ClimateXChange (CXC) seeks to offer a one-year postdoc research role to aid the Scottish Government in creating a comprehensive plan for enhancing soil health across Scotland.

The researcher will work with policy leads from the Scottish Government to design a routemap for the key actions that enable soils that “are healthy and provide essential ecosystem services for nature, people and our economy”, as identified in the consultation draft of the Scottish National Adaptation Plan 3.

The research will build on the results of a stakeholder workshop in spring 2024, which will confirm the strategic priorities for action through the routemap.

Stakeholders will include, but not be limited to, Scottish Government policy teams, their agencies and non-governmental organisations with an interest in soil management.

Scotland’s soils are our greatest natural asset and underpin much of our social and economic activity. The health of our soils is dramatically impacted by climate change and land use. That is why this work on bridging the science and policy gap on soils is so important. Our goal is to ensure that soil health is an integral part of our national efforts to adapt to climate change and sustain our wellbeing.

Prof. Mathew Williams, Chief Scientific Adviser, Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, Scottish Government

Challenge

The action plan resulting from this project will be complex, cross-sectoral and transdisciplinary.

Soil health is a cross-cutting issue, with policy interests across government, including agriculture, forestry, land use, energy, development, food production, biodiversity, economy and public health.

Important topic

Scottish soils are at the heart of all life and underpin social and economic activity. However, exacerbated by climate change, soils are at high risk of damage through compaction, erosion, flooding, drought and loss of organic matter. 

These changes have local, regional and national impacts, which can be difficult and costly to reverse.

Benefits of working with CXC

CXC postdoctoral research opportunities enable researchers to build long-term relationships with policymakers and to develop communications and engagement expertise.

ClimateXChange provides training and development into the policy process and effective research communication to policymakers. Former CXC postdocs found the opportunity a great boost to their work, as they moved on to careers in academia and across policy and government analytical services. One of them said:

It allowed me the space to grow in terms of my methodological capabilities, research ambition and research impact.

Former CXC postdoc

We are delighted to be starting this research project soon. It is a great opportunity for postdoctoral researchers to conduct a study that will inform policymaking, ensuring that Scotland’s soils are resilient in the face of climate change.

Dr Sarah Govan, Project Manager, ClimateXChange

Related links

Invitations to quote: Information about this opportunity

Building connections, confidence and skills: The benefits of a ClimateXChange Fellowship

Scottish National Adaptation Plan 3