Research Fellow, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience

Coventry, United Kingdom
£32,243 £40,802
27 May 2019
End of advertisement period
20 Jun 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Application closing date 20/06/2019
Faculty / School or Service Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience
Salary £32,243 £40,802
Package As one of Coventry's biggest employers, we offer some pretty impressive benefits including an excellent pension scheme and generous holiday allowances.
Job category/type

Job description

Coventry University has a vacancy for a Research Fellow (1 FTE, 20 months) at Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR).  The RF will be working with Dr James Bennett as part of this two-year project, funded through a BBSRC-GCRF Agri-systems award (  The project is a collaboration between CAWR,Rothamsted Research and three partner organisations in South Africa(Conservation South Africa, Stellenbosch University and Rhodes University),which aims to work with local stakeholders in South Africa to explore alternative range and management strategies that yield livelihood benefits for local people as well as improved ecosystem outcomes.  

The primary role of the RF will be to coordinate between CAWR and the three partners in South Africa in the delivery of the fieldwork.  Each partner is responsible for a different work package within the project, linked to three key strands of the biophysical fieldwork, namely: (i) Evaluating livestock grazing and corralling as tools to restore degraded rangelands; (ii) Quantifying improved water availability after removing woody invasive plants; (iii) Testing the feasibility of woody invasive plants as a livestock feed and biochar.  The successful candidate will be expected to spend almost all of their time in South Africa and will: -[JS1] 

  • Liaise with each work package coordinator within South Africa in the delivery of each of the three work packages.
  • As part of this liaise with local communities in the design and delivery of local field experiments and data collection protocols.
  • Assist with analysis of biophysical data as required.
  • Be responsible for coordinating the management and archiving of the biophysical and associated modelling data, as part of the agreed data management plan.
  • Organise and participate in the workshops that help to define the land use scenarios and present the project findings to the local stakeholders.
  • Participate in relevant training events, conferences and other network events for dissemination of project findings.
  • Support other project activities including organising meetings between partners, organisation of final stakeholder conference in UK and drafting of progress reports.

The role is necessarily broad and requires a self-starter, comfortable working for extended periods under field conditions and with a wide range of suitable skills, including:-

  • A strong conceptual understanding of livestock grazing systems and different approaches to grazing management.
  • An understanding of communal range and systems and their provision of goods and services to local people.
  • Experience in planning and delivering ecological trials in grass land systems and associated data collection.
  • Confidence in handling and processing large quantitative data sets and their analysis including statistical analysis of field trials.
  • Some familiarity with remote sensing of range land systems.
  • Experience of undertaking fieldwork in the developing world, preferably associated with livestock systems.
  • Some basic understanding of the local language (Xhosa) would be helpful but not essential.
  • Full driver's licence essential, preferably with some experience of driving off-road.

The candidate must either be a South African national or be legally qualified to work in South Africa for the full duration of the project, if not a South African citizen.

Enquiries may be addressed to Dr James Bennett (

Please click here to view job description and person specifications.

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