Knowledge for better food systems

10 Postdoctoral positions Oxford university

31 Aug 2017

Funded by the Wellcome Trust’s Our planet our health programme, a partnership led by the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, aims to study the multiple effects of the changing fraction of animal-sourced food (notably meat and dairy) in global diets.

The Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP) project team is now seeking to recruit talented and ambitious early career researchers keen to develop their careers in this exciting area. Unless stated, the positions will be based at the University of Oxford (at postdoctoral grade 7) and be for four years. Please note, not all positions have been advertised yet; follow the links or where links are not supplied please contact the leads for preliminary information

The LEAP project seeks to understand the factors that determine the amount of meat and dairy we eat, and the consequences for population health; it will also explore the varying environmental consequences of different types of livestock production. An important goal of the project is to assess the effectiveness of different interventions, including developing models to understand the effects of different policies, and provide tools for policymakers working in health, agriculture and the environment.

Below we list the positions available:

Modelling the food system: (Lead: Dr Peter Scarborough). (a) A researcher with modelling expertise who can help develop a global dynamic health model, linking it to economic and environmental modules []. (b) A social scientist with computer modelling expertise based at the International Food Policy Research Institute (working with Dr Keith Wiebe) in Washington DC who will work with their global food system economic model (IMPACT) to deepen its treatment of animal- sourced food and link it to health and environment modules [].

Enabling Change (Lead: Dr Jamie Lorimer assisted by Dr Tara Garnett). Two social scientists [vacancy link] to investigate: a) the political economics of livestock production and consumption, the different framing of discourses and scenarios around animal-sourced foods, and to perform quantitative analysis of changing social norms around meat and dairy: b) the qualitative dimensions of meat and dairy through ethnographic and observational analysis, and to carry out participatory research and stakeholder dialogue exercises []. Deadline to apply 12 July.

Diet and Health (Lead: Professor Susan Jebb). (a) Working with Professor Paul Aveyard (i) A senior behavioural scientist (Grade 8) to develop and test interventions to reduce meat consumption, including research in partnership with Sainsbury’s [vacancy link]  (ii) A senior behavioural scientist (Grade 9) to carry out research and develop behavioural interventions to decrease the consumption of meat and dairy products [vacancy link(iii) A research assistant to support the intervention studies (Grade 6) [vacancy link] (b) Working with Professor Tim Key [] (i) a nutritional epidemiologist (Grade 8) and (ii) a medical statistician (Grade 6) to use dietary data from several cohort studies (including the Million Women Study, EPIC and the UK Biobank) to quantify associations of animal-sourced foods with disease risk [vacancy link]. Deadline to apply: 16th- 26th June.

Environment (Lead: Professor Jim Hall). (a) A hydrological modeller to work on the interaction of food and water systems, integrating water-use data into broader food system models []. (b) (Working with Professor Ray Pierrehumbert) A researcher familiar with life-cycle analysis and greenhouse gas production in agricultural systems to study the environmental effect of the release of different molecules on climate change (three years) []. (c) (Working with Dr Joseph Kiesecker) The Nature Conservancy will hire a postdoctoral fellow with expertise in ecological modelling to be based in Fort Collins, CO, USA to study the effect of changing demand for meat and dairy on biodiversity and water quality using spatially explicit models [vacancy link].

Coordination and Public Engagement (Working with Project Directors Professors Charles Godfray & Susan Jebb). (i) A 0.5 FTE Programme Manager (Grade 8) to assist the Directors in all aspects of running the consortium and engaging with different stakeholders  [vacancy link] [email:]. (ii) A 0.6 FTE Public Engagement Coordinator (Grade 7) to help the programme engage with multiple public audiences on the health and environment consequences of dietary change [vacancy link]. Deadline 29th June.

For general enquiries about the project email:

Deadlines for submitting applications for the positions now advertised (see vacancy links above) range from 23 June - 26 June 2017. The other positions will have later deadlines.

See more details here.