Sustain / Jobs

Bridging the Gap Research Officer (Summer Placement)

Gross Annual Salary £4,183 (FT equivalent £21,749). In addition, Sustain matches pension contributions up to 5% of gross salary.
Hours 0.4 - 1 FTE / 2- 5 days per week (but please note we are open to flexibility on this with minimum of 14 hours a week)
Location  Role is office-based in Cambridge Heath, London. Sustain offers working from home up to half of working hours, on request and subject to agreement after probation.
Position type Short term contract – this would be 10 weeks if full time option taken, but can be extended to up to maximum of 26 weeks to fit with candidate’s preference for reduced hours
Annual Leave

4 days Annual Leave (plus FTE proportion of public hols + office closures)

Closing date 10am, Monday 5 June 2023
Contact email
Equal opportunities Sustain is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive employer, including recruiting for diversity. Read more about our approach here.
Right to Work Entitlement to work in the UK. Sustain is not able to assist with applications for work permits.
Other details Cycle to Work scheme available on salary sacrifice basis

About Sustain

Sustain is a powerful alliance bringing together around 100 organisations nationally – and hundreds more at local and regional level. We believe everyone should have access to healthy and sustainably produced food that protects people, animals and planet. Working together, we run highly effective and creative campaigns, advocacy, networks and demonstration projects, aiming to catalyse permanent changes in policy and practice, and to help equip more people and communities with skills as change-makers.

What is Bridging the Gap?

Food that is good for people and the planet, benefits communities and supports decent livelihoods is currently more expensive than food that is bad for health and produced in ways that damage the planet. 
We want to change that by bridging the gap between communities experiencing low incomes and health inequalities, with affordable and planet-friendly food that enables everyone to enjoy a universally healthy, just and sustainable food system.
We want to do that by developing and trialling supply chain interventions, using principles of coproduction to achieve this.

About this role

Sustain is seeking someone to work on a flexible summer placement for Bridging the Gap to support the team with their research and communications activities. We are seeking to give someone an opportunity for short-term paid employment at Sustain, who may not be able to access other roles at our organisation for a variety of reasons. This might be suited to a student, but equally it might suit someone who is currently not working, between jobs or returning to work following a period of leave. 

The successful candidate will receive an induction into Sustain and be offered a buddy to support them to settle into the organisation for the period of their placement. They will have the opportunity to attend any internal training on offer during this period and external events that are relevant to their work.

What will the work focus on?
Bridging the Gap is looking to build an evidence base for policy change around affordable agroecological food. To achieve this, we need to understand the policy context in the UK and internationally, what is working and what is not in terms of increasing accessibility and affordability of climate and nature friendly food.

We also want to understand what projects are already underway in the UK to bridge the gap between people on low incomes and climate and nature friendly food. And finally, we need to communicate the importance of this work and shed light on the opportunities for change, to inspire the good food movement and wider public.

Tasks and responsibilities


  • Conduct a review of policies that are in place in other comparable economies to overcome the affordability challenges related to access to climate and nature friendly food.
  • Develop an index of international food policies related to Bridging the Gap.
  • Working with the Sustain team, create an index of current UK policies related to climate and nature friendly farming and access to healthy food.
  • Continue to develop research that has already been started by the Sustain team on projects around the UK that are working to bridge the gap between people on low incomes and nature and climate friendly food, through some or all of the following approaches:
    • Interviews with projects
    • An open call to movement for more case studies
    • Development of an online map of relevant initiatives
    • Producing a concise report that is shareable


  • Writing articles, including interviews with relevant stakeholders, on subjects of interest to Bridging the Gap
  • Possibly produce some vlogs for use on Sustain’s website and social channels

The postholder will also undertake any other responsibilities in connection with the work that may arise from time to time.

Personal specification

Sustain is seeking a Bridging the Gap Research Officer (Summer Placement) to support the team with their research and communications activities.


  • Interest in and ability to undertake research, both desk based and interviews
  • Interest in policy related to social and environmental issues
  • Ability to synthesise complex information into concise reference material
  • Good organisational and time management skills
  • Strong written and oral communication in English
  • A strong commitment to diversity and inclusion – particularly to making healthy and sustainable food accessible to all, and to tackling inequality, within the context of the role


  • Some experience of studying or working on food or farming issues and/ or an interest in working in the sector in the future
  • Experience developing social media content, blogs or articles


The person appointed will contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain (including staff and project participants) in which equality and diversity are not just respected but promoted. Visit our website here for some useful advice if you are applying for a job at Sustain.

Sustain is recruiting for this role as part of our Ethnicity Confident and Disability Confident schemes. Applicants who meet all the essential criteria, and who let us know voluntarily (via our Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form) that you would like to be considered in this way, will be guaranteed a first-stage interview.

Sustain welcomes applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, class, socio-economic background, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and/or belief. We are happy to discuss and consider flexible working at the point of hire. We particularly encourage applications from those from ethnic minority backgrounds, people with diverse sexual and gender identities and people with disabilities. This is because these groups are currently underrepresented at Sustain. Where two or more candidates are judged to be of equal merit, priority may be given to a candidate who belongs to a group less represented at Sustain.

How to apply

To apply for this position, please email the following:

- a CV (maximum two pages)
- a Covering Letter with your name, stating your interest in applying for the Bridging the Gap Summer placement, a brief outline of relevant skills and experience, although we are not expecting vast experience, and briefly answering the following questions  (maximum two pages)
- confirming your availability to start in late June or early July and preferred timings
- a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring form

- Why do you believe it is important to explore the opportunities to bridge the gap between people on low incomes and climate and nature friendly food?
- What sort of policies do you think currently affect people’s access to healthy and sustainable food?
- With reference to your experiences, what challenges and opportunities do you think there are to creating a more diverse and inclusive food and farming movement?

As we are recruiting for several positions over this period, please put Bridging the Gap Research Officer in the subject line of your covering email along with your name.

Deadline: 10am, Monday 5 June 2023

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview on Tuesday 13 June and placement will start in late June/early July.


The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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