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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Food & Agricultural System Modelling
Whiteknights Reading UK

Job reference: SRF41811

Location: Whiteknights Reading UK

Closing date: 11/07/2022

Job live date: 17/06/2022

Salary: £31,406 - 36,383 per annum

Employment type: AR-Research

Department: School of Agriculture Policy & Development

Division: Sustainable Land Management

Hours Per Week:: 1.0 FTE

Employment Basis/Type: Full Time, Fixed Term until 09/2025

'Raising the Pulse (RtP)' is a £2.5M UKRI Transforming the UK Food System project based on the concept that considerable health and environmental benefit would result if we could make it easier for the population to eat more UK grown pulses. The pulse best suited to the UK, the faba bean, is naturally high in protein, micronutrients and fibre, and has the lowest environmental impact of all crops. However, most of the population will not significantly increase their consumption unless these beans are successfully incorporated into familiar looking and tasting, economic and convenient staple foods, such as bread.  

The scope of the RtP project is wide ranging, from sustainable production to nutritional enhancement, to processing and manufacturing innovation, to evaluation of health benefits and consumer acceptance, together with modelling of all the above. This ambitious project is therefore highly multi-disciplinary and will employ 6 research staff (PDRAs and technicians). One of these posts is for a full-time postdoctoral scientist with relevant training and experience in food, agricultural and/or environmental systems modelling for a period of 3 years from 1st October 2022.  

Harnessing extensive data from across the project, you will use a range of data analysis and modelling approaches to understand the impact of increased incorporation of pulses into UK diets and the means to achieve this. Whilst some quantitative and programming experience is expected (e.g. in R, MATLAB, Python or equivalent), training will be provided in methods new to you, providing an opportunity to expand your skills in data science and analysis. Methods will include using an agricultural land use model, Life-Cycle Assessment of the pulse-enhanced bread, and meta-analyses of health impacts of pulse consumption and variability in pulse productivity. You will use the outputs of these analyses to develop a Bayesian Network systems model which maps causes and linkages between environmental, economic, nutrition and health outcomes of the transformed food system.  

You will benefit from mentoring from experts in the different modelling approaches based in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading. 

Main duties and responsibilities 

  • To assess the land use, economic and environmental implications of increased pulse production in the UK using the LUAM land use model. 
  • To conduct a consequential life cycle assessment of pulse production and processing, including co-ordinating and carrying out expert consultations. 
  • To conduct meta-analyses on pertinent topics such as the effect of climate on pulse quality and the link between pulse nutrition and health. 
  • To develop a model of the combined impacts of increased faba-bean use on environment, economics and health using a system modelling framework such as a Bayesian Network.  
  • To liaise with the wider ‘Raising the Pulse’ project team on joint objectives e.g. integrating data from field trials and consumer studies; using the team’s knowledge to inform modelling approaches. 
  • To prepare manuscripts based on key findings for publication.     
  • To communicate the aims and findings of the research to a wider audience through various stakeholder events and outreach activities  

Informal contact details

Alternative informal contact details

Contact role:

Lecturer in Agricultural Modelling

Contact role:

Senior Research Fellow

Contact name:

Dr Lindsay Todman

Contact name:

Philip Jones

Contact phone:

+44 (0)118 378 6380

Contact phone:

Contact email:

Contact email:

Interview Date: 22/07/2022

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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