Senior Research Associate, Global Sustainability

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire (GB)
30 Apr 2019
End of advertisement period
27 May 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Senior Research Associate, Global Sustainability (7 Fixed-Term Posts)
University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Cambridge
Salary: £40,792-£51,630
Reference: EN18648

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is seeking to appoint a cadre of Senior Research Associates under The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme. This exciting new Programme aims to unlock the potential of the University to partner with business, government and finance institutions on real-world challenges and opportunities that must be addressed in order to build a sustainable economy. The ambition is to foster new cross-disciplinary thinking on sustainability leading to practical insights, tools and recommendations for decision-makers to carry into their organisations alongside important advances in fundamental knowledge.

Funding for the Fellowships has been secured through philanthropic donations from companies, foundations and individuals. Each Fellow will be tasked with developing and leading a research project of relevance to one of the defined topics below. Applications are welcome from highly regarded researchers from any relevant discipline with a strong academic record and interest in conducting research in business, policy or civil-society contexts.

These posts are full-time or part-time (minimum 80% FTE), and CISL is open to secondments or similar arrangements which accommodate existing commitments. From 2020 the Programme will be based at CISL's new premises in the centre of Cambridge, which will serve as a vibrant, collaborative atmosphere for transdisciplinary research, education, industry and policy engagement.

The first round of Fellowships is now open spanning the following topics:

Industrial Transformation:

  • Radical innovation and disruption (Paul & Michelle Gilding);
  • Transforming the pulp and paper industry (Sappi);
  • Pathways to a circular economy (Unilever).

Social Inclusion:

  • Resilient communities (Asda); 
  • Luxury and inclusion (Chanel);
  • Infrastructure in local communities (Equal Opportunities Foundation).


  • Air quality and NCDs (AstraZeneca).

A second round of recruitment is planned for September 2019 and includes themes such as micro-nutritional deficiencies (Royal DSM), connected communities (Sainsbury's), climate risk and disclosure (Heathrow), purpose and leadership (Anglian Water).

Applicants must be committed to the values that underpin CISL's work and, our Fellows will be expected to have the following attributes:

  • PhD or equivalent in a relevant area with substantial postdoctoral experience;
  • Sufficient breadth and depth of specialist knowledge to design and execute research of a high standard;
  • The skills and experience to work independently and manage own workload with limited oversight, while also seeking to foster fruitful collaborations;
  • The ability to continually update knowledge in the specialist area and engage in continuous professional development;
  • Sufficient project management skills and experience to oversee a substantial research project, including financial management, establishing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders, reporting and overseeing more junior staff, as required;
  • The creativity and initiative to develop a new project and the intellectual energy and independent thinking necessary to deliver the research;
  • Clear enthusiasm for engaging flexibly and responsively to opportunities for impact.

The funds for these posts are available for 3 years in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit:

Closing date: 27 May 2019 

Please provide a full CV, cover letter, and research proposal containing a 1,000 - 2,000 word description with a 100-word summary intended for a general audience. If you wish to be considered for this opportunity on the basis of a secondment, please provide evidence of home institutional support. 

If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact the CISL's Research Team,

Please quote reference EN18648 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.  

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society. 

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.