University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Senior Research Associate - Community Wellbeing

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is seeking to appoint a Fellow in community wellbeing under The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme. Funding for the Fellowship has been secured through a philanthropic donation from Asda Stores Limited, but stewardship of the Programme lies with CISL. The successful candidate will be part of our exciting new Fellowship Programme, aiming to unlock the potential of the University to partner with business, government and finance institutions on real-world challenges and opportunities that must be addressed in order to build a sustainable economy. The ambition is to foster new cross-disciplinary thinking on sustainability leading to practical insights, tools and recommendations for decision-makers to carry into their organisations alongside important advances in fundamental knowledge.

Large retail stores have prominent local presences, which can be magnified by their community engagement and philanthropic activities, potentially causing them to become 'anchoring institutions' within communities. The Fellow will be appointed for a period of three years to conduct high-impact research into the effectiveness of community relationships/interventions by retail organisations in the UK. The findings will inform strategic recommendations for enhancing the contribution of the retail sector to community wellbeing in the UK. Applications are welcome from highly regarded researchers from any relevant discipline with a strong academic record and interest in conducting research in business, policy or civil-society contexts.

This post is full-time or part-time (minimum 80% FTE), and CISL is open to secondments or similar arrangements which accommodate existing commitments. From 2020 the Programme will be based at CISL's new premises in the centre of Cambridge, which will serve as a vibrant, collaborative atmosphere for transdisciplinary research, education, industry and policy engagement.

Please provide a full CV, cover letter, and research proposal containing a 1¿2,000-word description with a 100-word summary intended for a general audience. If you wish to be considered for this opportunity on the basis of a secondment, please provide evidence of home institutional support.

Applicants must be committed to the values that underpin CISL's work and, our Fellows will be expected to have the following attributes:

  • PhD or equivalent in a relevant area.
  • Sufficient breadth and depth of specialist knowledge to design and execute research of a high standard.
  • The skills and experience to work independently and manage own workload with limited oversight, while also seeking to foster fruitful collaborations.
  • The ability to continually update knowledge in the specialist area and engage in continuous professional development.
  • Sufficient project management skills and experience to oversee a substantial research project, including financial management, establishing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders, reporting and overseeing more junior staff, as required.
  • Significant experience, results, and recognition in cutting-edge research.
  • The creativity and initiative to develop a new project and the intellectual energy and independent thinking necessary to deliver the research.
  • Strong publication record in major international journals, including first-author publication in a relevant area.
  • Well-developed communication skills and the ability to discuss and present research findings orally and in writing to a wide range of audiences.
  • Experience of primary data collection, data management and cleaning and of designing and running quantitative and qualitative analyses.
  • Clear enthusiasm for engaging flexibly and responsively to opportunities for impact.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact CISL's Research Team,, or visit the FAQ section on our website.

Please quote reference EN19993 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

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

Further information

Apply online