Website University of Reading

Do you want to help create sustainable food systems?  Do you have experience in farming systems research? Do you want to develop your career by working with a world-leading research team?

The School of Agriculture, Policy and Development is offering a postdoctoral position in Sustainability Assessment of Food Systems starting on 7-11-2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position will be available for a 58-month period, and the successful appointee will join a world-leading team of researchers working towards the identification of recommendations for policy and practice in food systems.

The focus of your position will be conducting participatory research and research management in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of greenhouse gas mitigation and climate change adaptation strategies within the European livestock sector, as a participant in the Facilitating Innovations for Resilient Livestock Farming Systems (RELIVESTOCK) project. You will also work with models and metrics of biodiversity, land use change, soil carbon sequestration and social wellbeing within RELIVESTOCK and the related projects PATHWAYS (Pathways for transitions to sustainability in livestock husbandry and food systems) and REFOREST (Agroforestry at the forefront of farming sustainability in multifunctional landscapes in Europe).

This is a unique opportunity to work within an interdisciplinary team involving those already promoting innovations in supply chains, in-order to delineate and evaluate credible, relevant, and timely approaches for the sustainable development of the livestock sector.

You must have

  • Proven experience in some of the following methods: Life Cycle Assessment; quantitative trade-off analysis; sustainability assessment; participatory research
  • A PhD in a discipline related to the project, or equivalent experience
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to interact with researchers, policymakers, and industrial partners
  • Previous experience of contributing to publications/presentations

This post is particularly suited for researchers who have a strong career ambition to develop a profile in applied food systems research. We are particularly seeking to recruit an individual who shares our values of integrating farmers supply chain actors, NGOs, policymakers, and citizens within the research process to target-real life needs, problems, and opportunities.

The position will involve overseas travel and collaborations with several external organisations, such as Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and Wageningen University & Research (WUR).  We expect that all appointees play an active role in the development of the research environment and engage positively in the social working environment. We also expect that you will take part in our teaching activities and that you will report research results in high-impact scientific journals.

Informal discussions are welcome; please contact Principal Investigator Dr Laurence Smith ([email protected]).

Interview date: 03/11/2022

Informal contact details
Contact role:General enquiries
Contact name:Laurence Smith
Contact phone:+447868013830
Contact email:[email protected]

​​​​​​​Applications from job seekers who require sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications. By reference to the applicable SOC code for this role, sponsorship may be possible under the Skilled Worker Route.  Applicants should ensure that they are able to meet the points requirement under the PBS.  There is further information about this on the UK Visas and Immigration Website.​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​The University is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce, supports the gender equality Athena SWAN Charter and the Race Equality Charter, and is a Diversity Champion for Stonewall, the leading LGBT+ rights organisation. Applications for job-share, part-time and flexible working arrangements are welcomed and will be considered in line with business needs.

Fixed Term until July 2027

To apply for this job please visit

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