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Postdoctoral Scholar Position with Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force project

Postdoctoral Scholar Position with Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force project at UCLA Emmett Institute on Climate Change & the Environment and UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability


Founded in the state of California in 2008, the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF Task Force) is a unique subnational coalition of thirty-nine states and provinces from ten countries working to reduce deforestation and promote sustainable land use. One-third of the world’s tropical forests are in GCF Task Force states and provinces, including all of the Brazilian Amazon, the vast majority of the Peruvian Amazon, and the majority of Indonesia’s forests.

Starting in July 2022, the GCF Task Force will be based at UCLA under the leadership of Professor William Boyd (GCF Task Force Project Lead) and Jason Gray (GCF Task Force Project Director). The GCF Task Force is also supported by an additional team at the University of Colorado, Boulder and four in-country coordinators for Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and Peru.

We seek a postdoctoral scholar to join the team at UCLA to help design and lead our forest governance assessment project as part of the larger GCF Task Force initiative. The project will involve research and analysis of the structure, conduct, and performance of forest governance in the GCF Task Force’s 36 tropical forest states and provinces. (see map below which does not include newest member, Zamora Chinchipe Ecuador).

This will include assessment of basic forest governance capabilities and organization in GCF Task Force member jurisdictions; inventory and analysis of major laws, policies, and programs; mapping of key relationships and networks within government and with key partners; assessment of stakeholder processes; analysis of major obstacles and bottlenecks facing policy implementation; and assessment of opportunities to use new tools and approaches, including new platforms for using remote sensing data, innovative financing strategies, land tenure reform, protected area development, and stakeholder engagement.

The postdoctoral scholar will be expected to lead the design and implementation of surveys of member jurisdictions; structured and semi-structured interviews with government officials, civil servants, and their civil society partners; network mapping of key relationships within jurisdictions; and in-depth case studies of particular jurisdictions. The postdoctoral scholar will work with Professor Boyd, Project Director Jason Gray, and key members of the GCF Task Force team at the University of Colorado and in major regions to develop publications based on these assessments.

One goal of this project is to open up the black box of these governments in order to assess and understand the people, the relationships, and the organizational capabilities that constitute these governments and provide the basis for subnational forest governance.

The primary worksite location will be at IoES on the UCLA campus, but remote options are possible. International travel to GCF Task force member states and provinces, regional workshops, and annual meetings will be required.

The scholar will also be expected to work with the GCF Task Force team to develop collaborative projects, including trainings and exchanges for civil servants and their partners, with the Center for Tropical Research, the Congo Basin Institute, the Emmett Institute, and other relevant units at UCLA as well as with other Universities and research institutions in GCF Task Force member states and provinces.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

• PhD in social science discipline, interdisciplinary environmental program, or related field.

• Experience working with government officials, civil servants, and/or civil society groups in tropical forest regions.

• Experience designing and implementing surveys of government civil servants, professionals, and/or civil society organizations.

• Experience conducting structured and semi-structured interviews.

• Understanding of international forests and climate policy space.

• Ability to work well with diverse teams across multiple geographies.

• Basic reading and writing of one or more of the major regional languages of the GCF Task Force (Portuguese, Spanish, Indonesian).

• Record of publications.

Preferred qualifications

• Experience working in tropical forest frontiers.

• Experience communicating science and policy to the general public and professional audiences and communities.

• Strong publication record.

• Experience with project management.

• Experience conducting training and exchanges.

• Experience working with multi-stakeholder processes.


All applicants must apply via the UC Recruit system. To apply, please include your cover letter addressing your experience and qualifications in relation to the responsibilities of this position, curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references to:

Please email any questions to Professor William Boyd, GCF Task Force Project Lead, Please type GCF Task Force PostDoc in the subject line.

Application due date: Applications must be submitted by May 19, 2022. Applications will not be considered after this date.

Desired Start Date: September 1, 2022.

Classification and Compensation: This is a full-time, salaried, exempt position. The salary range is based on the UCLA postdoctoral salary scale, commensurate with experience. This is a 2-year fixed term appointment with the potential to extend, although the second year is contingent on satisfactory performance in year 1. UCLA offers a generous benefits package.