Research Associate Rethinking Urban Nature

University of Cambridge - Department of Geography


Salary:£31,604 to £38,833

Hours:Full Time

Contract Type:Fixed-Term/Contract


Placed on:15th December 2017

Closes:13th January 2018

Job Ref:LC14327

★ View Employer Profile

This RA opportunity is to work on the European Research Council funded project Rethinking Urban Nature.  This project challenges existing understandings of urban nature by using an innovative interdisciplinary framework in a comparative international context focused on London, Berlin, Tallinn, and Chennai.  The "urban revolution" as originally elaborated by Henri Lefebvre and other scholars in the early 1970s has entered a new phase in the early twenty-first century with over half the world's population now living in cities. The recent emphasis on Lefebvre's original distinction between cities and urbanization now includes ecological transformations at a global scale. Urban nature lies at the centre of these developments as a focal point for multiple cultural, political, and scientific discourses ranging from concerns with climate change and public health to the protection of biodiversity. The idea of nature is being reworked to encompass different scales, different processes, and different conceptions of agency and ethical responsibility. For further details see the project website:

This role will be to assist the project PI, Professor Matthew Gandy, with the Chennai based research to examine in particular the conservation challenges facing the formerly extensive wetlands, creeks, and other elements of the hydrological topography of the city with high levels of bio-diversity. We anticipate that liaison with ornithological organizations will be a significant dimension to the work.  Other important aspects include the complexities of environmental history, including post-colonial critiques of vegetation classification systems, and an engagement with different sources of knowledge including local knowledge and changing perceptions of nature.

The research project takes an explicitly inter-disciplinary approach and we welcome applications from a range of disciplinary backgrounds. Although the RA will be primarily based in the geography department, reporting to Professor Matthew Gandy (the project PI), the RA will be supported by the project coordinator Louise Kay and other members of the project team.

Enquiries about the post can be directed to Professor Matthew Gandy ( or Louise Kay (

The closing date for applications is 13th January 2018 and interviews will be held on 25th January 2018.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 9 months in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit: This will take you to the role on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. There you will need to click on the 'Apply online' button and register an account with the University's Web Recruitment System (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please quote reference LC14327 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.