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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Net Zero Carbon building design and delivery
Whiteknights Reading UK

Job reference: SRF41237

Location: Whiteknights Reading UK

Closing date: 10/06/2022

Job live date: 05/05/2022

Salary: £31,406 - £38,587 per annum

Employment type: AR-Research

Department: School of the Built Environment

Division: Construction Management & Engineering

Hours Per Week:: 1.00FTE

Employment Basis/Type: Full-time, Fixed-term up to 2 years, from October 2022

An exciting opportunity to join an interdisciplinary project exploring the design and delivery of low and net-zero carbon buildings.  We are looking for a post-doctoral research associate to join our team for 24 months, looking at the way in which organizational and disciplinary boundaries impact on the design and delivery of low and net zero carbon buildings. The post is offered based at the School of the Built Environment, University of Reading in collaboration with Strathclyde University – and funded by the ESRC.

The two-year project will focus on the coordination and communication challenges that high performance (low or net zero carbon) building design and delivery poses for construction professionals.  Drawing on socio-technical theories of epistemic artefacts, the focus will be on the way in which particular commitments are embedded in artefacts, how different disciplines interpret and act on them and what happens to carbon reduction commitments as artefacts travel across different phases of the design and delivery process.  Special attention will be paid to the visualization of energy reduction commitments and their communication.  Case studies will include six exemplary building projects. Research will include documenting ongoing negotiations around energy related decisions, tracing the displacement and substitution of artifacts across project phases, analysis of disciplinary differences in the interpretation of particular artifacts and cross case comparisons. 

Theories of epistemic objects and communities will be used to move the conversation of sustainable building beyond general calls for greater integration to a process-based socio-technical analysis of how project teams negotiate design decisions within and across project teams.  Research outcomes include academic outputs, industry reports and the development of new teaching resources. 

You will have some combination of:

  • Very good knowledge of basic social science or organizational studies research approaches (ideally, with a focus on socio-technical analysis)
  • Very good knowledge of building design and delivery processes
  • Ability to understand and analyse technical and engineering problems and/or organizational processes
  • Experience with qualitative research (including interview and observation skills and document analysis)
  • Experience with teaching curriculum development
  • Doctorate in a relevant specialism
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to communicate with a wide range of different stakeholders
  • Record of publications commensurate with career stage

Interviews will be held on 20 June 2022

​​​​​​​Startdate from 17 October 2022

Informal contact details

Contact role:

Principal Investigator

Contact name:

Prof. Libby Schweber

Contact email:

Please note that recent changes in Google Chrome (version 101) and Microsoft Edge (version 101) mean that some users are currently unable to view downloaded PDF documents in those browsers.  You can view the downloaded file using Adobe Acrobat Reader.  If this remains a problem for you, then please contact to request a copy of the Job Description & Person Specification.

Applications from job seekers who require sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications. By reference to the applicable SOC code for this role, sponsorship may be possible under the Skilled Worker Route.  Applicants should ensure that they are able to meet the points requirement under the PBS.  There is further information about this on the UK Visas and Immigration Website.​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The University is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce, supports the gender equality Athena SWAN Charter and the Race Equality Charter, and is a Diversity Champion for Stonewall, the leading LGBT+ rights organisation. Applications for job-share, part-time and flexible working arrangements are welcomed and will be considered in line with business needs.


The closing date for this job has now passed.


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