Post Doctoral Research Associate Human-Fire Interactions

Post Doctoral Research Associate Human-Fire Interactions

Department of Geography

Location:  Egham
Salary:  £40,608 per annum – including London Allowance
Post Type:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours BST on Thursday 13 July 2023
Reference:  0623-276

Full Time, Fixed Term


Applications are invited for the post of Post Doctoral Research Associate Human-Fire Interactions within the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society.

The Centre was established in 2019 and is comprised of social and natural scientists from Imperial College, Kings College, Royal Holloway and University of Reading, working together to create a new, integrative science of wildfire. The aim of the Centre is: to understand what factors govern wildfire regimes, including the sources, frequency, intensity, timing, and spatial pattern of fire; develop ways of predicting fire risks that include new biophysical understanding and account more reflexively for human-environment dynamics; quantify the impacts of fire on natural processes and human systems, including assessing their economic consequences and wider cultural meanings; and develop ideas for living with fire. The post holder will therefore join a vibrant interdisciplinary research community with a joint vision of producing evidence-based understanding of the human-fire nexus that can help inform policy and practice.

This post will contribute to the analysis of the diverse interactions of people and fire. Through previous research, the Centre has databases on the use of fire at the global scale. The PDRA will lead the conceptualisation and development of analyses of these global datasets, including leading and facilitating interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral and international collaborations. The postholder will also gather supporting evidence for Indigenous and local communities’ fire knowledges, and changes in these knowledge systems, for example in response to climate change. This may involve secondary data collation as well as empirical research through social science methods including ethnographic assessments, participatory workshops, observational studies and quantitative data collection. The post may include periods of international fieldwork, and the applicant must be willing and able to travel and work in developing rural settings.

The successful candidate will hold, or will have recently submitted, a PhD in a relevant field, and will have significant experience of human-environment interactions, both qualitative and quantitative social science research methods and analyses, and local level fieldwork. The PDRA will also have the opportunity to both lead and to contribute to publications arising from the research and to present results at UK and international conferences.

This is a full-time post for two years (with extension dependent on further funding), immediately available from the 1 September 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful applicant will join one of the UK’s strongest Geography Departments, ranked 5th in the UK in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework and consistently ranked highly in the National Student Survey. The successful applicant will be a member of the world-leading Geopolitics, Development, Security and Justice (GDSJ) Research Group. The GDSJ group works on issues of mobility, security, governance, justice and rights across political, development, environmental and social geography, both in and across the Global North and Global South.

In return we offer a highly competitive rewards and benefits package including:

  • Generous annual leave entitlement
  • Training and Development opportunities
  • Pension Scheme with generous employer contribution
  • Various schemes including Cycle to Work, Season Ticket Loans and help with the cost of Eyesight testing.
  • Free parking

This post is based in Egham, Surrey where the College is situated in a beautiful, leafy campus near to Windsor Great Park and within commuting distance from London. The successful candidate will also spend periods working with fellow researchers at the Leverhulme Centre’s hubs in Central London.

Informal enquiries can be made to Professor Jay Mistry at:

The Human Resources Department can be contacted with queries by email at:

Please quote the reference: 0623-276

Closing Date:   23:59, 13 July 2023

Interview Date: To Be Confirmed

To apply:

The university has adopted hybrid working for some roles therefore some remote working may be possible for this role.

Royal Holloway is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and encourages applications from all people regardless of age, disability, gender, marital status, parental status, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or trans status or history. More information on our structures and initiatives around EDI, including information on staff diversity networks, can be found on our Equality and Diversity Intranet page.