Job Opportunities

We are currently recruiting for the role of:

Principal Scientist, Head of Agri-Environmental Science, GWCT 

Type of appointment: From June 2024, permanent

Reporting to: Director of Research; Director of the Allerton Project

Location: The Allerton Project Centre, Loddington, Leicestershire, LE7 9XE. Full time (37.5 hours per week). Flexible work pattern or part-time role negotiable.

Salary: £42k – £45k PA

Closing date: 19th May 2024

Interview date: TBC

We welcome applications from candidates with excellent leadership skills who can inspire, co-ordinate, develop and manage a small team of multi-disciplinary scientists within the GWCT Farm Ecology Unit (FEU) and Allerton Project teams, collectively focussing on farmland environments. Key to success will be the ability to harness the team’s considerable yet diverse individual talents and co-ordinate these to achieve success in funding applications and production of scientific papers across a range of Journals. The FEU and Allerton Teams have an historic and substantial reputation, which sets us apart, for the delivery of applied science, providing ecologically based knowledge and practical solutions to the agricultural community.

The Head of GWCT Agri-Environmental Science will be a forward-thinking individual who can identify research needs, policy drivers and bring expertise together, along with the required funding, to deliver innovative solutions. The ability to collaborate with academic, NGO and industry partners is essential, as is the ability to consistently prepare, monitor and deliver to agreed budgetary targets.

Candidates will be at post-doctorate level in agricultural and/or environmental science disciplines including, for example, agricultural or environmental sciences, agroecology, farmland ecology (grassland, arable and associated habitats), entomology, aquatic ecology, soil science, biology and ecology, agronomy, agriculture and agricultural systems, or other related disciplines.

Candidates should have a minimum of five years of post-doctoral experience, a proven track record of peer reviewed publications and demonstrable success in external grant capture, collaboration, staff management, and budgetary skills.

The successful candidate will work with the GWCT Director of Fundraising and the Public Sector Project Administrator to raise external funding to ensure continuity and expansion of the combined FEU and Allerton research Teams.

Reporting Structure. Reporting to the Head of Agri-Environmental Science will be two research groups: the Head of Farmland Ecology Research and the Head of Soil and Water Research, along with their respective teams. The post holder will be expected to work and co-ordinate with the knowledge delivery teams in the GWCT Advisory Service and the Allerton Project to help build partnerships with external funders and assist with the dissemination of research results across a wide spectrum of audiences, including commercial clients.

Job Purpose

To bring together the skills and specialist knowledge from both the FEU and Allerton Project along with external collaborators to develop a relevant research portfolio in line with GWCT’s strategic plan. To lead, develop and manage research and knowledge exchange activity and projects within the GWCT’s farmland environmental research programme in England. The research aims to improve understanding of the trade-offs between food production and the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in farming systems and the associated environment.


The successful applicant will work with key partners and stakeholders which include:

· Universities and Research Institutes e.g. University of Cambridge, Royal Holloway, Rothamsted Research, NIAB, CEH, Fera.

· European partners through collaborative research programmes such as Horizon e.g. James Hutton Institute, LIST, Fundación Artemisan, INRAE, SSSA.

· NGO’s e.g. BTO, LEAF, FWAG, Wildlife Trusts, BCPC, AAB, Woodland Trust, BASC, NGO, FHT, BSSS.

· Government departments and arms-length-bodies e.g. NE, EA, JNCC and FE.

· Farmer Clusters and Farmers and Environmental Farmer Groups.

· Agronomists and commercial organisations e.g. AICC, BIAC, Hutchinsons, Kings, Syngenta, BASF, Yara, Bayer CropScience.

· Food manufacturers, retailers, and supply chains e.g. Kellogg’s, Nestle, M&S

· Agricultural Industry bodies e.g. NFU, CLA, TFA, CAAV, AIC CropLife, the Agricultural Societies’.

Our vision

To be the leading NGO in applied agro-ecological research in England, providing scientifically sound evidence to support the agricultural and associated communities with solutions to balance food production and environmental care. Key to success will be recruiting, developing and inspiring talent within the scientific group you will lead.

Key Accountabilities and Responsibilities

· Develop research activity in agricultural and associated environments.

· Publication of research results across a range of journals and other media.

· Income generation and assiduous budget management.

· Project initiation, management, and delivery.

· Supervision, target setting, monitoring, and line management.

· Knowledge exchange, partnerships, promotion, and networking.

· Strong communication skills and ability to report progress/outputs to internal and external committees.

· Ensuring activity is aligned with GWCT and Allerton Trust Charitable objectives.

· Supervision of PhD and Master’s students.

Person Specification

Specific Skills, Experience, Knowledge

1 Experience of directing, organising and undertaking research, including preparing research proposals, working on research projects, and meeting research project deliverables on time, including the publishing of research results. Essential

2 Experience of leading and managing research teams, including PhD and Master’s students. Essential

3 Ability to source funding and match that to expenditure, including allowances for overhead costs. Essential

4 A track record in identifying research opportunities and developing these into funded projects. Essential

5 Excellent organisational skills including the ability to manage a diverse and busy workload, plan effectively, prioritise and work to deadlines. Essential

6 Good analytical skills and judgement with the ability to analyse and resolve problems, identifying practical solutions. Essential

7 A high level of accuracy and attention to detail. Essential

8 Excellent IT skills and ability to carry out statistical data analyses and modelling in relevant software e.g. R statistical software. Essential

9 Specialist technical / research area, with notable research record through research publications. Desirable

10 An understanding of agricultural systems and the policy environment. Desirable

Personal Qualities

1 Ability to communicate clearly, concisely and with appropriate tone, both verbally and in writing. Have the confidence to prepare data and presentations to deliver to scientific meetings, clients, stakeholders and conferences. Essential

2 Be an inspiring leader, able to provide support and motivate team members, including fostering and advancing career development. Essential

3 Ability to work well with minimum supervision, with flexibility and a positive and proactive approach to change. Essential

4 Ability to work well under pressure, meet deadlines and give particular attention to detail and accuracy. Essential

5 Ability to establish credibility quickly and build effective working relationships within a research environment both with stakeholders and partner organisations. Desirable


1 Good first degree in a relevant subject area. Essential

2 Relevant postgraduate qualification (PhD) in an appropriate discipline combined with five years relevant work experience. Essential

3 Valid UK Driving Licence. Essential

4 Membership of relevant professional Societies and Associations. Desirable

Please send cover letter and CV to Dr Andrew Hoodless, GWCT Director of Research:

Closing date for applications 19th May 2024

Application Form

Please fill out the form below if you’re interested in joining the team at The Allerton Project.

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