings. We seek highly motivated candidates to:

  • work in an international ground-breaking project,
  • develop transdisciplinary work and find value in science through co-creation,
  • use both theoretical and empirical qualitative and quantitative approaches to respond to key project questions, and
  • turn findings into both scientific and policy outputs that can deliver real change.

Key responsibilities:

  1. Develop the urban adaptation imaginaries study across 100 cities worldwide.
  2. Develop three case studies in cities worldwide to evaluate adaptation interventions through comparative transdisciplinary co-creation research.
  3. Collaborate in building communities of practice across the 12 city case studies.
  4. Support the organisation of project meetings and conferences across the project.
  5. Help train and mentor other team members.

Main requirements:

  1. The field of urban adaptation is purely interdisciplinary, there is no specific degree which is required for this job offer, but training in the field of climate change adaptation or/and urban governance, policy, and planning is required.
  2. Academic excellence in urban climate governance research, evidenced by previous works including PhD or postdoctoral research.
  3. Strong analytical skills, good knowledge of statistics, and experience using R (or capacity to learn it).
  4. The applicant must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, as well as excellent written and oral command of English is required. Good command of other languages (s) is highly desirable as it will be a basis for the selection of city case studies.
  5. Ability to work collaboratively, experience in stakeholder participatory processes, and conducting transdisciplinary work.

IMPORTANT: Applications including links to previous works/projects/initiatives that show how the applicant meets these requirements will be given priority. See “Application procedure”.

Benefits and work environment

  • Interdisciplinary and inspiring work environment
  • Quiet and spacious workspaces
  • Possibility of participating in internal training, learning, or corporate social responsibility activities of the center
  • 35-hour week work calendar
  • 30 days of vacation per year

Term of contract

Starting 1st of January 2023, the position will be initially for 3 years, with a 3-months probation period based on the performance of the work. Guaranteed opportunities for longer-term employment upon successful performance after the 3 years will be offered, including a salary review.



The position will carry a salary matching the academic and professional profile of the applicant (BC3 postdoctoral positions’ gross salaries are in the range of 30,000 to 36,000 euros/year), and excellent work conditions.


Basque Centre for Climate Change, Leioa, Spain.

As an HR Excellence awarded institution, BC3 is committed to conciliate research-academic requirements and family duties. BC3 is particularly concerned with creating equal opportunities for people, independently of gender, culture, and race. Anyone with relevant qualifications is therefore strongly encouraged to apply for the position.


28th September 2022 (CET 22:00).

Interviews will be held with potential interesting candidates that meet the requirements of this job position as soon as we receive and assess their complete applications.

Informal inquiries can be made to Marta Olazabal ( noting in the subject of the message “IMAGINE Adaptation recruitment process – PD1 (second call)”

Please consider that only applications sent through the form included at the bottom of the BC3 web page will be considered (,

Project 101039429 — IMAGINE adaptation

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María de Maeztu Excellence Unit 2023-2027 Ref. CEX2021-001201-M, funded by MCIN/AEI /10.13039/501100011033

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