PhD Research Project in Igneous Petrology/Economic Geology/Mineral Exploration/Mineralizing Fluids

The Department of Geology at Rhodes University invites applications from candidates who wish to obtain a PhD in Geology. The full time research project will require your residence in the town of Makhanda (formerly called Grahamstown), in the Eastern Cape province in South Africa. Full funding is available for the project (student stipend + research funds). The project will commence as soon as possible and must be completed by end of 2022. Annual renewal of your funding is dependent on satisfactory performance.

The project studies a sill associated with precious metal and graphite mineralization known to be sub-economic. You will study the petrogenesis of the intrusion, the controls on mineralization, develop an ore deposit model that will serve to guide future exploration for economically viable deposits, and test aspects of your model with remote sensing.

Eligibility (each of these bullets must appear in your cover letter, and the degree to which you meet them, explained)

  1. All local and international students with a Masters degree in Geoscience. A Masters with a focus in igneous petrology, and/or economic geology, and/or mineral exploration, and/or geochemistry, and/or process mineralogy, and/or fluid inclusions, and/or remote sensing of rocks, will be considered. Experience with Jurassic-age igneous rocks, or sill/dike emplacement, or mineralizing fluids, or graphite, will be considered advantageous.
  2. The project will require interdisciplinary skills; you may possess all of these already, or must be a strong learner who is able to acquire them through self-study and collaboration during your work.
  3. English will be your primary language of communication and publication. Good spoken English and excellent written English is required.
  4. You must be someone who works well independently, yet be able to communicate with your collaborators and advisor on an ongoing basis.
  5. Field work in remote terrain is required. You must be fit & healthy. You must be able to communicate well with farmers on their properties. You must be willing to spend time alone in the field area if needed. You must have a South African driver's license or legal South Africa-accepted international equivalent at the time of your arrival in Makhanda.

Value of Funding

  • R 126,000 annual scholarship
  • R 50,000 annual research funds


Email the below digital documentation by the deadline of 11pm South Africa time zone (UTC+2) on 12 March 2020 to ( All applicants will be notified of the status of their applications at the latest by 15 April 2020. Shortlisted candidates will have the opportunity to ask questions before a final selection is made. A Skype interview may be required.

Documentation required:

  • Cover letter including
    • a clear & concise outline of relevant expertise and experience.
    • the email address and work phone number of 1) your Masters degree supervisor, and 2) the Head of the Geoscience Department where you attained your Masters. If you attained your Masters more than 5 years ago and are unable to provide this information, you may provide 1) the name of your Masters supervisor, and 2) the contact details of any employment supervisor you worked under during the last 5 years.
  • Full CV (including all scholarly output).
  • Applications with University-issued transcripts of your academic record for all degrees attained, will be reviewed first. Applications without transcripts will receive lower priority attention, but if found of interest, you will be asked to submit transcripts within a 2 week deadline.

posted: 13 February 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.