Mars UK • Waltham, Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Senior Research Scientist - Human-Animal Interaction

2 days/week at home

Core hours 11–3

Dog friendly

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Job Description

Job Description:

Hybrid working - Waltham on the Wolds, Leicestershire

Salary £43,000 - £53,000 (dependent on experience) plus 12% annual bonus and excellent company benefits

Job Purpose/Overview

This role supports the HAI Technical Leader in the development and management of a large program of HAI research. Specifically, to understand the impact pets have on people and the impact people have on pets, with the ambition to deliver high quality science that can make a better world for pets and people. The role holder is expected to manage and deliver multiple research projects with a particular focus on domestic cats and dogs and the effect they have on human mental health and wellbeing.

The role holder will manage several existing external research projects, negotiate, and manage resources including budget, make regular contact and work effectively with external collaborators, and track all projects to their successful completion. They will identify and seek approval for potential new projects and collaborations (both internal and external) in line with the Global HAI Research Programme. These will be informed by their knowledge of strategic business needs and input gathered from both internal stakeholders and relevant external researchers at universities and research institutes, as well as key opinion leaders. They may use their functional expertise to support ideation, experimental design, data collection, analysis, or interpretation of research projects alone or in partnership with external collaborators.

The role holder will be a subject matter expert for Human-Animal Interaction, ideally with a focus on the impact of pets on human mental health and wellbeing. They will support the HAI Technical Leader in answering non-routine queries from Mars Petcare associates on HAI. As such, the role holder needs to draw on their expertise in HAI, other internal knowledge and expertise, as well as external networks where necessary. The role holder must maintain awareness of new developments in HAI and the current state of research in the field and be familiar with a range of research methodologies to conduct high quality HAI research. They will attend and present the results of HAI research at relevant conferences, write and submit HAI research reports and scientific papers aimed at informing the field and lay pet owners.

Summary of role

  • To improve our understanding of the relationship between pets and people by developing, coordinating, delivering and managing research projects relevant to the Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) field

  • To initiate, gain approval for, resource, manage and report internal and external HAI research projects to deliver against the strategic goals of Mars Petcare within the Global HAI Research Programme.

  • To collaborate with Scientific and Corporate Affairs to deliver and support communication of relevant scientific findings to key business and external audiences, and where required, provide HAI expertise and advice within Waltham, and to the global Mars Petcare business.

What are we looking for?

  • Demonstrable technical expertise in research involving human-animal relationships.

  • A PhD in a relevant HAI discipline (e.g. Anthrozoology/Psychological science/Social Sciences/Humanities) with proven relevant research experience.

  • Experience in designing, managing, and delivering research projects to answer broad HAI questions.

  • Proven research output and an ability to communicate complex HAI messages to a variety of audiences in an engaging manner.

  • Strong cross disciplinary networking capability.

  • Experience with collecting, analysing and interpreting qualitative and/or quantitative data from HAI research projects.

What will be your key responsibilities?

Managing and Conducting Research:

  • To initiate, gain approval for, resource, conduct, manage and report research projects in the broad field of Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) to deliver against the strategic goals of Mars Petcare.
  • Inspire key internal audiences with HAI research, through written and verbal communications.
  • Communicate research outputs to both expert and lay external audiences through presentations at scientific meetings, publication in peer reviewed journals and media engagement.
  • Establish effective partnerships and collaborations with the Waltham Research Team, as well as Scientific and Corporate Affairs ensuring scientific research is aligned with business needs

Providing Expertise:

  • Leverage expertise to support research study design, data collection, analyses and interpretation, where appropriate, in collaboration with external and internal partners.
  • Act as a subject matter expert providing advice, knowledge, and technical support to Waltham and the global Mars Petcare business.
  • Establish a network of peer relationships within the external HAI community, in service of delivering strategic goals and building Waltham’s reputation in HAI.

What can you expect from Mars?

  • Work with over 130,000 diverse and talented Associates, all guided by the Five Principles.

  • Join a purpose driven company, where we’re striving to build the world we want tomorrow, today.

  • Best-in-class learning and development support from day one, including access to our in-house Mars University.

  • An industry competitive salary and benefits package, including company bonus.


Mars is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need assistance or an accommodation during the application process because of a disability, it is available upon request. The company is pleased to provide such assistance, and no applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request.

Company benefits

Open to part-time employees
Open to job sharing
Open to compressed hours
Enhanced maternity leave – 26 weeks at 90% pay
Enhanced paternity leave – 26 weeks at 90% pay
24 days annual leave + bank holidays
“Pawternity” leave
Pregnancy loss leave
Bank holiday swaps
Employees are very happy with their working location freedom
Employees are very happy with the flexibility in the hours they work
Employees are very happy with the benefits their company offers
Work-life balance
Employees feel that they can switch off quite easily from work
Role modelling
Employees feel that flexible working is part of the culture
Employees feel they have complete autonomy over getting their work done

Additional employee ratings
(these do not contribute to the FlexScore®)

Employees feel that the diversity is good and there are continued efforts to improve it
Employees feel that the culture supports equity and inclusivity well
Employees feel like it is a really great environment to work in
Employees feel very excited about and aligned with the company mission
Employees feel that their salary is good and matches the value they bring

Working at Mars UK

Company employees

4,000 In the UK

Gender diversity (male:female)


Office locations

London, Slough, Waltham, Castle Cary, Birstall, Plymouth

Hiring Countries




United Kingdom

United States

Awards & Achievements

1st – Large companies

1st – Large companies

Flexa100 2024
Consumer Goods

Consumer Goods

Industry awards 2023
3rd – Large companies

3rd – Large companies

Flexa100 2023
Retail & Ecommerce

Retail & Ecommerce

Industry awards 2022

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