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Research Fellow in Politics and International Relations, Social Science (SOC075R)

This is an exciting opportunity for a talented Research Fellow to work on the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) programme funded project “Solar Power in the UK – Planning for a Sustainable Future” (Solar Planning). 

School/Section: Social Science
Division: Politics & International Relations
Staff Category: Research
Position Type: Full Time
Grade: Grade 6
Salary: £37,386
Ref No: SOC075R
Closing Date: 05-APR-2023


Job Description

The Solar Planning project will further the understanding of factors influencing the outcomes of planning applications for ground mounted solar photovoltaics (pv) farms at a local authority level. This will be done through analysis of stakeholder narratives, qualitative interviewing, surveys, ethnographic analysis and statistical analysis of GIS data and data from planning reports. This is a vitally important topic because of the importance of renewable energy to the target of obtaining net zero UK emissions by 2050. It is also important because this will advance the theory of the role of narratives and how this interacts with a range of spatial and demographic factors and also communities’ relationships with the landscape. This is an interdisciplinary project involving Political Science, Anthropology and Geography. 

The primary task of the postholder will be to conduct interviews and ethnographic work, conduct spatial analysis and to collect and analyse planning reports and stakeholder narratives. In addition, they will be asked to undertake organising impact activities, performing administrative tasks, and preparing project reports. The candidate has the opportunity to get involved in collecting and analysing stakeholder narratives, planning, and analysing the survey and / or spatial data. The postholder will be working closely with, and report to, Dr David Toke, (Principal Investigator) and also work as necessary with co-investigators Dr Kathrin Thomas, Dr Jo Vergunst, Dr Paula Duffy, and a further Research Fellow will also be appointed to the project. 

We are seeking candidates with demonstrated skills in qualitative research and research publication.  Candidates should have a PhD qualification in a relevant disciplinary field such as Social Science, Geography, or another related discipline. 

Salary for the post will be £37,386 per annum, Grade 6 (sp31) on the University pay scale. 

This is a full-time post,1.0FTE, 37.5hrs per week.  As this post is externally funded by ESRC it is available for a fixed period of 01 June 2023 to 30 November 2025. 

Should you require a visa to undertake employment in the UK you will be required to fulfil the minimum points criteria to be granted a Certificate of Sponsorship under the requirements of the Skilled Worker visa.  At the time an offer of appointment is made, you will be asked to demonstrate that you fulfil the criteria in respect of qualification and competency in English. For research and academic posts, we will consider eligibility under the Global Talent visa. Please do not hesitate to contact Laura Sleigh, HR Adviser (e-mail: for further information. 

Informal enquiries should be made to Dr David Toke, Department of Politics and International Relations (email

To apply online for this position visit 

Job Reference Number: SOC075R 

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 05 April 2023

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