Research Assistant or Fellow in Nature Based Solutions to Land Degradation

Cranfield University
May 29, 2024
Offerd Salary:£34,450
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Research Assistant or Fellow in Nature Based Solutions to Land Degradation


Cranfield University


School of Water, Energy and Environment

Based at

Cranfield Campus, Cranfield, Bedfordshire

Hours of work

37 hours per week, normally worked Monday to Friday. Flexible working will be considered.

Contract type

Fixed term contract

Fixed Term Period

For 27 months


Full time starting salary for Research Assistant (if close to completing PhD) is normally £34,450 per annum or for Research Fellow (if PhD obtained) is normally £37,337 per annum

Posted Date


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  • 4829 - JD & Person Spec.pdf (PDF, 401.46kb)
  • Role Description

    Research Assistant or Research Fellow in Nature Based Solutions to Land Degradation in East Africa

    We welcome applications from multidisciplinary researchers to join our team of passionate and motivated academics working in sustainable natural resource management.

    About the Role

    You will support the co-development, testing and implementation of equitable, local ‘nature based solutions' (NbS) to control land degradation and enhance climate resilience in east African agropastoralist and farming communities. Specifically, the role will take day-to-day responsibility of the evaluation of land management practices that incorporate local knowledge with better scientific evidence. You will work with project partners in the UK and Africa, including local smallholder farmers and agropastoralists in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya to select and evaluate nature-based land management practices on community-managed field plots.

    About You

    You will be educated to doctoral level (or close to completion of a PhD), ideally with multidisciplinary experience that integrates environmental, agricultural, economic and social sciences. You should have a sound knowledge of agricultural practices, in particular land degradation processes, and soil and water conservation techniques (including those used in east Africa). You should also demonstrate knowledge of recent research in natural resources resilience/ susceptibility in the light of climate change. As the fieldwork component of the project is based in east Africa, you should be willing and able to travel to field sites overseas.

    You will have experience of working with farmers and other rural stakeholders, ideally using participatory methods and collection of field data (e.g. environmental parameters), applying both qualitative and quantitative methods. You will have worked in large, multidisciplinary research teams. With excellent oral, written and presentation skills, you will be able to convey complex information clearly. You will have experience in training delivery and the preparation of high-quality technical reports and research outputs. With excellent project and time management skills, you will ensure that milestones and deliverables are achieved to time and to high quality.

    About Us

    As a specialist postgraduate university, Cranfield's world-class expertise, large-scale facilities and unrivalled industry partnerships are creating leaders in technology and management globally. Learn more about Cranfield and our unique impact here.

    About the School of Water, Energy and Environment / Cranfield Soil and AgriFood Institute

    Cranfield's excellence in Water, Energy and Environment is recognised internationally. Industrial-scale facilities underpin our research and development in applied environmental science. The School is focused across the themes of Energy and Power, Water, and Environment and Agrifood, where the post will be located. The School is leading the University's response to the green economy agenda in the areas of clean growth, climate adaptation and infrastructure renewal.

    Within the School, the Cranfield Centre for Soil, Agrifood and Biosciences (SABS) has internationally-recognised expertise in agricultural and environmental sciences, with particular strengths in soil science, applied soil and water management, soil conservation and provision of ecosystem services. Our plant and microbial scientists link to our soils research through understanding rhizosphere processes and root trait genetics, using our unique, cutting-edge experimental facilities. We work closely with the Centre for Environmental and Agricultural Informatics (CEAI) to deliver multidisciplinary research, consultancy and postgraduate teaching.

    Our Values and Commitments

    Our shared, stated values help to define who we are and underpin everything we do: Ambition; Impact; Respect; and Community. Find out more here.

    We aim to create and maintain a culture in which everyone can work and study together and realise their full potential. We are a Disability Confident Employer and proud members of the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme. We are committed to actively exploring flexible working options for each role and have been ranked in the Top 30 family friendly employers in the UK by the charity Working Families. Find out more about our key commitments to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Flexible Working here.

    Working Arrangements

    Collaborating and connecting are integral to so much of what we do. Our Working Arrangements Framework provides many staff with the opportunity to flexibly combine on-site and remote working, where job roles allow, balancing the needs of our community of staff, students, clients and partners.

    How to apply

    For an informal discussion about this opportunity, please contact Jane Rickson, Professor of Soil Erosion and Conservation on +44 1234 75 4355: or (E): [email protected]

    Closing date for receipt of applications: 29 May 2024

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