Research Assistant - LODE Laboratory

Salary: 25,190 - 29,678 per annum plus benefits (dependent on experience)
Contract: Fixed term contract ending 31 July 2021

The Natural History Museum is one of the world's leading museums, internationally recognised for its dual role as a centre of excellence in scientific research and as a leader in the presentation of natural history through exhibitions, public programmes, publications and the web.

The Core Research Laboratories (CRL) Department houses state of the art analytical chemistry facilities within its Imaging and Analysis Centre (IAC) Division. The facilities are staffed by experts in analytical chemistry and geochemistry as well as other areas and provide chemical analyses for internal researchers and users, external visitors and commercial clients. The London Centre for Ore Deposits and Exploration (LODE) is a joint initiative between the NHM and Imperial College London, which seeks to undertake research of the highest international quality into the mineralogy and geochemistry of ore deposits. In 2012 the LODE group secured funding from industry partners to set up a second LA-ICP-MS system at the NHM (the LODE Lab), dedicated primarily to mineral deposit work. Funding from industry partners has subsequently been agreed until 2021*, with the LODE Lab providing reciprocal commercial analyses according to an agreed schedule to the sponsoring parties.

The post holder will be responsible for analysing samples within this schedule. He/she will conduct mineral analyses primarily by LA-ICP-MS and analytical SEM, will be responsible for a large sample throughput, and the collection, processing and collation of large datasets. He/she may also be involved in sample preparation where necessary. The role often involves relatively routine analyses of a set group of minerals, but sample material is variable, the procedures are complex and data quality control under time pressure can be a significant challenge. Meticulous attention to detail is required even for routine work. New analytical challenges are regularly encountered and there are also opportunities to engage in instrument developments, prototype hardware and software testing, analytical protocol developments and the enhancement of workflow patterns. This role has varied components, and would suit anybody embarking on a career in geochemical research (such as prior to taking up a PhD research position) or looking to gain more experience in these areas.

(*Funding for this post and any formal job offer is subject to final contract negotiation with the funders.)

For a full job description and to submit an application, please visit

Closing date: 9am on Monday 25 June 2018
Interviews expected: Friday 6 July 2018

posted: 07 June 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.