School of Earth and Environment

Research Fellow in Sedimentary Geochemistry

Fixed Term for 4 years until 30 September 2021 (External funding)
Salary: Grade 7 (32,004 - 38,183 p.a.)
Reference: ENVEE1164
Interviews are expected to be held on the 17th July 2017

Are you an ambitious researcher looking for your next challenge? Do you have a background in geochemistry? Do you want to further your career in one of the UK's leading research intensive Universities?

Role Summary

You will join a team of geochemists and palaeontologists at Leeds, led by Dr Rob Newton (Prof Simon Poulton, Prof Paul Wignall, Dr Cris Little), who have recently received funding as part of a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) large grant to explore Earth system changes across 27 million years of the early Jurassic, incorporating the recovery from the Triassic Jurassic extinction, the late Pliensbachian 'icehouse', and the early Toarcian anoxic event (See for summary). The project is also linked to a successful bid to the International Continental Drilling Programme and therefore to a much wider international team of collaborators.

You will be responsible for developing records of water column oxygenation, nutrient availability and sulphur cycling using a range of geochemical and stable isotopic techniques across this time interval. These data will be integrated with sedimentological and palaeoecological observations, and then used to inform the Earth system modelling strand of the project.

You will have, or be close to obtaining, a PhD in the field of Earth, Environmental or Marine Sciences and have extensive experience of working in a geochemistry laboratory. You will also have knowledge of sedimentary geochemistry, and may have experience of applying sedimentary extraction techniques. Knowledge of the sulphur-iron-carbon, phosphorous, and nitrogen systematics of marine systems is highly desirable. You will show a strong commitment to publishing scientific results at an international level.

What does the role entail?

As Research Fellow, your main duties will include:

  • Working with and in support of Dr Newton's research grant to ensure the project is successfully completed;
  • Generating and pursuing original research ideas in the appropriate subject area;
  • Developing research objectives and contributing to the direction of the research project and team, including, preparing proposals for funding in collaboration with colleagues;
  • Evaluating methods and techniques used and results obtained by other researchers and to relate such evaluations appropriately to your own work;
  • Communicating or presenting research results through publication or other recognised forms of output;
  • Preparing papers for publication in leading international journals and independently writing reports;
  • Working both independently and also as part of a larger team of researchers, engaging in knowledge-transfer activities where appropriate and feasible;
  • Maintaining your own continuing professional development and acting as a mentor to less experienced colleagues as appropriate;
  • Contributing to the research culture of the School, where appropriate;
  • Contributing to the training of both undergraduate and postgraduate students, where appropriate, including assisting with the supervision of projects in areas relevant to the project.
  • Taking part in drilling operations and subsequent sampling.
  • Assisting with public engagement efforts throughout the project.
  • Performing extraction techniques to either produce records of redox and nutrients, or purify samples for isotopic analysis.
  • Performing stable isotopic analysis of samples for their sulphur or nitrogen isotope composition.

These duties provide a framework for the role and should not be regarded as a definitive list. Other reasonable duties may be required consistent with the grade of the post.

What will you bring to the role?

As Research Fellow you will have:

  • A PhD (or close to completion) in Earth, Environmental or Marine Sciences, or a closely allied discipline;
  • A strong background in low temperature sedimentary and stable isotope geochemistry;
  • Extensive experience of working in a geochemistry laboratory;
  • Demonstrated experience of investigating a palaeoenvironmental problem using sedimentary geochemistry and/or isotope techniques;
  • Good time management and planning skills, with the ability to meet tight deadlines and work effectively under pressure;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including presentation skills and the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders;
  • Proven ability to manage competing demands effectively, responsibly and without close support;
  • A proven ability to work well both individually and in a team;

You may also have:

  • A commitment to publishing original scientific results at an international level;
  • Experience of biogeochemical modelling.
  • Experience of applying sedimentary iron-sulphur-carbon, phosphorous or nitrogen extraction techniques and their interpretation.
  • Experience of stable isotope analysis

How to apply

You can apply for this role online; more guidance can be found on our How to Apply information. Applications should be submitted by 23.59 (UK time) on June 30, 2017.

Your application should include:

  • a supporting statement evidencing how you believe your existing knowledge and experience equips you to carry out the role;
  • a copy of your curriculum vitae giving full details of qualifications and experience;

Contact information

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Dr Rob Newton
Tel: 0113 3437981
Additional information

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Working at Leeds

You can find out more about our generous benefits package and more about what it is like to work at the University and live in the Leeds area in our Working at Leeds information.

Candidates with disabilities

Information for candidates with disabilities, impairments or health conditions, including requesting alternative formats, can be found in our Accessibility information or by getting in touch with us at

Criminal record information

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

A criminal record check is not required for this position, however, all applicants will be required to declare if they have any 'unspent' criminal offences, including those pending.

Any offer of appointment will be, in accordance with our Criminal Records policy. You can find out more about required checks and declarations in our Criminal Records information.

posted: 02 June 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.