Postdoctoral Research Fellow / Research Fellow, Social Science - Environment

Camperdown, Australia
$100,717 to $134,403 plus leave loading and generous employer's contribution to Super
19 May 2023
End of advertisement period
18 Jun 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • Opportunity to contribute to an innovative interdisciplinary program of social science research based jointly at the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) and the Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney
  • Conduct critical social science research focused on global and local food systems, including issues such as food quality, food poverty, multispecies relations and the environmental impacts of food production, including political-economic dimensions therein.
  • Full-time fixed-term for 2 years with possibility of extension. Offering a base salary of $100,717 (Level A) to $134,403 (Level B) plus leave loading and generous employer's contribution to superannuation

About the opportunity

The Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies SCHS aims to harness social science and humanities expertise to understand and transform how health and social life intersect on our changing planet. The SCHS is located in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at The University of Sydney, which is globally leading in research and teaching across the breadth of the humanities and social sciences, with six schools, approximately 40 disciplines and programs and 13,000 students. The current key research themes of the SCHS are: 1) Politics and Economies of Health and Wellbeing; 2) Race, Ethnicity and the Biohumanities; 3) Health/Care Across Time, Place and Scale; 4) Work, Education and Welfare; 5) The Social Life of Food and Nourishment. Theme 5 is a joint venture with the Charles Perkins Centre.

The Charles Perkins Centre (CPC) is reconceiving the systems of health through its revolutionary approach to easing the burden of chronic diseases - obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and their related conditions - through innovative research collaborations and partnerships, and teaching. Established in 2012 as the first of the University of Sydney's multidisciplinary institutes (MDIs), its model has since been applied to numerous other MDIs at the University and globally. Drawing on principles from evolutionary biology and ecology, the CPC brings together multidisciplinary teams in unexpected collaborations - from clinicians and basic scientists to social scientists, philosophers, historians, and creative writers. These teams form part of a complex adaptive research and education ecosystem.

The successful candidate will join a dynamic team of social scientists at the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies and the Charles Perkins Centre. The successful applicant will conduct high quality research, publish in high impact peer-reviewed journals, develop applications for external funding, and contribute to SCHS-CPC collaborations including:

  • supporting the development of a critical social science of food systems and environmental challenges
  • writing, leading and co-publishing academic papers with members of the team
  • leading analysis of literature/data, and submission of co-authored journal articles
  • contributing to the preparation and submission of applications for competitive research grants/fellowships
  • taking responsibility, under the joint supervision of Prof Broom and Prof Raubenheimer, for the day-to-day logistics of carrying out research
  • working with the Team to further the vison and objectives of the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies and the Charles Perkins Centre

About you

More than specialisation in a particular sub-field, we are looking for demonstrated potential for scholarly excellence and excellence in collaboration. Demonstrated project management experience is essential, with the capacity to support a joint program between the SCHS and the CPC on The Social Life of Food and Nourishment.

We are looking for someone with whom we can elevate this joint research program between the SCHS and CPC; someone with an ability to think critically across scales and subjects (humans and non-humans) and help make sense of why key global food and nourishment challenges are emerging with greater and greater frequency. That is, food within and as a complex political-economic system. This includes such things as: food-related inequalities, food poverty, multispecies food-production concerns, biodiversity loss, environmental decay and beyond.

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for Research Fellow (Level A or B) who has:

  • a PhD in sociology, anthropology, philosophy, environmental humanities, science and technology studies or a related discipline
  • an emerging research profile evidenced by high-quality peer-reviewed research
  • demonstrated capacity for engagement with social science concepts and theory
  • demonstrated capacity for collaboration with STEM researchers
  • demonstrated project management experience
  • skills and capacity to design, manage and disseminate findings from social research projects
  • ability to contribute to the preparation and submission of research grants
  • demonstrated ability to work both independently and as a member of a team, capacity to succeed in a fast-paced research-intensive environment, and sound written, verbal communication, and interpersonal skills suitable to collaborating in an academic context.

To keep our community safe, please be aware of our COVID safety precautions which form our conditions of entry for all staff, students and visitors coming to campus.

Sponsorship / work rights for Australia

Please note: For the right candidate, visa sponsorship is available for this position.

Pre-employment checks

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

How to apply

Applications (including a cover letter, CV, and any additional supporting documentation) can be submitted via the Apply button at the top of the page.

For employees of the University or contingent workers, please login into your Workday account and navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard. Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.

For a confidential discussion about the role, or if you require reasonable adjustment or any documents in alternate formats, please contact Lena Jiang, Recruitment Operations by email to

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Click to view the Position Description for this role.

Applications Close

Sunday 18 June 2023 11:59 PM

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