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Floodplain Meadows Partnership Research Associate

Unit :  Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Salary :  AC2 £34,304-£40,927
Location :  Milton Keynes
Please quote reference :  18971
Part time Fixed Term Contract until 31 Mar 2023
Closing Date :  1 November, 2021 - 12:00

Optional information : 

Severn Vale area, Gloucestershire, and Walton Hall, Milton Keynes

This post is funded by the Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies. It is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission

Change your career, change lives

The Open University is the UK’s largest university, a world leader in flexible part-time education combining a mission to widen access to higher education with research excellence, transforming lives through education.

The role

We are looking for a Research Associate to work within the Floodplain Meadows Partnership (FMP) team (  The post is fixed term and part time.

The Partnership is a long-term research and outreach project investigating the ecohydrology, management, restoration and natural capital of floodplain meadows.  It brings together representatives from key nature conservation organisations in the UK with grassland academics to provide an evidence-based focus for the conservation and restoration of this rare habitat.

The role will form part of a team of staff responsible for delivering the recently awarded ‘Flourishing Floodplains’ project based in the Severn and Avon Vales in Gloucestershire. This exciting new post will be responsible for the collection of 300 soil samples for carbon analysis from different landuse types within the Severn and Avon floodplains. This will lead to the publication of ground-breaking research on soil carbon storage in floodplains and provide evidence of the benefits of floodplain meadow restoration.

The post will also be responsible for undertaking botanical survey in up to 1000 ha of floodplain grassland. This will be done both directly by the post holder, and through running training sessions in survey methods with volunteers, whose activities will then be co-ordinated by the role holder.

This work will provide new evidence of the extent of species rich floodplain meadow remaining in the Vale, highlighting its position nationally as one of the largest areas of floodplain meadow remaining in the UK at a landscape scale. It will also train volunteers in botanical ID and survey methods, empowering them to be more engaged in the conservation of this habitat in their local area.

The successful candidate will be based in the Floodplain Meadows Partnership group in the Open University’s School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, and be supervised by Dr Clare Lawson.

You will be part of an interdisciplinary team working closely with academics and policy/outreach specialists, as well as current PhD students. There will be weekly team meetings (online during home working or office-based when normal working arrangements return.)

You will also work with partners in the Flourishing Floodplains project, sharing your findings with the partnership team to deliver multi discipline outcomes.

Skills and experience

You will have extensive experience of botanical survey in UK grasslands and other fieldwork experience.

You will have experience of working with both volunteers and partner organisations at a range of levels.

You will be able to demonstrate that you can deliver training sessions in botanical identification and field survey methods.

You will have good communication skills, both oral and written, enjoy writing, have good ICT competence and be able to work to deadlines.

You will have an excellent ability to self-organise, prioritise your work and be independent in the field.

How to apply

All applications are completed online following the instructions below and clicking the “Apply Now” link.

To apply for this role please submit (as one document) the following;

  1. Personal statement, no more than 2 sides of A4. Set out in your statement why you are interested in this role and provide examples of where your skills and experience meet the required competencies for this role detailed in the job and person specification.  
  2. A full CV

The above two documents should be submitted as a single attachment during the application process.

To ensure your file is uploaded to our system correctly, please ensure your document is saved with the following file name format: 18971 STEM, surname, first initial.


Closing date: 12 noon 1 November 2021

Interviews are expected to take place on 16th November 2021

Queries to Emma Rothero at

We value diversity and we recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture, and that this difference brings great strength. Applications from candidates with protected characteristics are welcomed. Where you start in life does not dictate where you go.

Job related information : 

PDF icon 18971 - PDRA FMP Job Description GCRF V4.pdf423.04 KB

Posting Date :  11 October, 2021 - 12:15

Contact us

If you have any queries or questions about the recruitment process, or regarding your application, please contact:

If you have any feedback regarding the recruitment process, please contact the Senior Resourcing Account Manager who will look into the matter.

Senior Resourcing Account Manager,
Resourcing Hub,
The Open University,
Walton Hall,
Milton Keynes,