Postdoctoral Research Associate on the OfWat/South West Water (SWW)-funded Catchment Systems Thinking Co-operative (CastCo) project

University of Exeter

Exeter, UK 🇬🇧

Job details
Job reference: P81137
Date posted: 02/03/2023
Application closing date: 30/03/2023
Location: Exeter (Hybrid)
Salary: The starting salary will be from £31,411 up to £36,386 on Grade E, depending on qualifications and experience.
Package: Generous holiday allowances, flexible working, pension scheme and relocation package (if applicable).
Contractual hours: 36.5
Basis: Full-time
Job category/type: Research
Attachments: P81137 JD.pdf

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Job description

Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy

The above full-time post is available immediately on a fixed term basis for 2.5 years. We welcome applications from candidates interested in working part-time hours or job-sharing arrangements.

The post

The Centre for Resilience in Environment, Water and Waste (CREWW) wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Associate to support the work of Prof Richard Brazier’s research on the OfWat/South West Water (SWW)-funded Catchment Systems Thinking Co-operative (CastCo) project. The successful applicant will bring experience and understanding of water company assets and asset management together with environmental data and understanding generated within the project to demonstrate progressive ways of protecting and enhancing the environment. The work will characterise how assets (such as drinking water reservoirs, waste water treatment plants or combined sewer overspills) function, and explore if operational costs can be reduced via Upstream Thinking interventions (for e.g. planting trees or restoring wetlands to reduce water quantity and improve water quality that is received by such assets). In addition, the work will build understanding of each asset using natural capital-based approaches, which quantify the wide range of environmental benefits that might accrue via the delivery of interventions that not only make water company assets more resilient, but also benefit wider society and nature in a positive manner.   

The post will include; mapping of all SWW assets across the region, close working with delivery partners across the south west region including rivers and wildlife trusts, interrogation of the function of each asset, associated running costs and costs for long-term maintenance and upgrading, risks associated with each asset and potential benefits of upstream thinking interventions to enhance resilience of assets. The postholder will work to deliver these tasks within the wider team of modellers and data specialists who will collaborate closely to deliver project outcomes to South West Water. In its latter stages, the post will also involve liaison with other water companies as we roll-out this way of working to multiple regions of the UK.   

About you

The successful applicant will be able to present information on research progress and outcomes, communicate complex information, orally, in writing and electronically and prepare proposals and applications to external bodies.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD (or be nearing completion) or possess an equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study/place of work (for e.g. a water company) and be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes. Applicants will be able to: Use GIS software (for example ARCGIS/QGIS) to a high standard, interrogate and understand water company asset data, work closely with both academics and water company specialists to integrate their findings with multiple strands of research, understand the basics of cost/benefit analysis and natural capital accounting approaches, especially of relevance to the water industry.   The applicant must also be able to work with business-sensitive data, within a partnership between the UoE and SWW and must have a demonstrable track-record of meetings deadlines and working within tight timeframes to deliver high-quality work.

Please ensure you read the Job Description and Person Specification for full details of this role by clicking on the attachment.

What we can offer you

  • Freedom (and the support) to pursue your intellectual interests and to work creatively across disciplines to produce internationally exciting research;
  • Support teams that understand the University wide research and teaching goals and partner with our academics accordingly
  • An Innovation, Impact and Business directorate that works closely with our academics providing specialist support for external engagement and development
  • Our Exeter Academic initiative supporting high performing academics to achieve their potential and develop their career
  • A multitude of staff benefits including sector leading benefits around maternity, adoption and shared parental leave (up to 26 weeks full pay), Paternity leave (up to 6 weeks full pay), and a new Fertility Treatment Policy
  • A beautiful campus set in the heart of stunning Devon.

The University of Exeter

We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities and in the top 150 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 and QS World University Ranking 2022). We combine world-class teaching with world-class research, achieving a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework Award 2017.

Our research income in recent years means we’re the fastest growing UK Research University with some of the world’s most influential scientists, and we seek to answer some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today through this. 98% of our research is of international quality (2014 Research Excellence Framework). We encourage proactive engagement with industry, business and community partners to enhance the impact of research and education and improve the employability of our students. Read about our world leading research – Green Futures and how we are transforming education for a changing world. We are located in a beautiful part of the country and Exeter (a fast growing tech hub) is one of only a few UK cities to have been designated as a UNESCO Creative City

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

With over 27,000 students and 6,400 staff from 180 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment where our diversity is celebrated and valued as a major strength. We are committed to creating an inclusive culture where all members of our community are supported to thrive; where diverse voices are heard through our engagement with evidence-based charter frameworks for gender (Athena SWAN), race equality (Race Equality Charter Mark), LGBTQ+ inclusion (Stonewall Diversity Champion) and as a Disability Confident employer. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented within our working community. Reasonable adjustments are available for interviews and workplaces.

For further information please contact Prof Richard Brazier, Director of CREWW, e-mail





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