Call for an MSc student in Environmental Studies Assessing “climate change research” carbon footprint: The LICCI project case study

Requisite: Student of the Master in Interdisciplinary Studies in Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability (MEISAES, ICTA-UAB) or Degrowth Master, fluent in Spanish/Catalan and English.

Description: This call is offered within the framework of the ERC funded project LICCI”Local Indicators of Climate Change Impacts. The Contribution of Local Knowledge to Climate Change Research” ( The main objective of this research project is to show the potential of Indigenous and local knowledge systems to improve our understanding of local climate change impacts on physical, biological, and socioeconomic systems. Despite being a project aiming to contribute to “climate change research”, we are unaware of the carbon footprint of activities associated to the project. This MSc thesis will be oriented to calculate the past and projected carbon footprint of scientific activities associated to the project and propose guidelines and strategies to reduce and mitigate the carbon emissions associated to research activities.

Objectives: The proposed Master thesis will be using a combination of literature review and information from the LICCI project as main sources of data. The specific objectives are:

  1. to review the (published and grey) literature on the carbon footprint of researchers in general and climate-research in particular. The review should include theoretical considerations, methodological insights, and proposals for reduction of carbon footprint;
  2. to estimate the past and projected carbon footprint of research activities associated to the LICCI project;
  3. to design and analyze how scenarios of carbon reduction might (or might not) impact the scientific objectives of the LICCI project. Potential scenarios should be based on recommendations from the literature review and include a) business as usual; b) low reduction; c) zero-carbon emissions; and
  4. to propose guidelines and strategies to reduce and mitigate the carbon emissions associated to research in general and of the LICCI project in particular.

Technical details: The thesis will be directed by Victoria Reyes-García, PI of the LICCI project, and Andre B. Junqueira (postdoctoral researcher). Other members of the LICCI team might also provide support. We expect that a revised version of the MSc Thesis could result in a) guidelines and strategies to reduce and mitigate the carbon emissions associated to research, and b) a paper to be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.

Opportunities: The MSc student will be part of a research team working on interdisciplinary social-ecological research at ICTA-UAB, benefitting from direct interactions with a number of highly-qualified international researchers ( and The student will also get experience in reviewing and synthesizing published literature, and in writing and publishing a scientific article.

If you are interested on writing your MSc thesis on this topic, please contact


Deadline: 31st January 2020

Call for a PhD student

Doctoral Student needed


Local Indicators of Climate Change Impacts.

The Contribution of Local Knowledge to Climate Change Research



Duration of contract: January 2019- January 2023


Project description: We invite applications for a doctoral position in the ERC funded project “Local Indicators of Climate Change Impacts. The Contribution of Local Knowledge to Climate Change Research”. The selected student would register in the PhD program of the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology at UAB and work under Prof. V. Reyes-García supervision. The research project aims to bring insights from indigenous and local knowledge to climate research by 1) providing data on local climate change impacts on natural and on human systems and 2) testing hypotheses on the global spatial, socioeconomic and demographic distribution of local climate change impacts indicators. The position will be located at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.


Functions: The selected student will be responsible for the collection of qualitative and quantitative data on local reports of climate change.  Data will be collected among Indigenous peoples and local communities living in remote areas. The student will also participate in the creation of a network of people who might participate in the project.  The student will also be expected (1) to collaborate training workshops and (2) to participate in a policy conference to disseminate project’s results. The student will be encouraged to pursue his/her own research ideas, within the topic of the project.

Profile: Candidates should have an official master’s degree in a field relevant for this research (i.e., anthropology, geography, environmental sciences, or biology). Candidates should be fluent in written and spoken English (fluency in other languages is a plus). Candidates should also 1) be able to travel internationally for long periods of time (i.e., minimum fieldwork duration 8 months), 2) have the ability to work across disciplines, and 3) be comfortable with the idea of living in remote areas (e.g., heat, cold, monotonous diet, bad communications) and tolerance for bouts of medical problems common when travelling (e.g., parasites, altitude sickness). Candidates should also show interest to learn from other cultures. Previous field experience would be highly valued. Candidates should be familiar with the use of ICT. Statistical training is a plus.


Contract terms: Student will be hired full time during four consecutive years by ICTA-UAB. The annual gross salary is of 20.000€, and includes social security (i.e., health and pension benefits). Off-campus medical insurance and field expenses will be covered by the project.


To apply: Applicants should send a cover letter and examples of their previous work (e.g. Master thesis) and an updated CV to by December 19th, 2018. The cover letter should include a personal statement explaining the applicant interest in the project and the name, position and e-mail contact of three potential referees. Candidates that do not fill the requirements will not be considered.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed beginning January 2019, and a final decision will be communicated by mid of January 2019. Selected students are expected to join the team by end January 2019.

This project is funded by a Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council (FP7-771056-LICCI)