Wikimedia Visiting Fellow at Global Systems Institute

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Job Title: Wikimedia Visiting Fellow for Climate at Global Systems Institute
Hours: Open to full or part time candidates - please note your preference in application
Duration Fixed term for 1 year, with a possibility of extension subject to funding
Location: Flexible within the UK but with regular presence at the Institute in Exeter
Salary: £32,000-35,000 per annum pro rata depending on experience
Pension: Wikimedia UK offers a pension scheme, with 6% employer pension contributions
Annual leave: 25 days plus public holidays (pro rata)

Purpose of the job:[edit | edit source]

Enable the sharing of knowledge about climate change on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects, through working with experts, students and others. Advocate about the power of open knowledge platforms to increase access to up-to-date climate information, and address issues of disinformation and misinformation.

Background to the post:[edit | edit source]

Research shows that a lack of action on climate comes in part due to a lack of understanding of climate change and potential solutions; the perceived costs of implementing policy and behavioural changes; and perceptions of scientific uncertainty. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted, “media shapes the public discourse about climate mitigation.”  

Avoiding the worst effects of the climate emergency will require every part of society to make substantial changes in the next decade to reduce emissions to meet international goals, and to help societies around the world adapt to the crisis. These changes will only happen with universally accepted, easy-to-find and up-to-date scientific knowledge about climate change.

Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects are powerful vehicles for sharing expert knowledge to members of the public and local decision makers who need it most. However, there are big gaps in content in the many connected subtopics related to climate. The Wikimedia Visiting Fellow for Climate at the Global Systems Institute (GSI) will be employed directly by Wikimedia UK and collaborate with people from across the global Wikimedia movement, but will be embedded within a centre of excellence for climate research.

We are looking for someone who is passionate about science and the importance of public engagement with verifiable information about climate and the environment. A history of contributing to Wikimedia projects would be welcome, but this isn’t essential as training will be provided.

To Apply[edit | edit source]

Please send a CV and a covering letter (of no more than two pages) to by the closing date of Sunday 3 July. Your covering letter should address why and how you feel you meet the main points of the person specification. Interviews are expected to be held online during the week beginning 11th July.  Please put Wikimedia Visiting Fellow in the subject line of your email.

Alongside your application, we would be grateful if you could complete this anonymous diversity monitoring form:

Job Description[edit | edit source]

  • Set up and manage a programme of activities to facilitate collaboration between Global Systems Institute (University of Exeter), Wikimedia UK and the Wikipedia community - potentially leading to a sustainable relationship and joint projects in the future. Do this in collaboration with the University’s staff, students, partner organisations and also volunteers from the Wikimedia movement. Establish links between University staff and students and Wikimedia volunteers, to enhance Wikimedia volunteer engagement.
  • Work with experts within and beyond the GSI to improve and enrich the quality of information shared on Wikimedia platforms and advocate for GSI’s research and other outputs to be shared under an open licence.
  • Develop and implement programmes to train experts, science communicators and other volunteers on how to edit Wikipedia to improve its coverage of climate change, with a focus on technology, policy and solutions.
  • Integrate Wikipedia and other relevant Wikimedia open knowledge projects into higher education, as well as supporting course leaders in delivering training and enabling students to learn and share information about climate change and increasing contributions from experts within the field.
  • Liaise with the experienced contributors to Wikipedia’s climate change articles, and help volunteers understand Wikipedia‘s policies, internal communication systems, and dispute-resolution processes.
  • Organise events and competitions to reach out to potential Wikipedia volunteers to encourage them to develop and improve climate-related articles.
  • Create replicable models of Wikimedia-based collaboration for other organisations working on climate change and combatting dis- and mis-information.
  • Build bridges between scientists and the Wikipedia community to ensure that the residency has a sustained impact.
  • Take an active role in shaping the project, and pick up further tasks as required.

Person Specification[edit | edit source]

Experience[edit | edit source]

  • Track record of carrying out independent work that requires a self-starter, creative attitude
  • Experience of prioritising own workload and work under own initiative
  • Experience of monitoring and reporting project outputs
  • Experience of delivering training to others, ideally via running events and workshops

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities[edit | edit source]

  • Ability to make scientific and technical concepts understandable to a general audience
  • Understanding of and commitment to Wikimedia UK's mission, which is to enable people to engage with open knowledge and access reliable information in order to develop their understanding of the world, and make informed decisions about issues that affect them
  • Clear and persuasive communication skills, with the ability to build relationships with different groups of stakeholders and motivate people to engage with Wikipedia
  • An understanding or experience of the higher education sector; ideally with a science or science communication background
  • Collaborative attitude, with the ability to work tactfully, sensitively and effectively - as part of the institution, the Wikimedia community and with a wide range of individuals.
  • Familiarity with the scholarly literature on climate change (desirable).  
  • Good understanding of one or more aspects of climate science, mitigation strategies, adaptation strategies, or climate policy (desirable).

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia UK holds equity, diversity and inclusion at the heart of our organisation. We particularly welcome applications from potential candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups, such as those with protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act. As a Disability Confident Employer, we offer a guaranteed interview to any disabled candidate who meets the essential criteria for the post. If you would like to be considered under this scheme, please state this in your covering letter.