Applications are invited for a Research Associate/Fellow to work on a project to assess the impact of contrasting soil management strategies, in particular tillage, on wheat development in the laboratory of Professor Sacha Mooney (Sutton Bonington Campus, University of Nottingham, UK).

The purpose of this role is to support the new multi-million £ BBSRC project ‘Delivering Sustainable Wheat’ (DSW). Wheat will play a crucial part in feeding a global population of 10B by 2050 but its production is fragile as more than half the global supply is from just five countries. Future increases in wheat production have to be achieved without equivalent growth in fertiliser (nitrogen fertilisers are a major source of greenhouse gasses) and water use (all wheat growing regions are suffering ground water decline).

While facing these challenges farmers are also confronted with yield limiting effects of climate change and new diseases. Adaptations are needed to achieve sustainable production in the coming decades. A key focus of this new role is to assess the impact of changing soil management practices such as reduced tillage on wheat production.

The high-level objective of the research is to improve root function for enhanced resource use efficiency and carbon sequestration throughout the soil profile. The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with the partners of the DSW programme, especially at Rothamsted Research. This post offers a unique opportunity to work in the fast-developing field of soil biophysics and to develop skills in state-of-the-art technologies like X-ray Computed Tomography imaging.

Applicants must be highly motivated and self-driven, with a PhD (or close to completion) in a relevant terrestrial environmental/agricultural science or biological/physics sciences area (a PhD topic on plant-soil interactions is desirable). It is desirable for the successful candidate to have considerable experience in some of the following areas: soil science, environmental science, agricultural science, plant science, image analysis.  A track record of publishing research is essential.

This is a full-time post (36.25 hours) and is available immediately and will be offered on a permanent with underlying funding contract, funded until 31st March 2028. Job share arrangements may be considered.

For informal enquiries please contact Sacha Mooney ( Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

Our University is 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, see our Moving to Nottingham pages.

For successful international applicants, we provide financial support for your visa and the immigration health surcharge, plus an interest-free loan to help cover the cost of immigration-related expenses for any dependants accompanying you to the UK.

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Location:  Sutton Bonington

Salary:  £29,762 to £36,333 per annum (pro rata if applicable) depending on skills and experience (minimum £33348 with relevant PhD).

Closing Date: Wednesday 03 May 2023

Reference: SCI139623

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