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Junior Researcher | Biological Sciences (Biodiversity conservation and ecology)

Reference: BIOPOLIS 2023-66
Job description:
Junior Researcher

Reference: BIOPOLIS 2023-66
Main research field: Biological Sciences
Sub research field: Biodiversity conservation and ecology

1. The Board of Directors of Associação BIOPOLIS, has decided to open an international call for an PhD holder researcher, under a work contract for a non-fixed term for an expected duration of 2 years. This announcement is intended to 1 (one) Junior research position (Reference BIOPOLIS 2023-66) to pursue scientific research and knowledge transfer activities in the scope of Horizon Europe project NaturaConnect (Designing a resilient and coherent Trans-European network for nature and people). The primary aim of the NaturaConnect is to work with key decision-makers and stakeholders to create knowledge, tools and capacity-building to support Member States in creating an ecologically representative, resilient and well-connected network of protected areas that will contribute to achieving the objectives of the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030.

The primary objectives of NaturaConnect ( include: 1 Address gaps in coherence and ecological representativeness of existing protection areas; 2 Identify priority areas for protecting and restoring multifunctional corridors; 3 Engage stakeholders involved in design and implementation of the TEN-N and co-design tools and guidelines with them for maximal uptake; 4 Develop future scenarios of nature in Europe based on stakeholders’ societal values and needs; 5 Review and disseminate spatial planning practices and conservation funding mechanisms and demonstrate in case studies how the decision support tools from NaturaConnect can be applied across scales and contexts and; 6 Bring together state-of-the-art biodiversity and ecosystem service data and predictive models to contribute to the design of the TEN-N and a European monitoring system. 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Innovation Action program (HORIZON-CL6-2021-BIODIV-01) under Grant Agreement number: 101060429. The project has 22 project partners (research institutions and NGOs) and is under the leadership of the International Institute for Applied System Analyses (IIASA) and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU).

The selected candidate is expected to undertake the following activities: 

Participation on Work Package 6 – Multi-scale nature connectivity and corridors design, dealing with the setting of corridors and enhancing connectivity of the future Nature 2000 network at different spatial scales. This will be done using both structural and functional ecology approaches, as well as extensive stakeholder consultation to evaluate current practices being implemented at EU to national and regional scales. Research may also involve the use of agent-based models in connectivity estimation.

Participation on Work Package 8 – Showcasing the implementation of the Trans-European Nature Network (TEN-N), dealing with the development of six Case Studies including transnational, national, and subnational conservation and planning contexts in six biogeographical regions throughout Europe. The main focus will be a case study on implementing the future Natura2000 network in Portugal (meeting the EU Biodiversity Strategy protection targets), in collaboration with the University of Évora. In addition to the scientific approaches, this includes the participation in stakeholder groups and capacity building workshops.

Activities in these work packages are expected to be carried out until the end of 2025.

2. Applicable Legislation
Decree-Law no. 57/2016 of August 29th, amended by Law 57/2017 and Regulatory Decree No. 11- A / 2017 which approved the doctorate hiring regime destined to stimulate scientific and technological employment for all knowledge areas (RJEC); Portuguese Labour Code, approved by Law 7/2009 of February 12, in its actual form. 

3. Pursuant to article 13 of RJEC, the tender selection panel is formed by: Francisco Moreira (Researcher at CIBIO-InBIO, President of the selection panel), Luis Borda de Água (Researcher at CIBIO-InBIO), and Miguel Porto (Researcher at CIBIO-InBIO).

4. The successful candidate will preferentially work at CIBIO-InBIO in Lisbon (Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, PORTUGAL). Visits to other collaborating labs may take place. 

5. Monthly remuneration to be paid is that set by subheading a) nr.1 article 15 of RJEC and article nr 2 of the Regulatory Decree nr. 11-A/2017, corresponding to level 33 of the Tabela Remuneratória Única, approved by Order no. 1553-C/2008 of December 31st, i.e. 2228,11 Euros.

6. The application can be submitted by any national, foreign and stateless candidate(s) holding a doctorate degree in Biology or related areas and a scientific and professional curriculum whose profile is suited for the activity described below (item 7). In case the doctorate degree was awarded by a foreign higher education institution, it must comply with the provisions of Decree-Law no. 66/2018 of 16 October, and all formalities established therein must be complied with at the signature of work contract.

7. The tender admission general requirements are those defined in the previous point 6; additional important experience in the following topics will be valued: 
a) connectivity analysis
b) systematic conservation planning of protected areas;
b) Geographical Information Systems;
d) agent-based models
e) Co-authorship in scientific publications;

The candidate should be able to work well within a team and have excellent English and communication skills. Knowledge of Portuguese language is also relevant for the work in Work Package 8. Furthermore, it is expected that the candidate possesses strong troubleshooting and problem-solving skills. 

8. Pursuant to article 5 of RJEC, the selection is to be made based on the evaluation of the scientific and curricular career of the candidate.

9. Evaluation criteria: 

The evaluation of the CV of the candidates, in particular the scientific merit and research experience will take into consideration the elements presented for the last five years of activity falling within the scope of the specific areas of the tender (see Points 1 and 7) and will be performed according to the following criteria:

9.1 Integrated assessment of the curriculum trajectory of the candidate, based on an overview of their scientific merits, namely: 
I. Overall scientific coherence of the CV – 5%
II. Diversity of scientific indicators, including relevant published peer-reviewed articles falling within the scope of the specific areas listed at Points 1 and 7 – 30%
III. Participation in EU research projects – 5% 

9.2 Relevant experience, proved in CV, in:
I. Connectivity analysis – 20%
II. Systematic conservation planning – 10%
III. Data analysis, modelling and programming skills (e.g. C, Java), including in agent-based models – 10%
IV. Research involving stakeholder interactions – 20%

10. In the case of admitted candidates whose evaluation does not differ more than 10% from that obtained by the best positioned candidate, the jury will interview these candidates. This will be aimed at obtaining clarifications and explanations about the curricular elements and additional information as well as to evaluate the attitude profile and motivation of the candidate. The final score of each jury member is obtained by the following assessment: 90% scientific and curricular career evaluation and 10% interview.

11. Candidate final classification system shall be given based on a scale 0 to 100.

12. The panel shall deliberate by means of roll-call vote justified under adopted and disclosed selection criteria, with no abstentions allowed.

13. Minutes of panel meetings shall be executed and include a summary of all occurrences of said meeting, as well as of all votes casted by the members and respective reasoning, and shall be provided to candidates whenever required.

14. After selection criteria application, the panel shall prepare a sorted list of approved candidates and respective classification.

15. Panel’s final decision shall be validated by the leader of the institution, who is also in charge of deciding about the hiring. 

16. Application formalisation:
16.1. The applications are formalised at the electronic address  with following documents in a digital form, in PDF format:

i) Curriculum vitae
ii) Motivational Letter
iii) Qualifications Certificate
iv) Other relevant documentation

16.2. The application period is from 21/09/2023 to 04/10/2023

Expect starting date: 1st November 2023

17. All candidates who formalise their applications in an improper way or fail to prove the requirements imposed by this tender are excluded from admission. In case of doubt, the panel is entitled to request any candidate to present further documentation supporting their statements.

18. False statements provided by the candidates shall be punished by law.

19. Both admitted and excluded candidate list and final classification list shall be notified by email.

20. After notification, all candidates have 10 working days to comment. Panel’s final decisions are pronounced within a period of 90 working days after the response period deadline.
21. This tender is exclusively destined to fill this specific position and can be terminated at any time until approval of final candidate list, expiring with the respective occupation of said position.

22. Non-discrimination and equal access policy: Associação BIOPOLIS actively promotes a non-discrimination and equal access policy, wherefore no candidate can be privileged, benefited, impaired or deprived of any rights whatsoever, or be exempt of any duties based on their ancestry, age, sex, sexual preference, marital status, family and economic conditions, instruction, origin or social conditions, genetic heritage, reduced work capacity, disability, chronic illness, nationality, ethnic origin or race, origin territory, language, religion, political or ideological convictions and union membership.

23. The panel has approved this announcement in meeting held on 18/09/2023.

24. To comply with Law no. 4/2019, of 10 January, candidates must declare on the application form, under a statement of honour, their degree of disability, the type of disability and the means of communication/expression to be used in the selection process.

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