Social, Economic & Geographical Sciences Agricultural/Rural Economist & Salary

Grade D

Group SEGS

Line Manager  Andrew Copus

Type of Position Individual Contributor


The work undertaken by The James Hutton Group is right at the top of the global agenda tackling problems such as the impact of climate change and threats to food and water security.

Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences (SEGS) are an innovative, dynamic group of about 35 researchers using a wide range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods and often taking interdisciplinary and/or participatory perspectives. The successful candidate will contribute to our well-established research agenda on agricultural and rural change in Scotland and internationally. This is a three-year appointment with potential for extension.

To deliver effectively in this role you must have a relevant PhD (e.g., in agricultural, rural, regional or development economics) and demonstrable experience in applied micro-economic analysis. An interest in the economic analysis of agricultural practices and the evaluation of innovation in land-based sectors and other rural activities is highly desirable. A willingness to work in interdisciplinary teams with natural scientists and other social scientists is essential. A key skill will be the ability to develop and implement economic or econometric analyses which (i) assess farmers’ costs and benefits arising from the adoption of innovations developed by biological sciences (e.g. new varieties) or alternative agricultural practices (e.g. Integrated Pest Management, organic farming), but also (ii) reflect upon the broader socio-economic determinants and consequences of such changes in land-use and land-management. Skills in relevant techniques such as cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, applied econometric techniques or farm or sector-level economic modelling (e.g. mathematical programming, agent-based modelling) are required, and experience in research on agriculture in developing countries would be an asset. 

For further information and to apply please visit For informal enquiries please contact Andrew Copus (

The James Hutton Institute is committed to equal opportunities.  We welcome application from all who believe fit the essential criteria for this post.

Main Purpose of Job

The purpose of this job is to strengthen the SEGS economic skills base and capacity in relation to economic research on agriculture and rural industries, both in a UK context and in developing countries. The post is also intended to address a growing need for economic and/or econometric analysis as part of multi-disciplinary projects on sustainable agri-food systems.

Main Duties of Postholder

  • Participate in and lead team-based economic research on agriculture and rural industries
  • Write and contribute to manuscripts suitable for appropriate international journals and conferences
  • Contribute to relevant knowledge exchange activities with stakeholders
  • Lead and/or contribute to research proposals to appropriate funding sources for further work
  • Provide expertise in agricultural and/or rural economics to interdisciplinary teams working within the Institute and as part of wider consortia
  • Contribute to the wider work of the science group and the Institute


Person Specification




  • Ph.D. in a relevant subject area (eg agricultural economics, rural or regional economics)



  • Experience in a range of relevant economic analysis/modelling approaches
  • Willingness to engage in inter- and transdisciplinary research



  • Solid grounding in principles and techniques associated with agricultural/rural economic analysis
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Ability to relate theoretical concepts to real-world issues and vice versa
  • Ability to initiate research, plan strategies and carry through plans to completion
  • Potential to publish in high quality academic journals
  • Ability to present research findings to a range of audiences, including policy stakeholders




  • Experience in study design and primary data collection
  • Experience of research on agriculture in a developing country context



  • Mathematical programming; good knowledge of statistical software (e.g., R, Stata)
  • Strong publication record


Other Skills

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills     


Additional notes/Requirements

  • Enthusiasm for the topic area and for working with researchers from multiple scientific disciplines
  • Ability to work occasionally away from home (eg to attend meetings, for field work etc)


More Information / Apply Now launch

Application Deadline


Faculty / phd candidate

The James Hutton Institute Craigiebuckler

Aberdeen , United Kingdom


United Kingdom



Faculty / phd candidate

Application Deadline: