University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate to work with Dr Chris Sandbrook and Dr Liz Watson on the Development Corridors Partnership (DCP) project, funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund, in the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge.

'Development corridors' are increasingly being used as a strategy to promote economic growth in Africa but they face significant challenges such as uneven socio-economic and environmental impacts. DCP is a four-year collaborative research and capacity development project led by the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). Its focus is on development corridors in Kenya and Tanzania. The University of Cambridge team is leading on the social and political dimensions of the project, drawing on the backgrounds of Drs Watson and Sandbrook in human geography and political ecology.

The individual recruited to this role will:

a) contribute to the planning and scoping of the research project as a whole;
b) contribute to the design and delivery of project training exercises with a particular focus on social science concepts and methods;
c) carry out primary research into corridors and their impacts in Kenya and Tanzania, including: i) an analysis of the policy context and processes related to corridor development in East Africa; and ii) detailed case study research in one of these countries (preferably Kenya, unless the PDRA has particular expertise which might make a Tanzanian site a better option);
d) produce high-quality publications (academic and policy briefs);
e) participate in project meetings, including outreach, dissemination and impact activities;
f) communicate effectively with policymakers and project partners from a range of countries and disciplines.

The successful candidate will be a member of a cohort of PDRAs hosted across the project network, and will benefit from opportunities for collaboration and capacity building with this network. The PDRA will be based in Cambridge but is expected to carry out fieldwork, and attend project meetings, in Kenya and Tanzania. There may also be occasional travel to China.

Eligible candidates must have a PhD in Geography, Anthropology, Political Science or other 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 the global South. Experience of working in East Africa and/or China would be an advantage. The candidate must be able to demonstrate a track record of excellence in carrying out fieldwork and translating the resulting data into high quality publications/reports and verbal presentations. Some prior experience of delivering training in social science concepts or methods would be useful.

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

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 48 months in the first instance.

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 LC16026 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online