Research Fellowship in Food Sciences
University of Nottingham
United Kingdom

Nottingham Research Fellowship Opportunities in the Future Food Beacon – Agri-Environmental Modelling

Reference :NARFB2020X1
Closing Date :Monday, 24th February 2020
Job Type :Research
Department :Future Food Beacon (Biosciences)

The opportunity

This is an exciting opportunity to join the newly established multimillion pound Future Food Beacon of Excellence research cluster at the University of Nottingham, which aims to address the challenge of feeding a growing population in a changing world (  

Our prestigious internal fellowship schemes are a fundamental part of our Research Vision and aim to recruit the next generation of internal research leaders. We will be recruiting a diverse cohort of 100 Nottingham and Anne McLaren Research Fellows by the end of 2022 and as part of this we are particularly interested to recruit outstanding candidates to the Future Food Beacon.  Beacon fellows will be supported to develop an independent research career, whilst actively contributing to the aims of the Beacon Research Programme.

We support applicants from diverse career paths and background and also welcome applications from those wishing to work part-time in order to combine the fellowship with personal responsibilities. 

Strategic areas

We are inviting applications in the area of predictive modelling in agriculture and environmental systems. The Fellow will develop mathematical, statistical and/or computational modelling approaches for environmental/ agricultural systems that enable prediction of outcomes for proposed interventions, new understanding and identification of novel strategies for the decarbonisation of agriculture while simultaneously addressing social and economic sustainability. The post will be based in the School of Biosciences.

They will work within the newly established Future Food Beacon research community, where they will be expected to develop links and work with colleagues across the University of Nottingham with interests relevant to Future Food. The successful candidate will be required to set up an independent research group which attracts public and/or charitable research funding and establish an excellent publication record in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals.

We are particularly seeking candidates with experience and research plans complementary to, rather than duplicating, existing strengths relating to predictive modelling within the University of Nottingham (eg in the Schools of Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science and Biosciences and Faculty of Engineering). Examples of relevant areas of interest include (but are not limited to): linking crop, field, farm and landscape scales (including use of Earth Observation); socially and environmentally sustainable agricultural/food systems; carbon neutral agriculture and the environment. Importantly, candidates must be keen and committed to bring their skills and experience into the interdisciplinary team within the Future Food Beacon, addressing the environmental challenge of global food security.

The ultimate aim of the Beacon is to produce sustainable and healthy foods to feed a growing and ageing global population. The role holder will therefore be expected to work across the Faculties of Science and Medicine & Health Sciences and will have access to state of the art facilities to conduct their studies. This includes Farm Business Survey, High Performance Computing, Nottingham Geospatial Institute Research Group, Strong Digital Research Infrastructure, including advanced image processing.

Candidates should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • An outstanding track record of research including high-quality publications, research funding and/or prizes and awards
  • Evidence of a growing reputation, both nationally and internationally
  • An aptitude to lead and inspire others within the research team and institution more broadly
  • Potential to act as an ambassador in their research field and more widely

The Future Food Fellowship can be held as a Nottingham Research Fellowship (aimed at exceptional postdoctoral researchers in all academic disciplines represented at the University) or an Anne McLaren Fellowship (aimed at outstanding female scholars in science, technology, engineering at the early stage of their academic careers). 

This fellowship offers:

  • Three years’ independent research funding, covering salary costs at c.£40,000-£49,000
  • The link to a permanent academic post, subject to performance
  • Additional funding for research expenses totalling £75,000
  • Childcare costs of up to £5,000 per annum 
  • Access to mentoring, career development and networking with the wider fellowship community

Eligibility: Candidates must have been awarded their PhD. This scheme is aimed at early career researchers, and candidates do not normally have more than 8 year’s postdoctoral experience. However, there are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience as this doesn’t allow for variations of career paths across disciplines. Candidates will be assessed on their quality, potential and track record, relative to their career stage.

How to apply:

  1. Submit an expression of interest, consisting of a full CV and a one-page description of their proposed NRF project - to the Beacon (Professor Neil Crout or Professor Debbie Sparkes – see contacts below), by Thursday 30th Jan. We will confirm interest from both the School and the Beacon in receiving a full application shortly thereafter.
  2. Once you have been invited to submit a full application, apply online, completing the short form and uploading your completed full application form, downloadable below.

EOI deadline 30th Jan, Full application deadline 24th Feb. Interviews will be held for shortlisted applicants in March 2020.

Please note, uploading the full application form is a requirement and we will not be able to consider your application if this is not provided.   Candidates who do not submit an initial expression of interest will also not be considered.

All queries regarding eligibility/details of the scheme should be directed to 

For specific information about the role, please contact Neil Crout ( or Debbie Sparkes (  

Our University has always been a supportive, inclusive, caring and positive community. We warmly welcome those of different cultures, ethnicities and beliefs – indeed this very diversity is vital to our success, it is fundamental to our values and enriches life on campus. We welcome applications from UK, Europe and from across the globe. For more information on the support we offer our international colleagues, visit;

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