November 2014
Message 60

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[Met-jobs] Research Fellow - communication of uncertainty in natural hazard prediction

From "Roger Brugge" <>
To "" <>
Date Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:58:12 +0000

Research fellow at the University of Reading
Full-time, fixed-term (18 months), Grade 6 (£28,695-£30,434)

Despite extensive work on the public understanding of risk in, for example, 
health sciences, there has to date been relatively little corresponding work 
for natural hazards. This novel inter-disciplinary project will investigate how 
to improve the way risk is communicated for a range of natural hazards.

The job-holder will be involved in three main strands of research. Firstly they 
will conduct quantitative and qualitative studies of how three groups 
understand natural hazard risk information. Initial surveys will assess how 
well each of the three groups, risk practitioners, their clients and a control 
group made up of the general public understand natural hazard risk information, 
as well as differences in the use of the information between the groups. 
Follow-on controlled studies with small groups of participants will focus on 
areas of interest revealed by the early work and particular problems in risk 
communication for natural hazards such as low-probability, high-risk events.

The second strand will be to develop new methods to communicate risk to end 
users for all of the hazards considered. The methods will be developed jointly 
by the project team, members of the research consortium and industrial project 
partners. There is a particular need to address two generic methodologies used 
for risk communication: probability of exceedance (PoE) curves for loss and 
hazard maps. A final, crucial part of this strand is to assess the ability of 
the developed methods to communicate the uncertainty appropriately. As shown 
extensively by MacEachren et al. (2005) many authors have developed or proposed 
methods for visualizing uncertainty, but there has been little end-user testing 
of these methods.

Finally, throughout the course of the project there will be a number of 
opportunities to engage with both industrial stakeholders and the general 
public to start off broader discussion about how risk is communicated and used 
and the researcher would have a specific remit to be involved in these 
activities both to promote the science they are doing and develop opportunities 
for further research.

You will have:

- PhD or equivalent in Meteorology, Psychology or Information Design

- Previous experience of participation in empirical research projects

- Ability to carry out and support high quality academic research.

- Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methods of data analysis

- Strong knowledge of experimental design

- Good scientific writing, presentation and communication skills.

For more details please see:

Or contact:
Andrew Charlton-Perez 

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