University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associate / Senior Research Associate (Fixed Term)

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is seeking to appoint a Fellow (0.8 FTE - full-time, 18 months) in sustainable consumption under The Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme. Funding for the Fellowship has been secured through a philanthropic donation from Sainsbury's plc but academic stewardship of the Programme lies with CISL.

The successful candidate will explore how supermarkets can enable sustainable consumption through the effective design and use environmental measures of food products (e.g. carbon footprints), drawing conclusions about how such information could impact consumer and industry behaviour.

CISL is a globally influential institute within the University of Cambridge working on a mission to develop leadership and solutions towards a sustainable economy.

The role The Fellowship builds on research conducted by Dr Emma Garnett, who previously held the title of Prince of Wales Fellow.

Current patterns of production and consumption place immense pressures on the environment and society, from climate change to pollution and obesity. Given the global reach of supermarkets' supply chains and their ability to influence how the public responds to health, wellbeing and sustainability issues, the Fellow may wish to be guided in their research by one or more of the following questions:

  • (i) How can supermarkets become better enablers/ accelerators of sustainable buying choices?
  • (ii) (How can clarity be improved on issues of concern for consumers, for example through the use of environmental footprinting data?
  • (iii) Is consumer information necessary to achieve a breakthrough in sustainable consumption, or are there more effective ways to achieve it?

Recognising the strategic importance of the topic, the donor (Sainsbury's) is open to providing data to inform the Fellow's research.

CISL encourages senior researchers to apply for a period of 18 months (extensions subject to availability of funding). Please provide a CV, cover letter and research proposal (500-1,000 words + 100-word summary) that would be understandable by a general audience. If you wish to be considered for this opportunity as a secondment, you will need to provide evidence of home institutional support post-interview stage.

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

  • 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
  • The creativity and initiative to develop new ideas and the intellectual energy and independent thinking necessary to address questions through research
  • Clear enthusiasm for (and experience of) generating opportunities for research impact.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 18 months in the first instance.

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If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please contact

Please quote reference EN32755 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