Job Position: Research Assistant: Literature Review and Policy Analysis

  • Field: Cultural Heritage, Disaster Management, Public Policy
  • Organisation: People’s Palace Projects do Brasil*
  • Salary: R$3.000 per month, paid via nota fiscal (e.g. to the applicant’s MEI)
  • Type: Part-time (2.5 days a week = 20 hours per week)
  • Period: Temporary, 2 months (beginning December 2020)
  • Location: Brazil or UK (working remotely)
  • Reporting to: Principal Investigator (Professor Paul Heritage) and Project Manager
  • Deadline for applications: 11:59pm (GMT-3), Sunday 22 November 2020. No applications will be accepted after the deadline.
  • Interviews will be held on: 30th November or 01st December 2020

* N.B. If the applicant holds a right to work in the UK, an employment contract at People’s Palace Projects (UK) may be offered at the same salary.


  • Description

Professor Paul Heritage is looking for a bilingual research assistant (Brazilian Portuguese/English) to conduct literature review as part of the research project (provisional title) Build Back Better: a participatory approach to mapping, measuring and mobilising cultural heritage in Brazil’s Iron Quadrangle.

Over the period of eight weeks (20 hours per week), the research assistant will undertake review of existing local, state and federal strategies for disaster risk management of cultural heritage   in Portuguese and English. The literature review and policy analysis produced will feed into a project webinar and interim report in March 2021.

We are seeking a professional in the fields of Cultural Heritage, Disaster Management and Public Policy (or an individual with transferrable skills in related areas) with experience in research and writing literature reviews, undertaking policy analysis and summarising key concepts in both Brazilian Portuguese and English.

  • About the Research

This research addresses an acute threat to Brazilian cultural heritage from a predicted hazard that has been persistently raised as an urgent concern by a range of international scientific experts, local engineers and community activists. A pilot project will be undertaken within Brazil’s Quadrilátero Ferrífero (Iron Quadrangle), a region of rich cultural, environmental and historical value but also the site of Brazil’s largest iron ore reserves. The Iron Quadrangle includes two UNESCO World Heritage sites (Ouro Preto and Congonhas), five towns classified as Brazilian National Heritage sites, hundreds of listed monuments, unique archaeological sites and some of Brazil’s significant indigenous rock paintings and ceramics.

Despite the unique cultural significance of Brazil’s Iron Quadrangle, there has been no systematic research to measure the impact of recent disasters on the region’s cultural heritage or on the lives of local communities. The project will pilot a community-based, collaborative approach to redressing the chronic lack of data in Brazil’s current disaster response policy. In partnership with the Inhotim Institute (Latin America’s largest outdoor art collection and one of Brazil’s most prestigious contemporary art galleries), the research team will propose and test a method to train representatives from local arts and cultural organisations in methodologies that co-create inventories of cultural practices and assets. Using multi-disciplinary indicator tools to calibrate cultural value the research will examine what role cultural heritage can have as part of a process of transformation and regeneration. The project will establish Inhotim as a competence centre – ‘hub’ – for a community-based research strategy that values cultural heritage as a means of securing survival against future risks. A key aim of this project is to enhance cultural heritage’s role in social agendas and influence decisions by policy makers by highlighting the measurable social, cultural and economic benefits of cultural assets and resources in dialogue with local communities, artists and cultural organisations.

  • Job duties will include, but not be limited to:
    • Working with the Principal Investigator (PI) to agree the terms and scope of the literature review
    • Identifying and selecting relevant studies as well as relevant national and international legislation.
    • Collecting, summarizing and presenting the available research evidence and key research findings on this topic
    • Determining and refining research strategy in collaboration with the Principal Investigator
    • Collating, summarizing and reporting findings to the Principal Investigator
    • Participating in working group meetings (online meetings)
    • Preparing material for the project’s webinar and interim report


  • Qualifications and Experience (Essential):
    • A demonstrable awareness and understanding of the academic literature in cultural heritage and/or disaster management related fields.
    • A demonstrable understanding of the policy framework for disaster management in Brazil and internationally
    • A demonstrable understanding of the cultural policy framework for Brazil at federal level and for Minas Gerais at state level
    • Native level of fluency and an excellent degree of accuracy in written and spoken Brazilian Portuguese.
    • Fluency and accuracy in English (written and spoken)
    • Proven writing, copywriting, editing and proofing skills.
    • Demonstrable skills in research and demonstrable understanding of the process of writing literature reviews
    • A flexible schedule is required
    • Ability to work effectively with remote team members
    • Excellent organisational skills, high attention to detail and timeline adherence
    • Ability to follow protocols
    • Strong written and verbal communication skills
    • Ability to take lead on research
    • Self-starter with ability to work independently with minimal supervision
    • Skills in MS Office, including Word, Excel, Power Point.
  • Qualifications and Experience (Desirable):
    • Graduate, Post-graduate and/or relevant professional qualification and/or substantial professional experience in cultural heritage and/or disaster management related fields
    • Previous experience of writing literature review(s).
  • Deadline for applications is Sunday 22 November 2020, 11:59pm (GMT-3). No applications will be accepted after the deadline.
  • Interviews will be held on: 30th November or 01st December 2020. We regret that we will only be able to provide feedback for unsuccessful candidates if you were shortlisted for interview.