Research Associate in Crop-Water Modelling for Water Policy Design

University of Manchester

Manchester, UK 🇬🇧

Job reference: SAE-021209

Location: Sackville Street

Closing date (DD/MM/YYYY): 09/03/2023

Salary: £34,308 to £37,474 per annum, depending on relevant experience

Employment type: Fixed Term

Faculty/Organisation: Science and Engineering

Division: Department of Mechanical, Aero & Civ Eng

Hours Per Week: 1 FTE

Contract Duration: Fixed Term from 1 May 2023 (or as soon as possible thereafter) for a period of 24 months

School / Directorate: School of Engineering

The Agriculture, Water and Climate Research Group (, led by Dr Tim Foster, are seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Associate for an initial 2-year term as part of the TRANSCEND project (Transformational and robust adaptation to water scarcity and climate change under deep uncertainty) funded by UK Research and Innovation and the European Commission ( Over the next four years, TRANSCEND’s goal is to identify, design, and implement policy solutions that enable sustainable and equitable adaptation to challenges posed by water scarcity, climate and socio-economic change.

As part of the TRANSCEND project, you will lead research to quantify the impacts of water management policies and climate change on the agricultural sector (Work Package 3). Your work will leverage and refine existing crop and economic simulation models developed at the University of Manchester (e.g., AquaCrop-OS) to support assessments of how agricultural production and water use will be impacted by and respond to future climate, socio-economic, and policy changes. You will integrate these models with multi-sector river-basin scale decision support and satellite-derived land and water use datasets developed by the TRANSCEND consortium to identify water management policies that sustainably and equitably balance agricultural water needs with other users and the environment.

The TRANSCEND project will be implemented across a set of seven living labs in river basins facing growing water scarcity: the Júcar (Spain); Reno (Italy); Tympaki (Greece); Nitra (Slovakia); Caplina-Mauri-Desaguadero System (Peru, Chile and Bolivia); Orontes (Lebanon, Syria and Turkey); and Mahanadi (Indian states of Chhattisgarh and Odisha). You will work closely with local researchers and practitioners in some or all of these case study river basins to leverage models developed in your research to help solve immediate and long-term stakeholder-defined water management challenges. You will collaborate closely with other academic partners that are part of the TRANSCEND consortium, providing a unique opportunity to be embedded within an international network of world-leading researchers working on challenges of water management, climate adaptation, and socio-environmental modelling.

You will have a PhD or equivalent (or be close to completion) in agronomy, hydrology, earth system science, physical geography, engineering, natural resource economics, computer science, or a related field. You will have experience in the development and application of crop and/or land use models, ideally in agricultural regions, along with strong programming skills in Python, R, or Matlab. You will also have strong written and oral communication skills in English, and a passion for working on policy-oriented research in an interdisciplinary and multicultural research environment. A demonstrated track record of peer-reviewed publications and development of open-source software tools would be an asset.

You will be based in the Agriculture, Water and Climate Research Group based within the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering at the University of Manchester. You will be part of a dynamic and growing group of postdoctoral researchers and PhD students working on the agricultural water management, climate adaptation, and land use change in several regions around the world (

The School/Department is strongly committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN charter for gender equality in higher education. The School/Department holds a Bronze Award for their good practice in relation to gender; including flexible working arrangements, family-friendly policies, and support to allow staff to achieve a god work-life balance. We positively welcome applications from women for this post. All appointments will always be made on merit. For further information, please visit:

Our University is positive about flexible working – you can find out more here

Blended working arrangements may be considered       

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies.

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Name: Dr Tim Foster, Senior Lecturer in Water-Food Security


General enquiries:


Technical support:

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.

Please see the link below for the Further Particulars document which contains the person specification criteria.

SAE- 021209 Research Associate Crop-Water Modelling for Water Policy Design FP’s





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development