Targeting practitioners

Post-Doctoral Researcher, IDS – Deadline 30 April

By 22/04/2024

Opportunity type: Postdoctoral Researcher
Organisation: Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
Location: Brighton
Deadline: 30th April 2024
Salary: £40,407.00 – £53,409.00

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is seeking a Post-Doctoral Researcher (PDR) for the ‘Resilient and Equitable Nature-based Pathways in Southern African Rangelands’ (REPAiR) project funded by the UK National Environment Research Council (NERC). Based at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, the PDR will work under Dr. Amber Huff’s supervision, conducting desk- and field-based research, coordinating project activities, and collaborating with UK and South African partners across social science, natural/environmental science, and arts/humanities domains. Applicants need a PhD in social sciences focusing on Southern Africa, proficiency in political ecology, human geography, and resource politics, and familiarity with ecosystem-based approaches and Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in environmental policy. Knowledge of regional climate, environmental justice, and rangeland systems is advantageous. Strong analytical, writing, and communication skills, a publication record, independence, teamwork, English fluency, and willingness to travel and conduct fieldwork are required.

Job Description:


  • Undertake desk research, including carrying out literature reviews, political economy / policy processes analysis and other background research activities in timely fashion to the agreed standard.
  • Undertake field-based and institutional research in South Africa, and the broader Southern Africa region, working with UK-based and South African collaborators and partners.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of key literatures and methodologies on the relevant areas of research.
  • Assist in coordination of knowledge exchange activities in the UK and Southern Africa.
  • Work closely with the project’s communication team and across the UK-South Africa project consortium to produce high quality communications outputs.
  • Assist in the preparation of material for the project websites and social media, the writing of reports and academic papers.
  • Lead and contribute to data collection, analysis and writing of high quality academic publications, aiming at a minimum of one article-length piece during each year of the appointment.
  • Contribute to cross-workstream outputs that synthesise findings from local fieldwork, policy analysis and knowledge exchanges.
  • Contribute to development of resources and tools that are responsive to the knowledge and communication needs of community, civil society, policy and practitioner audiences.
  • Assist in organizing events such as workshops, exhibitions and conference sessions.
  • Assist the PI and co-investigators with managing the project, including budget, timelines and outputs.

Collaborations and networking

  • Contribute to mapping and engaging actors in research, policy and practitioner networks at different scales (local, national, regional and international) within the scope of the REPAiR project.
  • Develop links with external contacts and relevant research projects and centres to foster collaboration and partnerships, including collaborations and partnerships that will form the basis of future fundraising and research.
  • Participate in and develop external networks, for example to identify sources of funding, build relationships for current and future activities, and enhance research impact.

Teaching and learning

  • Contribute to post-graduate teaching, supervision and short course development at IDS where possible.
  • Contribute to the mentoring of South Africa-based student researchers.
  • Assist in developing and facilitating methods training and writing workshops for the project.


  • Participate in the intellectual life and activities of the Cluster and the Centre for Future Natures, as well as to interact and develop ideas with other thematic Research Clusters at IDS and the University of Sussex.
  • Contribute to the development of new research projects with members of the Resource Politics and Environmental Change Research Cluster, Centre for Future Natures and parter networks.
  • Contribute to the strategic development of IDS, and taking part in IDS-wide discussions and debates.


  • The post doctoral Researcher will have opportunities to develop and seek funding for other research studies, including participating in and leading the development of new proposals.
  • Assist with, and increasingly, lead, the development and writing of bids and proposals
  • Build relationships which are likely to lead to funding


The PDR may be required to undertake such other duties appropriate to the grade and character of the work as may reasonably be required. Therefore, the list of duties in this job description should not be regarded as exclusive or exhaustive. Duties will be set out in this job description but please note that the Institute reserves the right to update your job description, from time to time, to reflect changes in, or to, your job. Significant permanent changes in duties and responsibilities will require agreed revisions to be made to this job description. You will be consulted about any proposed changes.

For more information or to apply for this opportunity, please visit the IDS website.