Research Fellow (Smart Sustainable Futures)

University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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Human Geography research is aligned under the theme of ‘Smart Sustainable Futures’ which aims to build successful collaborations that identify theoretical insights and practical pathways to enhance environmental, social, and economic wellbeing through high quality and impactful research. Under this theme the Green Economy Research Centre (GERC) is a cross disciplinary group advancing knowledge on local, national and global transitions to a green economy. A key focus of our research is to investigate challenges of sustainable food production that delivers multiple benefits not only in terms of healthy soils as a basis for productive farming, but also as a habitat for wildlife, space for recreational activities, contributions to flood management and maintaining water quality.

The purpose of the role is to manage and deliver the requirements of the CONTRACTS2.0 Work Package 1 (WP1): Conceptual, analytical, and synthesis framework. This involves working with the other scientific partners to review multiple bodies of literature, organise discussion and agree on frameworks. The postholder will also contribute to reviewing and classifying existing approaches to result-based and collective approaches to agri-environmental contracts, including the relevant actors, institutional settings and socio-economic effects (WP2). The case study work is linked to WP3 and 4 which require the establishment of Contract Innovation Labs, building on existing initiatives (for example the Results-Based Agri-Environment Payment Scheme; farmer clusters, Facilitation Fund groups) and the coordination of a Policy Innovation Lab with relevant stakeholders.

The prospective candidate for this position should have general experience in social research with specific interest and expertise in land manager (in particular farmer) attitudes and behaviour, agri-environmental policy, and institutional analysis. Experience in participatory processes involving a range of stakeholders from farmers to policy makers is essential. It is expected that the candidate will have a PhD (or be nearing completion) in a related topic to the above themes in a relevant discipline e.g. human geography, rural development, environmental sociology, institutional economics, environmental management.

Salary will be paid at the rate of £33,199 pro rata per annum on the Grade 6 salary scale and negotiable with placement according to qualifications and experience. Consideration will be given to making an appointment at Research Assistant level for individuals in the final stages of completing their PhD, Grade 5 (£31,302 pro rata per annum). There is also scope to adjust the part-time hours – most project work is front loaded, with deliverables due in years 1-2.

The project starts on 1 May 2019, so we are seeking to make an appointment as soon as possible.

As this post is funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Action, it will be available until 30 April 2023.

Any appointment will be made subject to satisfactory references and a 12 month probation period.

For further information on various staff benefits and policies please visit 

This post does not meet the minimum requirements as issued by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) to qualify for an employer-sponsored visa. We are therefore unable to consider applications from candidates for this post who require sponsorship to work in the UK.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 24 May 2019

Should you wish to make an informal enquiry please contact

Dr Katrin Prager,

01224 273795

Please do not send application forms or CVs to Dr Prager

Please quote reference number GEO369R  on all correspondence