Research Associate

Job Reference: 813058
School of Earth and Planetary Sciences

  • $72,655 - $98,028, plus 17% superannuation
  • 1 year, full time, fixed term contract with some possibility for extension

About us

Curtin is a dynamic, research-intensive University that has achieved national and international stature. Earth Sciences, and the sub-disciplines of Geology and Geochemistry, were awarded the maximum ranking of 5 in the recent Excellence in Research for Australia assessment. These factors, coupled with recent successes in ARC grants and University investment will ensure that the successful candidate will be hosted within a vibrant research environment and will receive exceptional training. Candidates can expect to work in close association with staff of the Geological Survey of Western Australia, and our industry partners on the project at the Creasy Group and IGO.

The School of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Curtin University is seeking a postdoctoral researcher to work on an exciting project investigating a unique regolith expression of a magmatic nickel–copper–cobalt sulphide deposit in Australia. The Silver Knight deposit is the second deposit to be discovered in the highly prospective Fraser Zone, and shows a well-developed regolith profile. The objectives of the project are to characterise the Silver Knight regolith, compare it to regolith elsewhere in the Fraser Zone and comparable environments in other areas, and use the result to develop criteria for mineral exploration.

This project combines a strong applied component and practical outcomes with the potential for pure research on a previously undescribed type of ore deposit expression within the regolith. We also offer the opportunity for PhD supervision on other components of the larger project. The position is offered initially for 12 months with the possibility of extension under some circumstances.

Your new role

You will form part of a team within TiGeR (The Institute for Geoscience Research) working on an exciting industry-partnered project, intended to improve our understanding of the controls on the geodynamic setting, evolution and mineralisation of the Fraser Zone, within the regional context of the Albany–Fraser Orogen and the global context of the evolving supercontinent Rodinia. Research will involve access to state-of-the-art analytical facilities in the Advanced Resource Characterisation Facility, the John De Laeter Centre and the Australian Synchrotron, where Curtin is a foundation investor.

Essential Criteria

  • PhD in Geology, Chemistry or related field
  • Proven analytical experience (e.g. SEM, XRD, isotope analysis)
  • Theoretical understanding of isotopic systems
  • Demonstrated capacity for teamwork
  • Fieldwork experience
  • Evidence of a responsible attitude to Health and Safety

Desired Criteria

  • Working knowledge of Australian regolith
  • Working knowledge of weathering processes
  • Practical experience with isotope analysis
  • Experience with optical microscopy techniques
  • Demonstrated capacity for quantitative approach
  • Research supervision experience (e.g. undergraduate projects)

Why choose Curtin?

  • Easily accessible location with great parking, bus station and end of trip facilities!
  • A vibrant campus with gym, childcare, wellness programs, medical and counselling services!
  • A major global player, with well-integrated campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius and Dubai.

Next steps

Please apply on-line with a cover letter, resume and separate document addressing the selection criteria to enable us to assess your suitability for the role. The selection criteria can be found under the section “essential criteria” outlined above.

If you require reasonable accommodation to participate in the recruitment process please advise in your cover letter.

To view a copy of Curtin University's standard academic role statement relevant to the level of the role you are applying for, please copy and paste the following link into your browser. Please note it is not a requirement to address the criteria outlined in the documents below.

Applications close: 9:00 PM AWST, Tuesday 30th November 2021

Contact details

If you have a queries in relation to the application process please contact our careers team at

Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at Curtin

We are committed to ensuring that Curtin has an inclusive environment, free from harassment, in which all students, staff and the community feel respected, valued and welcome.

We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, women, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and are committed to making reasonable adjustments to enable people with disability to participate fully in our recruitment, selection and appointment processes.

We have received recognition in this area:

  • Voted one of Australia’s Inclusive Employers by the Diversity Council of Australia.
  • One of the first Universities to receive accreditation for an ‘Elevate’ Reconciliation Action Plan.
  • Athena Swan Bronze Accreditation
  • 16th best workplace for new dads in Australia (HBF - Direct Advice for Dads, 2019)


Curtin reserves the right at its sole discretion to withdraw from the recruitment process, not to make an appointment, or to appoint by invitation, at any time. We reserve the right to remove the advert earlier than the date on the advert.

posted: 02 November 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.