Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow - Soil Carbon Sequestration

University of Exeter
University of Exeter
Commensurate with education and experience
Closing date
Sep 24, 2022

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Physical Sciences, Geology/Soil Science/Geography
Job Type
Organization Type

Postdoctoral Research Associate/Fellow - Soil Carbon Sequestration


Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy

This new full time post is available on an open ended basis linked to funding from 1 October 2022 until 31 March 2027.


Summary of the role

The university wishes to recruit either a Postdoctoral Research Fellow or Associate to participate in major industry-funded project that aims to identify options and opportunities for enhancing carbon storage in managed soils as a climate-change mitigation strategy. The project will use isotope labelling to trace new carbon inputs into different organic matter pools across a range of soil types, and simulated managements and interventions.

The successful candidate will be a highly motivated environment scientist, with a specialism in carbon cycling in soils. The role will involving helping to design, and then implement and run long-term experiments, with associated high-frequency greenhouse gas (13CO2, CH4, N2O) flux measurements and detailed analyses of the mechanisms promoting the formation and stabilisation of new soil organic matter. The researcher will also work closely with other researchers in the team who are focusing on plant-soil interactions and microbial community diversity and function. It is expected that the successful candidate will have experience of compiling and analysing large datasets, and of leading the publication of project results in international journals. The post also represents a major opportunity for translating mechanistic understanding into testing real-world options for enhancing carbon storage in soils, including collaborating with researchers working with small-scale farmers in Brazil.


About you

The successful applicant will be able to develop research objectives, projects and proposals; identify sources of research funding and contribute to the process of securing funds and make presentations at conferences and other events.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD (or nearing completion for Postdoctoral Research Associate) or equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study. The successful applicant will be a nationally recognised authority in soil carbon and nutrient cycling and possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop research programmes and methodologies. The successful applicant will also be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required. Applicants must be able to lead teams of researchers in the field and laboratory, have relevant experience of measuring carbon storage and stabilisation in soils, demonstrate advanced data analysis skills, and have experience of leading the publishing of scientific papers in international journals.

Please ensure you read the Job Description and Person Specification for full details of this role.


The University of Exeter

We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities and in the top 150 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 and QS World University Ranking 2022).  

Our research income in recent years means we’re the fastest growing UK Research University with some of the world’s most influential scientists, and we seek to answer some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today through this. More than 99% of our research is of international quality and our world-leading research impact is growing faster than any other Russell Group university (2021 Research Excellence Framework). We encourage proactive engagement with industry, business and community partners to enhance the impact of research and education and improve the employability of our students. Read about our world leading research – Green Futures and how we are transforming education for a changing world. We are located in a beautiful part of the country and Exeter (a fast growing tech hub) is one of only a few UK cities to have been designated as a UNESCO Creative City.


Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

With over 27,000 students and 6,400 staff from 180 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment where our diversity is celebrated and valued as a major strength. We are committed to creating an inclusive culture where all members of our community are supported to thrive; where diverse voices are heard through our engagement with evidence-based charter frameworks for gender (Athena SWAN), race equality (Race Equality Charter Mark), LGBTQ+ inclusion (Stonewall Diversity Champion) and as a Disability Confident employer. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented within our working community. Reasonable adjustments are available for interviews and workplaces.



We offer some fantastic benefits including:

  • 41 days leave per year
  • options for flexible working
  • numerous discounts at leading retailers
  • onsite gyms on all of our campus’ and a cycle to work scheme
  • sector leading policies around maternity, adoption and shared parental leave (up to 26 weeks full pay), paternity leave (up to six weeks full pay) and a new Fertility Treatment Policy
  • stunning campus environments in Exeter and Cornwall, in the beautiful South West of England


Further information

Please contact Prof. Iain Hartley, e-mail or telephone (01392) 724362.


We welcome applications from candidates interested in working part-time hours or job-sharing arrangements.

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