Postdoctoral Researcher: Social Vulnerability and Integrated Risk


The Global Earthquake Model (GEM) is a global collaborative effort that brings together state-of-the-art science, national, regional, and international organisations and individuals to develop open tools, datasets, and best practice. GEM is looking for a postdoctoral researcher with an interest in geospatial approaches to modelling socioeconomic impacts from earthquakes.

The candidate will work with and support GEM's international team to develop data, methods, software, and training materials to assess earthquake risk from a socioeconomic systems perspective. The position is available immediately through 31 December 2018.

General responsibilities include:

  • Measuring social concepts—social vulnerability, resilience, social capital, and recovery;

  • Developing methods to model interdependencies between damage, losses, and socioeconomic characteristics of populations;

  • Improving GEM’s Social Vulnerability and Integrated Risk initiative through the development of applied research and tools that account for issues such as cascading effects and indirect economic loss; 

  • Participating in an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers to develop and implement models and tools for integrated risk assessment. 

  • Disseminating work through scholarly publications, reports, presentations, and workshop participation; 

  • Contributing to GEM communications and outreach that may include webpages, presentations, and brochures; 

  • Drafting proposals for financial support; 

  • Mentoring junior scientists and students;

Minimum/required qualifications:

  • Ph.D. by the start of employment in a field that supports geospatial analytics, socioeconomic systems analysis, and natural hazards risk assessment;

  • A record of research or project participation using geospatial approaches to better understand human-environmental impacts from natural hazards;

  • Experience in the development of data, process, and conceptual models;

  • Experience in the use of desktop and web GIS applications;

  • Experience in the use of data handling, computational, and statistical software packages such as MATLAB, R, SPSS, and SAS;

  • Fluency in the English language with excellent oral and written communication skills;

  • Proven ability to work in a multidisciplinary team;

  • Ability to travel internationally

  • Passion for a humanitarian mission to reduce loss of lives and livelihoods due to natural disasters;

Desirable skills/experience:

  • A strong record of publication in fields relevant to earthquake risk;

  • Experience with the management and exploration of large datasets;

  • Experience with the management of large projects and supporting personnel;

  • Fluency in languages other than English;

We are looking for a team-player, a proactive individual with a result-oriented attitude, able to work in an international and interdisciplinary team, and with people of very diverse cultural and professional backgrounds.

GEM is an equal-opportunity employer and encourages the applications of qualified female candidates. GEM offers a young, innovative and stimulating international working environment in Pavia, a university town in the North of Italy (at 30 km distance from Milan).



Please apply to with a cover letter explaining why you would be a good fit for the position, CV, a list of references (minimum 2), and timeline of availability. The selection procedure will continue until we have found a suitable candidate.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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