Note: The deadline has passed, but if interested please contact Professor David Macdonald by email.

The Kadas Senior Research Fellowship in Geopolitics

Worcester College Oxford is delighted to offer its first Senior Research Fellowship in Geopolitics, funded by a generous benefaction from the Kadas Family Foundation, tenable for a period of up to 5 years, with effect from 1 January 2017.  Each round of the Kadas Fellowship will be dedicated to research into a particular theme and the Governing Body of the College has agreed that on this occasion applications are sought in the field of

 The Geopolitics of Wildlife Conservation

The post will accordingly be held in association with the world-renowned Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

Further Particulars

The Fellowship will be held at Worcester College, where the Fellow will be a member of the Senior Common Room and have associated dining rights. The research post will be based at WildCRU’s Recanati-Kaplan centre, Tubney House. The Fellow will also be a member of the Department of Zoology.

The Fellow will establish a research project of the highest academic standard, liaising with WildCRU’s Director, integrating with WildCRU’s existing research strategy. The research will directly advance a new era in conservation, driving forward original directions in geopolitical research, whilst enabling the holder to develop a career as a leading world expert. This prestigious Fellowship offers an opportunity to work with acclaimed academics and contribute fully to the professional life of both the College and the WildCRU. The salary will be on the University of Oxford’s post-doctoral research scale (Grade 8, currently in the range £38,896 – £46,414 per annum), with some additional funds made available for fieldwork.

Informal enquiries regarding the College should be addressed to the Provost, Professor Sir Jonathan Bate CBE FBA (; those regarding suitable research projects and the work of WildCRU should be addressed to the Director of the Unit, Professor David Macdonald (

For Worcester College visit, for WildCRU visit and for the Department of Zoology visit

Main duties and responsibilities:

  • To integrate closely into the activities of a small team of researchers, already active within the WildCRU, focusing on inter-disciplinary geopolitical aspects of conservation, and in collaboration with Professor Macdonald to develop a research project of the highest academic standard, integrating with WildCRU’s existing research strategy
  • To participate in the intellectual and social life of the College; this will involve delivering, at some point during the tenure of the post, two Provost’s Seminars and at least one Alumni Lecture, as well as liaising with the Provost and other Fellows in working towards the development of future interdisciplinary research initiatives within the College
  • To drive forward original directions in geopolitical research relevant to the future of conservation
  • To secure research grants and make a significant career advancement
  • To contribute actively to the development of the professional life of WildCRU, including mentoring graduate students, presenting seminars to Diploma students and supporting the Senior Management Team (spending the significant majority of the year working from a base at Tubney House where the Fellow’s presence will be an expectation of the role)
  • The Fellow may be asked to supervise one, or possibly more, doctoral students during the tenure of the post, and/or to supervise projects in relevant subject areas undertaken by WildCRU’s Diploma students on the Post-graduate Diploma on International Wildlife Conservation Practice


  • To write papers, in collaboration with the WildCRU geopolitics team, for publication in journals of high international standing
  • To present work at national and international conferences
  • To submit an annual progress report for the Governing Body of Worcester College, via the Provost
  • To maintain a strong relationship, including reports on research progress, with the Kadas Family Foundation


Main skills and Experience


  • PhD in a relevant (natural or social) science discipline
  • 3 years post doctoral research experience
  • Attunement to geopolitical research (broadly conceived)
  • Specialist experience in techniques relevant to intended research
  • Achievement in analytical methods relevant to the research project
  • Skill in presenting scientific seminars and conveying the excitement of the topic to a wide audience
  • Ability to publish research results in international scientific journals


  • A strong track record in grant funding
  • Skills complementary to those in the existing WildCRU geopolitics team
  • Experience in interdisciplinary dialogue



Applications should be received by Worcester College no later than 31 August 2016. Application forms may be downloaded from, or obtained from Dr Ilaria Gualino, PA to the Provost, Worcester College, Oxford OX1 2HB, Tel +44 (0)1865 278362, email

Applications should consist of: the application form, a statement of the proposed research project, a covering letter explaining the suitability of both the candidate and the project for this unique Fellowship, and a current curriculum vitae.

Applicants should also arrange for three confidential letters of reference to be sent directly to the College by the same closing date. Applications and references may be sent by email or as PDF documents.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be conducted in October 2016.

The University is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Additional Information

Worcester College

Worcester College is one of the 38 constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. It occupies the site of Gloucester College, founded in 1283 for monks from the Abbey of St Peter, Gloucester. It was re-founded as Worcester College in 1714, following a benefaction by Sir Thomas Cookes, Bt., from Worcestershire.

The original Benedictine site was large, and eighteenth and nineteenth century additions to it have resulted in the College occupying some 26 acres. The gardens were laid out to include a lake in the early nineteenth century, and the adjoining sports field was reclaimed from drained water meadows in the late nineteenth century. The mixture of architectural styles, set amongst landscaped, wooded gardens and grounds, make Worcester one of the most attractive colleges in Oxford.

The Governing Body, which is responsible for overseeing the running of the College and the management of its endowments, comprises the head of College (the “Provost”) and 49 Fellows. A further 16 Research Fellows are not members of the Governing Body. There are c.100 members of non-academic staff. The college has c.600 undergraduate and postgraduate students in a wide range of subjects.

The Kadas Senior Research Fellowship is at the core of an initiative to develop innovative interdisciplinary research within the College community. It has been endowed in perpetuity through the generosity of Peter and Gyongyvar Kadas, Honorary Fellows of the College. Each five-year cycle of the Fellowship will be devoted to a different geopolitical theme. This first cycle springs from the Kadases’ commitment to wildlife conservation and their recognition that conservation and environmental issues can only be satisfactorily addressed within a wider geopolitical context, in which questions of policy, culture, custom and mentality are as important as practice and data.

Colleagues who will be interested in collaborative dialogue with the Kadas Senior Research Fellow are likely to include:

Professor Sir Jonathan Bate, the Provost, a founding figure in literary ecocriticism, and author of, among many other books, Romantic Ecology: Wordsworth and the Environmental Tradition (Routledge, 1991) and The Song of the Earth (Harvard University Press, 2000).

Dr Peter Darrah, Vice-Provost and Fellow in Biological Sciences, who works on soil-plant-microbe interactions and is currently actively involved in research into the population dynamics of bacteria in the rhizosphere; into plant growth in response to mineral nutrient stress; fungal foraging; and image analysis and mathematical models of plant development.

Professor Don Fraser, Fellow in Earth Sciences, is retiring at the end of the 2016-17 academic year but intends to remain actively involved in a proposed research centre in the Seychelles, to be associated with the College, devoted to marine conservation.

Dr Steven Methven, Fellow in Philosophy, is currently working in the area of environmental ethics.

Dr Christopher O’Kane, Kadas Research Fellow, is a member of WildCRU. He works on the conservation, ecology and management of African savanna systems, particularly in relation to large mammalian herbivores including elephants.

Professor Heather Viles, Professor of Biogeomorphology and Heritage Conservation, and Tutor in Geography, who researches into geomorphology and environmental issues, focusing especially on biological influences on geomorphology, the weathering of building stones, rock breakdown on Earth and Mars and coastal environmental issues. She has recently carried out fieldwork in Namibia, Libya and South Africa and around the streets of Oxford. Her publications include a book on environmental issues jointly authored with Andrew Goudie, The Earth Transformed: An Introduction to Human Impacts on the Environment (Blackwell, 2013).

The Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU)

Part of the University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology, WildCRU is a pioneering, inter-disciplinary research unit in a world-class academic centre. We underpin solutions to conservation problems through primary scientific research of the highest calibre. Our approach is empirical, interdisciplinary and collaborative, seeking to include all four elements of our “Conservation Quartet” research to understand and address the problem; education to explain it; community involvement to ensure participation and acceptance; and implementation of long-term solutions. See further,

The Zoology Department

The Department of Zoology, within the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division at the University of Oxford, has a long-standing reputation for world class research and teaching. Research in the Department is organised into several research themes; these span a broad spectrum of biology ranging from ecology and behaviour, through to molecular evolution, development and infectious disease biology.

The Department participates in teaching a B.A. degree in Biological Sciences. We were awarded full marks, 24 out of 24, in the official Subject Review (formerly known as Teaching Quality Assessment).The Department of Zoology currently has approximately 70 academic staff.  It also houses a very large and interactive group of post docs (~100) and graduate students (~150).  Ten members of the Department are Fellows of the Royal Society including Lord May, President (2000-2005). Biological Sciences research at the University of Oxford ranked number 1 in the UK for volume of world-leading research in the 2014 REF results.

About the Mathematical, Physical, and Life Sciences Division

The Mathematical, Physical, and Life Sciences Division (MPLS) is one of the four academic divisions within the University, (that is, Humanities Division, Social Sciences Division, Mathematical, Physical, and Life Sciences Division, Medical Sciences Division). It comprises ten academic departments: Chemistry, Computing Laboratory, Earth Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Materials, the Mathematical Institute, Physics, Plant Sciences, Statistics, Zoology. The MPLS Division also encompasses the Begbroke Science Park, the Life Sciences Interface Doctoral Training Centre, and the Oxford e-Research Centre. The constituent units of the Division enjoy an international reputation for excellence in the mathematical, physical, and life sciences, as well as in interdisciplinary areas, particularly at the interface with the medical and environmental sciences.

Each division has its own academic Head of Division and a divisional secretariat, led by the Divisional Secretary. Each division is responsible for academic oversight of the teaching and research of its various departments and faculties, for strategic and operational planning, and for personnel and resource management. Much of this is undertaken by the divisional board and its principal committees.

For more information please visit

The University of Oxford is a member of the Athena SWAN Charter and holds an institutional Bronze Athena SWAN award. The Department of Zoology holds a departmental Silver Athena award in recognition of its efforts to introduce organisational and cultural practices that promote gender equality in SET and create a better working environment for both men and women.

For more information about the department, please visit the web site

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