Postdoctoral Researcher, Circular Supply Chain Systems Design (1.0FTE, FTC)

Date advertised

16 November 2022

Closing date

12 December 2022


Research & Innovation


Material Science Research Centre

Required hours

Full Time




£38,970 - £42,329 per annum

Fixed Term

The Royal College of Art is the UK’s only entirely postgraduate institution of art and design, dedicated to teaching, research and knowledge exchange with industry. The RCA has been ranked the number one university-level institution for art and design, internationally, for the eighth consecutive year according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2022.

Materials Science Research Centre

Research in the Materials Science Research Centre (MSRC) focuses on the invention and the experience of materials to address real world challenges, specifically environmental sustainability, and human health and wellbeing. Established in 2017, the Centre is part of the RCA’s ambition to increase interdisciplinary research, particularly bringing science subjects together with Art & Design (STEAM) to tackle global challenges. As the MSRC has evolved, it has developed partnerships with a wide range of academic and industry partners in the UK and internationally. 

UKRI Interdisciplinary Textiles Circularity Centre

The MSRC, in partnership with an interdisciplinary consortium of UK academic institutions, won a large four-year UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Programme award to drive its mission of sustainability in textiles. The Textiles Circularity Centre (TCC) (EP/V011766/1) is aiming to realise a future circular textiles economy for the UK SME apparel-fashion industry based on bio waste - that is shaped by people’s participation in materials circularity, consumer experience and supply chain - to create a coupling between the bio waste resource flow and wellbeing. Circularising resource flows of textiles will stimulate innovation in the UK textile manufacturing and SME apparel, and creative technology sectors, whilst reducing reliance on imported and environmentally and ethically impactful materials, and diversifying supply chains. The Interdisciplinary Textiles Circularity Centre has three interconnected Research Strands – Materials Circularity, Consumer Experience, and Circular Supply Chain.

The TCC aims to design and develop manufacturing tools for the fabrication of regenerative textiles that enable designers to creatively differentiate themselves at small scale, and to design consumer experiences and related tools at the point of consumption – both of which enable brands and consumers to extend the lifecycle of apparel. The task of supply chain configurations is to connect these strategies.

We are seeking a highly creative systems design post-doctoral researcher – who has a design background - to work with the Circular Supply Chain Research Strand of the Textiles Circularity Centre. This research strand seeks to establish narrow, slow and closed resource flows through better tools for Circular Supply Chains. Led by the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing and the RCA, and working closely with the TCC consortium, it will study which novel supply chain configurations and technologies are needed for bio-based textiles circular supply chains. The postholder will work closely with the TCC consortium to co-create a circular information platform that enables flows of value, information and textiles, and to recommend digital solutions and interface designs.

The ideal candidate will be passionate about working with an interdisciplinary consortium on environmental sustainability grand challenges. The ideal candidate will have:


  • The candidate must be able to demonstrate at least one of the following:
  • PhD in systems design (preferably related to supply chain design, or a design application), or a closely related discipline, or equivalent level of experience in a different sector, or a Masters degree and significant experience in research projects.
  • Evidence of high levels of design creative thinking.
  • Evidenced experience of contributing to and reporting on projects.
  • Demonstrable understanding of good practice in research conduct (including in research ethics, research integrity and handling research data).
  • Demonstrable ability to be a collaborative member of a broader team, working constructively with senior staff and supporting the work of less experienced staff or students involved in projects.
  • Evidenced flexibility and confidence to tackle a wide range of tasks, with an open, pro-active, creative, and problem-solving approach.
  • Evidenced excellent writing, communication, and presentation skills, able to adopt an appropriate style for a range of specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Evidenced strong interpersonal and team-working skills.
  • Enthusiasm for Circular Economy and transforming existing supply chains, in particular within apparel and textile Industry.
  • Confidence in reviewing and evaluating business information platforms, data standards, physical and digital technologies that are integral to supply chains.
  • Experience in systems thinking and design research.
  • Experience with data visualisation and visual design for complex information flow modelling.


  • Experience in data modelling, design and implementation of databases and information system design.
  • Knowledge of interface design, information systems design.
  • Evidence of producing quality research outputs relevant to the career stage and discipline.
  • Evidenced experience of collaborative projects, preferably involving HE/industry collaborations in a relevant field.
  • Background and experience in the apparel and textile Industry.
  • Development experience in full stack programming, to create applications and processes.
  • Experience with advanced technologies applied to supply chains such as AI, distributed ledgers, and physical sensors.

The post will close at 11.59pm on 12th December 2022


Further details:  Information Pack  
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The Royal College of Art is an equal opportunities employer. The College particularly welcomes applications from all sections of the community and would particularly encourage members of minority groups to apply.  

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