Research Fellow in Simulation of Agricultural Systems

University of Leeds

Leeds, United Kingdom

ID: 7067166 (Ref.No. ENVGE1123)
Posted: June 24, 2020

Job Description

Do you want to be part of a project aiming to improve the sustainability of European agriculture?

The European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) support the livelihood of 11 million farmers while maintaining environmental standards and good agricultural practices over half of the European Union (EU) land. Yet, pressures including land-use intensification, abandonment and climate change remain a challenge to the current CAP and its implementation.Existing impact assessment models do not appropriately address the complexity of decisions made by farmers and ignore the wider impacts of policy on natural, social and cultural assets in rural areas.

The BESTMAP (Behavioural, Ecological and Socio-Economic Tools for Modelling Agricultural Policy) project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme will develop new modelling framework that will transform future EU rural policies’ design and monitoring, promoting a sustainable future for the EU agricultural sector. BESTMAP will

Develop a behavioural theoretical modelling framework to take into account complexity of farmers’ decision-making;

Develop, adapt and customize a suite of open-source, flexible, interoperable and customisable computer models linked to existing data e.g. LPIS/ IACS and remote sensing e.g. Sentinel-2;

Link economic, individual-farm agent-based, biophysical ecosystem services and biodiversity and geostatistical socio-economic models;

Produce a simple-to-use dashboard to compare scenarios of Agri-Environmental Schemes adoption;

Improve the effectiveness of future EU rural policies’ design, monitoring and implementation.

We are looking for an enthusiastic Post-Doctoral researcher with a background in computer simulation, agent-based modelling, farmer behavioural modelling or microsimulation to join the BESTMAP team in the University of Leeds and contribute to the development of individual-farm agent-based modelling on farmer decision making, in dealing with challenges in land-use intensification, sustainable agriculture and climate change.

You should have a PhD (or be very close to obtaining a PhD) in Geography, Computer Science, Economics, Ecology, Agricultural Science, Behavioural Science, Mathematics/Statistics, Physics – or a related discipline with a significant component of computational modelling – and be able to demonstrate a combination of enthusiasm and expertise in computational modelling.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 

Prof. Guy Ziv, Chair in Socio-Environmental Systems, email:

Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Faculty of Environment
School/Institute:  School of Geography
Category:  Research
Grade:  Grade 7
Salary:  £33,797 to £40,322 p.a.
Due to funding limitations an appointment will not be made above £36,914 p.a
Working Time:  100% - We will consider job share / flexible working arrangements
Post Type:  Full Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (until February 2023)
Release Date:  Monday 22 June 2020
Closing Date:  Wednesday 22 July 2020
Reference:  ENVGE1123

The University community is made up of a wide range of people with diverse backgrounds and circumstances, which we value and regard as a great asset. As part of our continued commitment to equality and inclusion, we strive to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and have a real opportunity to participate in and contribute to our activities.


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