Postdoctoral Research Scientist — Agricultural Sustainability Database

Rothamsted Research

United Kingdom

Full time

Jul 15

About the job

Overview Of Role

We are seeking a highly qualified postdoctoral research scientist specialised in sustainability assessment of agricultural production systems. The position will run for 12 months and be based at the institute's North Wyke site in Devon, England.

With a clear and urgent need to transform our farming systems to make them more resource-efficient, less polluting and more resilient to external shocks, the value of agricultural experimental data is greater than ever. Established in 1843, Rothamsted Research is the world’s longest-running agricultural research institute with a wealth of information that can be utilised to determine what food we should grow where and how to achieve the oft-conflicting goals of food security, environmental/ecological sustainability and vibrant rural communities. Our Broadbalk arable rotation trial, for example, has continuously been running for 178 years, providing an invaluable evidence base for soil carbon dynamics, a major determinant of climate change impacts of agriculture.

Working as part of the Digital Rothamsted Initiative aiming to extract the untapped value of data resources and archived samples owned by the institute, the post holder will be responsible for standardisation of soil, agronomic, livestock, environmental/ecological and agribusiness data across multiple long-term trials being carried out at multiple sites in England (Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Devon) so that the performance of each treatment becomes comparable across trial boundaries. Using this unified database, the post holder will then lead a systematic appraisal of a diverse range of farming systems under Rothamsted’s portfolio, including the Long-term Experiments (LTEs), the Large Scale Rotation Experiment (LSRE) and the North Wyke Farm Platform (NWFP), with the view to identify dominating (consistently superior) and dominated (consistently inferior) farming practices through a trade-off analysis. Finally, the post holder will collate life cycle inventory information associated with each production system and transfer them to HESTIA, a global open-access platform for agri-food life cycle assessment (LCA) data managed by the University of Oxford, to facilitate secondary use of project outputs. The Oxford Martin School will provide technical expertise for this component of work as an external project partner.

Successful candidates will possess a PhD in agricultural science or a closely related field, advanced skills in data management and analysis, and a strong interest and professional-level knowledge in agricultural sustainability. Further requirements are outlined in the Person Specification and Shortlisting Criteria document.

Applicants must prepare a single PDF file combining (1) curriculum vitae, (2) cover letter detailing one by one how each essential (and desirable) criterion is satisfied and, optionally, (3) supporting documents as detailed in the Person Specification and Shortlisting Criteria document. This PDF file must be uploaded to the online application system as 'CV to attach to application', whereas the 'Candidate Profile' section of the online form should provide the brief summary of its content. Applications without a cover letter will be automatically rejected.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interviews shortly after the closing date, which is 31 July 2021 and interviews are expected to be held on 9 August 2021. This post is for 12 months fixed term and attracts a salary ranging between £31,350 and £32,315 per annum.

Pre-application enquiries regarding this vacancy should be addressed to the project lead, Dr Taro Takahashi (


About The Company

Established in 1843, Rothamsted Research is one of the UK's leading research institutes delivering world class agricultural science. Our commitment to learning and development as well as creating a positive work life balance enables a welcoming environment for all prospective employees. We have an attractive benefits package including 25 days' annual leave, a generous pension scheme and attractive campuses offering cultural and recreational activities. We value equality and diversity in our workforce and particularly encourage applications from women, disabled and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, as these groups are currently under-represented within the organisation.

Seniority Level

Entry level


  • Non-profit Organization Management  Higher Education  Research

Employment Type


Job Functions

  • Research  Analyst  Information Technology

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