Research Fellow | Basque Center for Climate Control

International Scoping Study of the Role of Agrobiodiversity as an Instrument for Climate Change Adaptation

The Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), offers a one year full time research fellowship (with the possibility of extension) with the level of financial support according to the academic and professional profile of the applicant.

There is a need to understand what policies can efficiently and equitably enhance farmers’ livelihoods by increasing their capacity to adapt to climate change. Climate change is expected to increasingly threaten the conservation of wild and domesticated biodiversity, including, agrobiodiversity, as changing local climates place habitats and species at increasing risk of extinction. Agrobiodiversity and associated ecosystem services are key factors that affect the resilience of agroecosystems and food security. However, the largest investments in food production continue to be associated with agricultural innovations to increase the productivity of some major crops and livestock, which are often advocated as crucial for agricultural climate change adaptation. Much less emphasis is being put on local systems that rely on existing natural, human and social capital assets such as agrobiodiversity, traditional knowledge and collective action institutions, such as seed systems, to reduce vulnerability and ensure food security.

A sythesis and assessment of the existing evidence for agrobiodiversity conservation and sustainable use as an instrument for climate change adaptation is needed. Together with the identification of research gaps, including with regard to the role of gender in agrobiodiversity conservation and use, as well as the developing and testing of interventions and incentive mechanisms, the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) and Bioversity International (CGIAR) aim at demonstrating the value of agrobiodiversity and associated ecosystem services for human wellbeing especially in risky and rapidly changing  agroecosystems.

The Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) and Bioversity International are strengthening this area of applied research and are looking for a highly qualified researcher to conduct research about the connections between climate change adaptation, agrobiodiversity and associated ecosystem services and livelihood sustainability. The researcher would be physically located in Bilbao at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3). In collaboration with Bioversity International the researcher would:

— Plan and implement research with other team members, including:

  • Leading a state of the art review/synthesis of evidence (desk review of scientific and grey literature, institutional reports, etc.) regarding agrobiodiversity as an instrument for climate change adaptation vis-à-vis other options.
  • Developing and maintaining a hub of community of practice made up of experts in fields associated with agrobiodiversity and climate change adaptation.
  • Organising and supporting the coordination of an expert scoping study meeting to identify key research issues/questions, undertake a gap analysis, support the mapping out of areas for strategic future research and identify strategies to facilitate donor dialogue and policy-maker uptake pathways.

— Supporting the elaboration of project proposals identified through the above gap analysis and implementation of associated projects.

— Publish high-impact, peer-reviewed research in international scientific journals.

— Contribute to a dynamic research team at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) and Bioversity International on socio-economic aspects related to ecosystem services and climate change.

Experience/skills required: The applicant should have a PhD in a social science field such as environmental/development/agricultural economics. Depending on the applicant’s experience other fields such as geography, environmental sciences or similar fields may also be considered. Exceptionally, candidates without a PhD but with relevant postgraduate training and/or technical experience in the above areas may also be considered.

Applicants should have excellent interpersonal as well as communication skills (both written and oral) in English. The applicants should demonstrate evidence of a track record in peer-reviewed publications as well as ability to initiate and complete research characterized by originality, creativity and innovation. 

Other experience/skills valued: Previous experience in organizing and supporting the coordination of technical meetings and workshops. Statistics/econometric modeling. Knowledge about GIS. Developing country fieldwork experience.

Location: Basque Centre for Climate Change, Bilbao, Spain.

Tenure: The position will be for a period of one year with a possibility for extending it a further upon a positive assessment of the performance of the work carried out by the candidate during the fellowship.

Salary: The position will carry competitive salaries according to the academic and professional profile of the applicant and excellent conditions of work.

Those interested should send their application (2 page CV, one page motivation letter and names and full contact details of three referees) to noting in the subject of the message “Research fellowship on agrobiodiversity and climate change adaptation”. Informal enquiries can be made to Prof. Unai Pascual (

pdf Job description 72.15 Kb

Applications close:  15 February 2013

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