Research Fellow in Peatland Restoration Controversies

University of Birmingham


As this vacancy has limited funding the maximum salary that can be offered is Grade 7, salary £35,333.

Contract Type:

Fixed Term contract up to April 2026 

We are seeking a talented and motivated Research Fellow to work for 36 months on a new Leverhulme Trust project “Carbon Futures in the Mire? A Political Ecology of Peat Restoration and Remaking”. This position presents an exciting opportunity to work at the forefront of interdisciplinary research on natural climate solutions. To date, most research into peat restoration has been led by ecological science, studying how peatland emissions will respond to future environmental change and landscape interventions. Yet peatlands are not just complex ecosystems. Given their diverse cultural importance and various uses as economic resources, they can be better understood as “peat-scapes” – dynamic, working landscapes whose ultimate purpose and value is contested by different social groups. This project, accordingly, views restoration as a thorny social process that brings carbon-based imperatives into conflict with other ways of knowing and valuing peat natures.

Main Duties

The responsibilities may include some but not all of the responsibilities outlined below.

  • Work with the Co-I, PI and wider project team (including advisory board) to develop and refine the project’s research objectives and methods, and contribute to setting the direction of the wider project
  • Review relevant academic literatures, policy reports and other relevant documentary resources to develop new intellectual understanding of peatland resource conflicts, restoration science and controversies, carbon accounting and resource-making, and their relationship with wider net-zero and nature recovery policies, with a specific focus on Estonia
  • Collect primary research data at field sites in Estonia, using a variety of methods including participant observation, interviews, photovoice, deliberative workshops, and/or social media analysis

Person Specification

  • PhD degree (or near to completion) in human geography, anthropology, environmental politics, science and technology studies, or a related discipline.
  • Experience in using qualitative research methods, including interviews, focus groups and/or participant observation, as well as policy and textual analysis.
  • Willingness to travel for field research overseas.
  • Excellent communication skills in English, including ability to communicate complex ideas clearly to a range of audiences, and to collaborate with people from contrasting disciplines and backgrounds.
  • Language skills in Estonian are also desired, but not essential.

Informal enquires to Dr Kärg Kama, [email protected]  

To download the full job description and details of this position and submit an electronic application online please click on the Apply Online button above or visit our careers website;

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