Research Fellow in Politics and International Relations

University of Aberdeen

This is an exciting opportunity for a talented Research Fellow to work on the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) programme funded project “Solar Power in the UK – Planning for a Sustainable Future” (Solar Planning).  This is a part time (0.5FTE) post. 


Social Science


Politics & International Relations

Duration of Post

Funding/Activity Limited

The Solar Planning project will further the understanding of factors influencing the outcomes of planning applications for ground mounted solar photovoltaics (pv) farms at a local authority level. This will be done through analysis of stakeholder narratives, qualitative interviewing, surveys, ethnographic analysis and statistical analysis of GIS data and data from planning reports. This is a vitally important topic because of the importance of renewable energy to the target of obtaining net zero UK emissions by 2050. It is also important because this will advance the theory of the role of narratives and how this interacts with a range of spatial and demographic factors and also communities’ relationships with the landscape. This is an interdisciplinary project involving Political Science, Anthropology and Geography. 

The primary task of the Research Fellow will be to help organise and analyse the results of opinion surveys and also undertake spatial analysis (for which training will be available). There is also an opportunity to get involved in collecting and analysing of planning reports. However, they will also assist, when required, in other administrative and research tasks being undertaken by the project. It is essential that the part-time RF has expertise in designing and analysing quantitative studies. A PhD in Social Sciences or related discipline is a requirement. 

The postholder will be working closely with, and report to, Dr David Toke, (Principal Investigator) and also work as necessary with co-investigators Dr Kathrin Thomas, Dr Jo Vergunst, Dr Paula Duffy, and a further Research Fellow who will also be appointed to the project. 

We are seeking candidates with demonstrated skills in qualitative research and research publication.  Candidates should have a PhD qualification in a relevant disciplinary field such as Social Science, Geography, or another related discipline. 

This post is part-time (0.5 FTE, 18.75hrs per week).  Salary for the post will be £36,333 pro rata per annum (actual salary £18,166.50), Grade 6 (sp30) on the University pay scale. 

As this post is externally funded by the ESRC it is available for a fixed period from 01 June 2023 to 30 November 2025. 

Should you require a visa to undertake employment in the UK you will be required to fulfil the minimum points criteria to be granted a Certificate of Sponsorship under the requirements of the Skilled Worker visa.  At the time an offer of appointment is made, you will be asked to demonstrate that you fulfil the criteria in respect of qualification and competency in English. For research and academic posts, we will consider eligibility under the Global Talent visa. Please do not hesitate to contact Laura Sleigh, HR Adviser (e-mail: [email protected] )  for further information. 

Informal enquiries should be made to Dr David Toke, Department of Politics and International Relations (email [email protected]

To apply online for this position visit

 Job Reference Number: SOC076R 

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 05 April 2023 

The School OF Social Science embraces a diverse working environment and recognises the many benefits this can bring.  Applications from individuals from across all of the equality protected characteristics are encouraged.

View or Apply
To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this job posting.

Job Location