Oppenheimer Programme in African Landscape Systems (OPALS)

Person Specification for Bush Management Doctoral Scholar

(These are the attributes that we will look for in applications to this post)

Essential Desirable
Attainments/ Qualifications
Degree equivalent to a UK honours degree (2:1 or higher, or equivalent experience) in environmental science, agronomy, agriculture, geography, ecology, or a related subject.

Master’s degree or equivalent professional qualification in environmental science, agronomy, agriculture, geography, ecology, or a related subject.

Skills and Understanding
Understanding of the drivers of woody shrub encroachment in African landscapes

Understanding of options to manage woody shrub encroachment in African landscapes

Strong skills in collecting and analysing quantitative ecological data

Skills in presenting information in written and visual forms.

English language skills (written and verbal).

Digital skills (ability to use videoconferencing software such as Zoom/Teams/Skype/Slack).

Understanding of cattle production and holistic resource management systems

Understanding of climate change and climate change impacts in African landscapes.

Experience using geospatial data (e.g., remote sensing and/or GIS) for environmental analysis.

Skills in computer programming (e.g., R) for quantitative analysis of environmental data.

Proficiency in Ndebele and/or Shona would be advantageous for facilitating fieldwork.


Prior Experience
Experience and motivation to work independently. Evidence of communicating science to diverse audiences.
Behavioural Characteristics
Curiosity and the ability to think logically.

A passion to inform adaptive management to have a positive impact in society.

A willingness to conduct fieldwork in remote locations.

Ability to work well, both individually and as part of a larger team.

Sensitivity and empathy to cultural, social, and other differences in the workplace.

Aptitude for problem-solving.

Interest in public engagement.

Other requirements relevant to this role
Candidates must hold citizenship of an African Nation, and preference will be given to Zimbabwean nationals.

Candidates must be eligible to study in the United Kingdom and have the ability to move to the UK.

Candidates must be able to undertake multiple extended visits with Shangani Holistic in Zimbabwe to undertake place-based learning.

A full driving licence, which is accepted in Zimbabwe.