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Postdoctoral Research Assistant - Calibre Project
Whiteknights Reading UK

Job reference: SRF19353

Location: Whiteknights Reading UK

Closing date: 26/06/2017

Job live date: 26/05/2017

Salary: £29,301 - £38,183 per annum

Employment type: AR-Research

Department: School of Agriculture Policy & Development

Division: Agri-Environment

Hours per week: 1.00 FTE

Employment Basis/Type: Fixed Term

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position to investigate the potential contribution agroforestry can make to UK climate change mitigation effort. This 18-month position is part of the CALIBRE project funded by NERC’s ‘Greenhouse Gas Removal from the Atmosphere’ programme. The ‘tree technology' needed for carbon sequestration by agroforestry is already available to use on a mass scale, unlike other negative emission technologies, however there are significant policy and socio-economic issues that need to be addressed to unlock its potential in the UK. The successful applicant will focus on assessing the potential for greenhouse gas removal by agroforesty in the next 30-100 years through a desk-based study. The main contribution of this work will be to generate information needed for policy makers to justify action for meeting existing UK climate change mitigation commitments. We will adopt a multi-scale approach, looking at both national scale and farm scale potential.

The main modelling tool used for this research will be the The Sheffield Global Dynamic Vegetation Model (SDGVM) – a model that regularly contributes to the assessments of the state of the global carbon cycle. It will be used to predict the uptake of CO2 from different agroforestry strategies under varying climate change scenarios. Support will be provided in running the model, but the PDRA will design the model experiments and analyses the outputs.  The PDRA will also review current field/farm scale agroforestry models available to evaluate multiple benefits and trade-offs at farm scale.

The University aspires to be an “Employer of Choice” and recognises that success is not simply determined by a competitive suite of terms and conditions of service, but by fostering a working environment that protects the physical and mental well-being of its staff. Full details of the University's Health and Well-being policy are available from through the HR website. The University is committed to work-life balance and supportive of flexible working arrangements, and the School’s website gives examples of excellent practices in respect of flexible work as well as for maternity/parental leave within the School. The University supports its staff in many other ways:

its Centre for Quality Support and Development,

its excellent Nursery facilities,

its SportsPark,

its membership of Childcare+.

Its participation in Athena Swann

The position will be primarily based within the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, but will receive guidance and close collaboration from staff based in Departments of Meteorology and Geography & Environmental Science. The School of Agriculture provides a welcoming, supportive and progressive environment for career development and consists of a learning and research community from over 40 different nations, was highly ranked in the last REF and prides itself on its multi-disciplinary research and education. The Department of Meteorology is world leading in its research on the fundamental science of weather and climate. It was ranked second in the world in 2017 for research into Meteorology and Atmospheric Science by the Center for World University Rankings. 86% of its research was graded as world leading or internationally excellent in the most recent Research Excellence Framework as part of a joint submission with the Department of Geography & Environmental Science (GES).  GES is home to a dynamic and growing community of researchers working on biogeochemical and hydrological processes, with an active PDRA-led network to support career development.   

This is a full time, fixed term post initially for a period of 1.5 years. There may be opportunities to extend this post contingent upon your satisfactory performance and the acquisition of sufficient research funding.

You will have:

  • PhD, or equivalent post-graduate research experience in agriculture or forestry, environmental science, biogeochemistry, geography, plant science
  • Ability to work with computer models,  with a proven ability to handle, post-process, and analyse large datasets;
  • Ability to carry out independent research work
  • Ability to publish work in research journals
  • Excellent written, presentation and oral communication skills to a wider range of audiences
  • Strong motivation and good willingness to learn new techniques relevant to the project

Informal contact details

Alternative informal contact details

Contact role:

Line manager

Contact role:


Contact name:

Martin Lukac

Contact name:

Joanna Clark

Contact phone:

0118 378 8476

Contact phone:

0118 378 6581

Contact email:

Contact email:

The University is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce and we welcome applications for job-share, part-time and flexible working arrangements which will be considered in line with business needs.


The closing date for this job has now passed.


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