Forestry Carbon Researcher (Permanent)

Forestry Development Department, Johnstown Castle Research Centre, Wexford or other major Teagasc Research Centre, subject to agreement with the Head of Department.
 Salary:  Research Officer with a Salary Scale of €37,808 to €72,999
Research   Permanent Full Time
Closing Date: 06/06/2023 Closing Time: 12:00


Job Summary

Permanent .  A panel may be formed from which future similar vacancies may be filled; such a panel will remain active for a maximum period of 12 months.


Basic Function

Teagasc seeks to appoint a forestry researcher to measure and model the impact of afforestation and forest management on:

  • Carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions;

  • Carbon accounting and greenhouse gas inventories;

  • Co-benefits to water quality and biodiversity


The successful candidate will be part of the Forestry Development Department based in Johnstown Castle (or other Teagasc centre by agreement). They will work in an interdisciplinary and collaborative manner with other forestry, soils and carbon researchers both in Teagasc and externally.   

The successful candidate will be empowered to establish an innovative research strategy, acquiring physical and human resources through internal/external funding to deliver ‘through-to-practise’ solutions that can improve knowledge and help maximise forestry carbon capture, minimise emissions with due regard to improving biodiversity and water quality. In support of their career development they will be fully supported to integrate with ongoing relevant research and develop a national and international network of collaborators through high impact publications and active participation at international conferences.


Background to the role

Teagasc is expanding its research and KT programme to rapidly advance the science and implementation of current and new measures to meet the biodiversity and climate challenges that farmers are facing. In addition to the new staff resources, there is a large capital investment to establish the national Teagasc Climate Centre. The large number of new staff recruited will join and integrate with the current research teams and utilise the research infrastructures across the organisation.

Changes in agricultural practices associated with the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, Kyoto and Gothenburg protocols have highlighted the importance of reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, the national Climate Action Plan has set a 51% reduction target for national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Teagasc Marginal Abatement Cost Curve (MACC) highlighted the key role that afforestation and forest management has in carbon capture and emissions. In addition forests can play an important role in enhancing biodiversity and protecting/enhancing water quality.

New research is needed that will inform the sequestration capacity of forests as reported in Ireland’s National Inventory Report; This will lead to an improvement in our understanding of the carbon flows and how these change with management practices. This competition seeks to recruit a permanent research officer focused on investigating the effect of different forest types and forest management practices on carbon capture and greenhouse gas emissions with due regard to water quality and biodiversity. 


About The Forestry Development Department in Teagasc

The Forestry Development Department includes both permanent and contract researchers working on tree improvement programmes and broadleaf and conifer silviculture and management. The team also includes specialists and advisers focussed on supporting new and existing forest owners in relation to forestry and science-based innovation. This new position will be based in the new National Teagasc Climate Centre at Johnstown Castle, Wexford or another Teagasc centre, by agreement. The Environment, Soils and Land Use Department which is also based at Johnstown Castle leads Ireland’s soils and environment related research and conducts both fundamental and applied research on a wide range of subjects, e.g. soil quality, nutrient efficiency, water quality, gaseous emissions, agro-ecology, and land use. 


Job Objectives

  • To lead research projects to improve the quantification and modelling of carbon cycling and fluxes in forests and agri/forest systems.

  • To establish national and site-level research and collect data involving forest carbon measurements.

  • To investigate the impact of forest types and forest management on carbon balances to maximise carbon capture and sinks and minimise emissions.

  • Produce high quality papers, relevant for forestry practice and policy and for publication in peer reviewed scientific journals using existing and newly generated data.

  • To establish strong collaborative links within Teagasc and national/international researchers and their projects.

  • To actively pursue external funding opportunities to further resource the research program with the objective of developing critical mass in the area by building and supervising a dynamic team of post-doctoral researchers(s) and post-graduate student(s). 

  • Work closely with Teagasc Forestry Specialists/Forestry Advisors to ensure effective two-way exchange of knowledge and research findings with advisers and stakeholders.

  • Supervise, in conjunction with University partners, postgraduate students to Masters and PhD level.

  • To assist Teagasc in meeting the commitments of the Quality Customer Service Charter and Action Plan.

  • To actively participate in the annual business planning and Performance Management Development System (PMDS) processes.

  • Fully co-operate with the provisions made for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of oneself, fellow staff and non-Teagasc staff and co-operate with management in enabling Teagasc to comply with legal obligations. This includes full compliance with the responsibilities outlined in the Safety Statement.

  • Any other duties as may be assigned from time to time

* This job specification is intended as a guide to the general range of duties and is intended to be neither definitive nor restrictive.  It will be reviewed from time to time with the post holder.

Skills Required





  • Candidates must have an honours Level 8 degree in forestry, agriculture, botany, soil science, physics or environmental science or related discipline.

  • PhD in a relevant discipline


Note: While a PhD is an essential requirement for this post, equivalent research experience may be deemed acceptable solely at the discretion of the Director of Teagasc.


  • Postgraduate degree in forestry, carbon cycling and  modelling


  • Proven record of scientific communication.

  • Excellent field and organizational skills, report writing, data analysis and statistical analysis.

  • Excellent one-to-one and group communication skills. Good team working skills.

  • Good evidence of leading teams and effective people management skills.

  • Excellent ability to plan, organize, manage and schedule work effectively.



  • Modelling forest carbon projections and greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Experience in forest mensuration and production forecasting

  • Experience in conducting greenhouse gas quantification and instrumentation

  • Aptitude for multidisciplinary approaches.

  • Project management and experience of winning competitive research funding.

  • Record of successful research grant writing.


  • Understanding of forestry practices and their implications for carbon balances, productivity and other ecosystem services.

  • Understanding of methods and techniques for measuring carbon emissions and sequestration.


  • Familiarity with forest management.

  • Carbon cycling in forests

  • Carbon modelling



Behavioural Competencies

  • Willingness to work as part of an integrated advisory/research programme team

  • Ability to work independently, and meet self-imposed milestones and deliverables

  • Willingness to collaborate positively within the programme team as well as with outside agencies

  • Ability to align personal development objectives within the programme objectives

  • Ability to contribute to group discussions/workshops with farmers and other stakeholders.

  • Strives for high quality of work and demonstrates commitment to the programme.

  • Ability to communicate effectively to enable knowledge and technology transfer.


  • Candidates must satisfy and continue to satisfy during employment with Teagasc, legal requirements to drive unaccompanied on Irish public roads.

  • Where a candidate does not satisfy the legal requirements to drive unaccompanied on Irish public roads, they must satisfy this requirement within 12 months of starting the role, should they be deemed appointable.


Note:  The ‘essential’ qualifications, knowledge, skills and behavioural competencies outlined above are ‘must-have’ which will be used in the selection process.

Note:  Alternative location(s) may be considered solely at the discretion of Teagasc management.


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