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Research Fellow in Aeroponic Willow Cultivation

Surrey, United Kingdom
£36,024 to £44,263 per annum
Closing date
6 Dec 2023

Centre for Environment & Sustainability

Location: Guildford
Salary: £36,024 to £44,263 per annum
Fixed Term (-March 2025)
Post Type: Full Time
Closing Date: 23.59 hours GMT on Wednesday 06 December 2023
Reference: 061523

The University of Surrey is a global community of ideas and people, dedicated to life-changing education and research. We are ambitious and have a bold vision of what we want to achieve - shaping ourselves into one of the best universities in the world, which we are achieving through the talents and endeavour of every employee. Our culture empowers people to achieve this aim and to collectively, and individually, make a real difference. 

The role

We are delighted to announce an exciting opportunity within the Centre for Environment and Sustainability for a postdoctoral research fellow position in the area of SRC willow production in aeroponics. The position is available for 1.25 years, starting in January 2024.

In this role, the research fellow would provide essential support in the delivery of a multi-million large-scale demonstration project, part of the BEIS Biomass Feedstock Innovation Programme. Led by the University of Surrey, you will be joining a team of 15 other scientists, innovators, and industry experts from the University and beyond, including Rothamsted Research, LettUs Grow, and UK Urban AgriTech (UKUAT).

The successful candidate will be responsible for the successful delivery of the short rotation coppice willow trials. This will involve taking oversight of the work package and setting direction for delivery. You will be required to work closely with technical staff to ensure experiments are running smoothly, accurate data collection is being taken and the plants are in good heath. You will be responsible for data analysis, writing quarterly reports and producing academic publications from experiments. With only a short amount of time left in the project, we expect the candidate to have excellent leadership skills to allow us to successfully deliver the project to a high standard.

About you

The ideal candidate should hold a PhD (or be close to PhD completion) with significant experiences in forestry, horticulture, plant sciences, plant breeding, and/or soilless cultivation systems. We welcome applicants from diverse background in biology, environmental sciences, plant science, agriculture, and forestry, amongst others.

Candidates should have experience in plant physiology and designing and conducting plant trials. You will be working with a new innovation, using crops which have never been grown in this way before, so excellent initiative and strong problem-solving skills are required. An eye for detail and resilience to ongoing experimental challenges is essential. We expect the successful candidate to be a quick learner, have the ability to critically analyse existing data and own results, and have strong communication skills to be able to work in a consortium.

If you are an enthusiastic individual who shares our Surrey ethos of “Forward Thinking & Doing” and is keen to work on an exciting new development, we would be delighted to hear from you.

What we can offer

By joining a multidisciplinary team, you will receive unique training opportunities. In addition to conducting novel research that is likely to lead to impactful outputs and tangible innovations, you will be mentored by your line manager to develop your own professional development plan (PDP), to identify training needs (e.g., communication & people skills, leadership & management, fellowship application etc.), and to prepare for your next stage of career in either academia or industry -- we are proud of having successfully helped numerous early-career researchers through this journey.

We are open to considering job shares and flexible working.

Further Information

To apply please submit a CV and cover letter detailing your motivation in applying for the role. You will also be asked some brief questions to help us understand your suitability for the role.

Interviews are scheduled for w/c 11th December, with an anticipated start date in January 2024.

For more information about the project please look at the following links: Phase 1 Report and our project website.

For an informal discussion, please email Dr Zoe M Harris

Further details:    Job Description    

Please note, it is University Policy to offer a starting salary equivalent to Level 3.6 (£34,980) to successful applicants who have been awarded, but are yet to receive, their PhD certificate.  Once the original PhD certificate has been submitted to the local HR Department, the salary will be increased to Level 4.1 (£36,024).

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