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Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate in "Energy innovation for low-cost housing in India and South Africa", funded by a British Academy GCRF Cities and Infrastructure Grant, led by Dr Charlotte Lemanski (Geography).

The project aims to explores how low-income communities, private energy entrepreneurs, and government (at various scales) work in contestation and collaboration to devise and deliver affordable domestic energy that meets the long-term needs and aspirations of low-income households in two rapidly urbanising cities, Bengaluru (India) and Cape Town (South Africa). The primary focus is on the role of the three key stakeholders, investigating how government and industry plan and implement energy innovation in government subsidised housing, and the role of low-income households' needs and aspirations in this process.

We are seeking to recruit a postdoctoral research associate who will primarily:

~ design and execute the qualitative fieldwork (semi-structured interviews and focus groups) in India and South Africa

~ analyse these data to produce high-quality publications (academic and policy briefs)

~ run collaborative workshops with diverse energy stakeholders in each case study city

~ communicate effectively with project partners from a range of disciplines in Cambridge, India and South Africa.

Eligible candidates must have a PhD in Social Sciences, Architecture, Engineering or relevant discipline.

The successful candidate will be a self-starter with excellent time management, communication and interpersonal skills, with experience in undertaking independent primary fieldwork in global South urban contexts. The candidate must be able to demonstrate a track record of excellence in carrying out fieldwork and translating the resulting qualitative data into high quality publications/reports and verbal presentations. Although the primary research will be qualitative, an ability to analyse secondary quantitative data is desirable. Prior experience in India and/or South Africa is also highly desirable.

The project is inter-disciplinary. Although based in the geography department, the PDRA will also be supported by Cambridge co-investigators in engineering, architecture and the business school, in addition to project partners at the University of Cape Town and the Indian Institute for Human Settlements. It is therefore desirable if the successful candidate can demonstrate prior experience of working in an inter-disciplinary context, specifically one that bridges the technical expertise of the physical sciences with the human-centric approach of the social sciences. Candidates with specialist knowledge of inter-disciplinary approaches within the domestic energy sector would be particularly welcome to apply.

For full details of the responsibilities of the post and the person specification, please see the further particulars for the post

The postholder will work with Dr Charlotte Lemanski (Department of Geography), who should be contacted with informal enquiries about the post (

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 16 months in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.


Please quote reference LC13267 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

Apply online