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Research Fellow in Professional Development and Capacity Building

Geography & Environment

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £29,799 to £32,548
Full Time Fixed Term (2 Years)
Closing Date:  Thursday 03 May 2018
Interview Date:   Thursday 17 May 2018
Reference:  995618WR

Professional Development and Capacity Building 

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Research Councils UK Collective Fund is ‘one of the most ambitious international research programmes created; with £225 Million being invested across 37 interdisciplinary projects’ to address a range of world problems.  The University of Southampton’s project: ‘Building REsearch Capacity for sustainable water and food security In drylands of sub-saharan Africa (BRECcIA) is proud to be part of this innovative research cohort. BRECcIA comprises 6 Universities located in 4 countries, and partnerships with 8 international organisations.

We have an exciting opportunity for experienced researchers from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds to join our team and to play a pivotal role in this ground-breaking project.

The University of Southampton seeks a researcher with experience in Professional Development and Capacity Building for two years (renewable for up to one further year subject to the demands of the research project). You will be part of the BRECcIA project team (partners based in Malawi, Kenya, Ghana and the UK) with post-docs from different disciplinary backgrounds

You will have an enthusiasm for professional development within the Higher Education context to review and assist with the implementation and monitoring of our capacity building and professional development. You will work with researchers in a range of institutions and with our partner organisations based in the UK, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana and South Africa. Reporting to a Work-package lead/Co-I (Dr Julie Reeves), and based in Southampton, you will also work closely with staff from Vitae, SARIMA, and our partner institutions.  You will assist with the implementation of development activities and with evaluating the impact of our researcher development, researcher manager and capacity building activities.  We want to understand the impact of our activities and to identify the key enablers of successful partnership/collaborative working, especially those involving international collaborations.  Knowledge/experience of international partnerships and/or researcher development would be advantageous but is not an essential requirement – although enthusiasm for these subjects would be.  

You will have, or will be close to completing, a PhD* (or equivalent professional qualifications) with experience of conducting interviews, of interpreting and analysing qualitative data using for example, phenomenographic, contextual analysis or grounded theory and/or other qualitative or quantitative techniques.  In addition, you will be able to plan and organise work independently and as part of a team, and write research reports.  You will have effective negotiation and interpersonal skills capable of building and maintaining a range of relationships and organisational networks to support the aims of BRECcIA.

* Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification.  The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

This role would be of particular interest to a post-doctoral researcher who is looking to move into a professional development/capacity building role. 

You will have opportunities to develop knowledge and professional skills set in:  Trans-, multi- and interdisciplinary research projects; collaborative and partnership working; policy-influence; and international development issues.

BRECcIA are also recruiting researchers in the following areas:

  1. Environmental Anthropology - 995518WR
  2. Earth Observation - 995218WR
  3. Hydrology and Water Resources - 995418WR

All of the positions will provide the opportunity to develop knowledge and professional skills set in:Trans-, multi- and interdisciplinary research projects; collaborative and partnership working; policy-influence; and international development issues.

The University of Southampton is a world-renowned Russell Group University with a global reputation for academic excellence, we offer a stimulating, challenging and dynamic working environment for all our staff.  You will work in Geography and Environment, a leading international centre for geographical research. More broadly, the academic unit is a leading centre for application of Earth observation and GIS tools to a range of environmental and human problems.  

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Julie Reeves ( 

Application procedure:

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Charlene Tyson (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 6803. Please quote reference 995618WR on all correspondence.

Please note: The University will be closed from close of business on Thursday 29thMarch 2018 to Thursday 5th April 2018, so we will not be able to assist you with any application queries during this time.

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

Further details:

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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