School of Earth & Environmental Sciences

Research Associate in Soil and Grassland Ecology

We wish to appoint a highly motivated Research Associate to work on a BBSRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Foundation Award, led by Professor Bardgett, with the overarching goal of developing novel, plant community-based approaches to restore soil functioning for plant production and resilience to extreme climate events on degraded grasslands of the Qinghai-Tibetan-plateau. The project also aims to contribute to the development of policy and management tools to restore soil functioning and resilience to climate change in degraded grasslands in this and other grassland regions of the world.

The post, which is full time for 24 months, is to test the use of a plant trait-based approach, developed in temperate grasslands, to manipulate plant functional diversity for the restoration of soil functioning and resilience in degraded grassland soils. The successful candidate will take a lead role in the design and implementation of field experiments on the Tibetan-Qinghai plateau, and contribute to capacity building activities with project partners in China and other grassland regions of the world. They will be responsible for the assessment of vegetation and soil biological properties in soil, including nutrient and carbon cycling, and will collaborate with a PDRA at Lancaster who will provide expertise on soil physical properties and greenhouse gases.

The project is in collaboration with scientists at Lancaster University and partners at Northwest Plateau Institute of Biology, Xining, China, the Grassland Research Institute, Inner Mongolia, and the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), Switzerland.

The successful applicant will have a PhD in soil ecology, plant sciences, or related discipline, a thorough understanding of links between plant and soil communities and nutrient and carbon cycling, and a thirst for field-based research in a challenging environment. The successful applicant will be part of the Soil and Ecosystem Ecology Group at Manchester, and will work alongside a dedicated full time technician and project partners.

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences is strongly committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN Charter for gender equality in higher education. The School holds a Bronze Award which recognises their good practice in relation to gender; including flexible working arrangements, family-friendly policies, and support to allow staff to achieve a good work-life balance.

We particularly welcome applications from women for this post. Appointment will always be made on merit. For further information, please visit

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CV's or applications from Recruitment Agencies.

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:
Name: Richard Bardgett

General enquiries:
Tel: 0161 275 4499

Technical support:
Tel: 01565 818 234

Closing Date: 12 May 2017.
Salary: 31,076 to 38,183 per annum
Job Reference: S&E-09964

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date

posted: 18 April 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.