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CASE News:
New Research Assistant position

Published/Broadcast 29 September 2021

We are looking for an enthusiastic graduate Research Assistant (RA) to assist Prof Gough on his Leverhulme Foundation funded research, ‘Valuing What Matters: From efficiency to sufficiency’. The appointment will last for 12 months starting November 1st 2021. The RA will be appointed at pre-doctorate level and is part-time at 40% of full time equivalent post. The starting date and the pattern of work-time are reasonably flexible. The RA will be based in Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at the London School of Economics (LSE). LSE is committed to building a diverse, equitable and truly inclusive university.

Details of the background, scope and goals of the research project are given in the attached document: the proposal made to and accepted by the Leverhulme Foundation. The research intends to develop a theory of value that counterposes human needs to wants or preferences. In empirical terms the goal is to determine minimum and sustainable maximum limits to consumption and income/wealth and the implied differences between essential and inessential labour. The combination will develop a theory and applied operationalisation of the concept of ‘sufficiency’ in a world with mounting ecological constraints.

The RA will conduct inter-disciplinary desk research in two major areas.

  • To discover, collate and synthesise a wide range of research sources on minimum incomes and assets, on necessary and luxury consumption, and on essential and inessential work.
  • To analyse recent practices on citizen dialogue as a vehicle for achieving consensus on these issues.

Key Elements of the Role
Specific elements of the role include:

    • Undertake literature reviews relevant to the project in academic and ‘grey literature’ and in social and other media.
    • Undertake specific research tasks and write up case studies and research briefings.
    • Collect and assess recent debates in the media on themes including wellbeing, sustainability and sufficiency.
    • Track relevant seminars and conferences, and assist in the preparation of presentations.

Person Specification
1. Essential Knowledge/Experience

The RA should be someone with excellent research and analytical capabilities, who is able to turn their hand to a wide remit, and learn quickly on the job. The successful applicant should have a broad social science knowledge, an enthusiasm for the topic and an interest in developing their skills. They should be passionate about the challenges of achieving fair levels of human wellbeing in the contemporary context of growing ecological constraints. In particular:

  • A well-informed knowledge of and interest in debates on climate change, sustainability and wellbeing.
  • A relevant first degree in social science
  • Background academic training in at least one of the following: philosophy, political theory, economics, ecological science, environmental policy, social policy.
  • Strong interest in research and applied policy
  • Experience of research, including literature reviews
  • An ability to think critically
  • A passion for alternative thinking on approaches to such problems

2. Preferred/Optional

  • A masters level degree

3. Key Skills

  • Strong time management skills
  • Good writing and summarising skills
  • Good IT skills, including a high level of proficiency in Microsoft Office software and experience in academic research through internet searches and the management of bibliographic databases
  • Confident communication skills
  • A creative thinker

This unique opportunity offers the successful applicant the chance to work with leading experts at the interface of sustainability and equity issues.

Please email a concise CV together with a short statement (no more than 500 words) as to why you consider yourself appropriate for this post; to Ms Nora Takacs: marked for the attention of Professor Gough by October 31st 2021.

Unfortunately we will not be able to sponsor candidates for a visa for this role so you must have eligibility to work in the UK.