Research Assistant “URBASO”

The Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), offers a full-time research assistant position in order to support the development of the work of the research team in BC3 in its contribution to the URBASO project. The objective will be to understand the multiple values, motivations and emotional geographies of the main stakeholders in the Biosphere Reserve of Urdaibai (Basque Country).

The European LIFE project URBASO  explores forest-based solutions for surface drinking water protection, biodiversity, bioeconomy and climate resilience. URBASO intends to demonstrate that careful planning and proper forest management of the areas upstream of the surface drinking water catchments from the registry of protected areas of the European Water Framework Directive, can maintain a high quality raw water yield.  See the video for a description of the scientific partners of the project.

We are looking for candidates who can support the following activities:

  • Study the socioeconomic characteristics of the municipalities that make up the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve and the socio-economic drivers of land use change in the last decades.
  • Identify and analyse the multiple values of the different stakeholders (administration, tourists, agricultural sector, forestry, etc.) in Urdaibai.
  • Perform a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) associated with the changes in forestry activity in the proposed scenarios by the project and their implications for the water treatment and distribution system.
  • Review the state of the art of literature regarding the use of potential incentive payments systems such as payments for ecosystem services (PES) in similar socio-ecological environments.
  • Analyse the opportunities and challenges of potential PES schemes in Urdaibai to incentivize land use change in the forestry sector.
  • Prepare and assist fieldwork in Urdaibai via interviews with stakeholders (Spanish or Basque) and participate in transcriptions

Main requirements/skills:

  • Applicants should have excellent interpersonal as well as communication skills (both written and oral) in Spanish, Basque and (written) English.
  • The applicant should have a degree in Environmental Sciences, Geography, Sociology, History or similar.
  • Having a Master degree that contains an approach to research, use of qualitative methodologies, environmental/ecological economics, conflict resolution, participation, social research techniques, human geography, environmental history, etc. will be valued but it is not compulsory.
  • Sensitivity for working with people (interviews, return of research outputs), respect and empathy towards the different interests of Urdaibai society.

Benefits and work environment:

  •  35-hour week work calendar.
  •  30 days of vacation per year
  •  Possibility of participating in internal training activities of BC3
  •  Excellent work environment in an enthusiastic interdisciplinary team formed by an Environmental Scientist (PhD Economic History) and a Historian expert in Qualitative Methodologies (PhD Contemporary History).

Term of contract

The starting date will be March, 2023. The position is fixed term contract until the 31st of August 2025, linked to the project extension, with a six-month probationary period.




The position will carry competitive salary, matching the academic and professional profile of the applicant, and excellent work conditions.


Basque Centre for Climate Change, Leioa, Spain.

As an HR Excellence awarded institution, BC3 is committed to conciliating 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.

Application procedure:

Fill the form below and upload one PDF document with the following information:

  1. Detailed Curriculum Vitae
  2. Motivation letter
  3. Recommendation letter from one referee


30 January, 2023 (CET 15:00).

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr. Galán del Castillo  ( noting in the subject of the message “URBASO RA”.

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

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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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