Post Details: Full time; Fixed term for 24 months, The closing date for applications is midnight on Tuesday 01 August 2023. Interviews are expected to be carried out the week commencing 21 August 2023. There is an expectation that work will be undertaken in the UK.

For the purposes of sponsorship, this is a postdoctoral role under SOC code 2119. The University of Stirling recognises that a diverse workforce benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community.

We are committed to removing barriers and welcome applications from those who would contribute to further diversification of our staff and ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is woven into the substance of the role. We strongly encourage applications from people from diverse backgrounds including gender, identity, race, age, class, and ethnicity.

The Post We seek a biological modeller with experience of species distribution modelling (ecological niche modelling),advanced statistical modelling and scenario-based approaches. This two-year role will focus on modelling the suitability of different ectomycorrhizal fungi(EMF) species, tree hosts and locations and exploring the benefits and trade-offs between EMF production and different structural and temporal components of the linked food and forest systems.

This Stirling-based role is part of an exciting interdisciplinary collaboration between University of Stirling UoS (Prof. Alistair Jump and Dr Dan Chapman) and Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd (MSL) a global leader in EMF activities led by Prof. Paul Thomas. Informal enquiries in advance of application can be made to Alistair Jump at

Description of Duties Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop research objectives and proposals for your own and joint research and play a lead role in relation to modelling and analytical work in the broader project, with guidance from senior colleagues as required
  • Develop new research methodologies and approaches as part of the wider interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral research team
  • Write or contribute to publications or disseminate research findings using other appropriate media
  • Contribute to work to secure funding, including contributing to grant proposals and planning for future proposals from internal and external bodies to support future research
  • Contribute to the supervision of postgraduate research students and provide advice to students as required
  • Deliver presentations at conferences or exhibit work in other appropriate events
  • Collaborate with academic and industry colleagues on areas of shared research interest and to ensure that research advances inform best practice
  • Contribute in a developing capacity to Division/Faculty and/or University postgraduate committees
  • Build contacts and participate in networks for the exchange of information and to form relationships for future collaboration
  • Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post

Essential Criteria Qualifications:

  • PhD in relevant area of biological sciences including ecology, climate change biology, forestry or agriculture

Knowledge, skills & experience:

  • Experience in species distribution modelling (eg correlative presence-background or presence-only models based on regression or machine learning
  • Experience of statistical modelling of experimental or observational data (e.g. generalised linear mixed models, structural equation models or similar methods)
  • Possess sufficient breadth or depth of specialist knowledge, normally including sufficient postdoctoral experience in a related field, in the discipline to develop research programmes and methodologies
  • Ability to routinely communicate complex and conceptual ideas to those with limited knowledge and understanding as well as to peers using high level skills and a range of media
  • Developing ability to conduct individual research work, to disseminate results and to prepare research proposals
  • Extensive interpersonal skills including evidence of being responsible for a small research project or identified parts of a large project
  • Effective academic written communication skills, evidenced by academic or other professional publications and reports
  • Extensive IT and data analysis/interpretation skills as appropriate
  • Self-motivation, initiative and independent thought/working
  • Problem solving skills including a flexible and pragmatic approach

Behaviours and Competencies The role holder will be required to evidence that they can meet the qualities associated with the following behavioural competencies, as detailed within the AUA Competency Framework.

  1. Managing self and personal skills
    Being aware of your own behaviour and mindful of how it impacts on others, enhancing personal skills to adapt professional practice accordingly.
  2. Delivering excellent service
    Providing the best quality service to external and internal clients. Building genuine and open long-term relationships in order to drive up service standards.
  3. Finding solutions
    Taking a holistic view and working enthusiastically to analyse problems and to develop workable solutions. Identifying opportunities for innovation.
  4. Embracing change
    Being open to and engaging with new ideas and ways of working. Adjusting to unfamiliar situations, shifting demands and changing roles.
  5. Using resources effectively
    Identifying and making the most productive use of resources including people, time, information, networks and budgets.
  6. Engaging with the wider context
    Enhancing your contribution to the organisation through an understanding of the bigger picture and showing commitment to organisational values.
  7. Developing self and others
    Showing commitment to own ongoing professional development. Supporting and encouraging others to develop their professional knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to reach their full potential.
  8. Working together
    Working collaboratively with others in order to achieve objectives. Recognising and valuing the different contributions people bring to this process.
  9. Achieving Results
    Consistently meeting agreed objectives and success criteria. Taking personal responsibility for getting things done.

About Us; Faculty of Natural Sciences: The Faculty of Natural Sciences (FNS) encompasses the Divisions of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Computing Science and Mathematics, Psychology and the Institute of Aquaculture. FNS is a distinctive academic arena where new fundamental understandings of the complex and challenging inter-relationships between human behaviours, technologies, biological and environmental systems are created, explored and tested.

The most recent national assessment of research – REF2021 -confirmed that 80% of our research is classed as world leading and internationally excellent. It is supported through UK Research Councils, European Union and a range of research charities We work with businesses and public service organisations both at home and overseas to achieve direct and positive outcomes for society across a range of critical problems.

Substantial investment aligned with the City, Region, and Growth deals is supporting major new infrastructure developments linked to the Faculty including Scotland’s International Environment Centre and the National Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Hub.

Biological and Environmental Sciences (BES) Our research interests are broad, ranging from conservation and evolutionary ecology to environmental processes including carbon and nutrient cycling, aquatic and catchment sciences, landscape and forest ecology, evolutionary biology, environment and human health, energy and environmental sustainability.

Research activities are led by principal investigators who seek to understand the fundamental processes driving the evolution and maintenance of the natural environment and its interactions with human populations. We develop and exploit a range of technologies from Earth observation through to molecular techniques to understand how environments function and ecosystems are impacted from local to global scales and over annual to millennial timescales.

Our research and impacts are found in all continents of the world and position us as a leading institution in Environmental Protection and Biological Conservation. In REF2021 all 100% of our research was rated as having either outstanding or very considerable impact.

The University The University of Stirling is committed to providing education with a purpose and carrying out research which has a positive impact on communities across the globe – addressing real issues, providing solutions, and helping to shape society. Stirling is 4th in Scotland and 43rd in the UK for research impact, with 87% of its research having an outstanding or very considerable impact on society – and more than 80% rated either world leading or internationally excellent (Research Excellence Framework 2021).

The University of Stirling is ranked among the top 30 UK universities for student satisfaction (National Student Survey) and top 30 in the UK for postgraduate student experience (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey), and has an overall five-star rating in the QS Stars University Ratings. More than 17,000 students study with the University of Stirling globally, with over 140 nationalities represented on its scenic central Scotland campus alone.

The University – also home to 1,700 staff – is ranked first in the UK and top three in the world for its campus environment (International Student Barometer 2022, wave two). Ranked first in the UK and top five in the world for its sports facilities (International Student Barometer 2022, wave two), Stirling is Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence. Its world-class facilities provide the perfect training environment for the University’s sports scholars – many of whom compete at the highest level, including at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games – and for students, staff, and the wider community.

The University has twice been recognised with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize – the first for its Institute for Social Marketing and Health (2014) and the second for its Institute of Aquaculture (2019). The University is a signatory to the £214 million Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal and a central partner of the Forth Valley University College Health Partnership.


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