Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher in Transdisciplinary Approaches to Addressing the Phosphorus Challenge

University of Leeds

Leeds, United Kingdom

ID: 7078052 (Ref.No. ENVEE1464)
Posted: May 10, 2021

Job Description

Are you an enthusiastic graduate looking for your next career move? Would you like to become part of the next generation of international interdisciplinary professionals addressing one of the 21st century’s biggest global sustainability challenges? Would you like to obtain a Doctoral degree at one of the UK’s leading research intensive Universities?

We are inviting applications to the Marie Curie Innovative Training Network RECAP:  Capture, recycling and societal management of phosphorus in the environment. RecaP will train a novel type of Phosphorus specialist with the capacity to investigate transformative pathways to address the Global Phosphorus Challenge (GPC) in a transdisciplinary manner. This unique research programme has the ambition to disentangle the complex relationships of the GPC to secure food, agricultural productivity, a clean environment and ultimately, a closed phosphorus cycle as part of a sustainable circular bio-economy. This position is automatically associated with the University of Leeds’ Postgraduate Research Programme leading to obtaining a PhD

Phosphorus has no substitute in food production and all food systems are now dependent on fertilisers derived from a finite supply of phosphate rock. Our system of phosphorus use is inefficient, generating large surpluses in agricultural soils, from where it is lost to the hydrosphere, causing global scale pollution of water resources and compromising secured water access and biodiversity worldwide. Attempts to improve phosphorus use efficiency and sustainability within food systems have so far been reductionist, relying largely on ‘agronomic solutions’ alone or point-source capture, and failing to engage the broad range of relevant stakeholders, their multi-faceted values and agendas and the complex socio-ecological interactions at play. 

This research will explore the scope of transdisciplinarity in the socio-economic analysis of the phosphorus challenge. It will integrate the understanding of phosphorus processes with their socio-economic consequences and stakeholder participation at the catchment level. It will draw lessons for furthering progress in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (or equivalent regulation) and furthering the Circular Economy agendas in the UK and across Europe. 

The main duty for the successful candidate will be to carry out such research supervised by Prof. Julia Martin-Ortega from the University of Leeds and  Dr. Marc Stutter from the James Hutton Institute. The role also includes close interaction with the other fourteen Early Stage Researchers (ESR) of the RecaP International Training Programme, including at least three secondments at RecaP partner organisations across Australia and Europe, contributing to the delivery of programme level outputs. 

This position is funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action European Joint Doctorate Innovative Training Network RecaP (Capture, Recycling and Societal Management of Phosphorus in the Environment) within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission (Agreement No. 956454).

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

Professor Julia Martin-Ortega


Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Faculty of Environment
School/Institute:  School of Earth and Environment
Category:  Research
Grade:  Off grading structure
Salary:  p.a.
Working Time:  100% - We will consider job share / flexible working arrangements
Post Type:  Full Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (for 3 years from 1 September 2021 - due to external funding)
Release Date:  Monday 10 May 2021
Closing Date:  Monday 07 June 2021
Reference:  ENVEE1464

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.


Apply Now

Please mention to the employer that you saw this ad on