Senior researcher in Earth Sciences on Africa

Royal Museum for Central Africa - Belgium
The Department of Earth Sciences is Recruiting a Permanent Researcher
File submission by 9th September 2022


Mission of the RMCA

The Royal Museum for Central Africa aspires to be a world centre of research and knowledge dissemination on past and present societies and natural environments of Africa, and in particular Central Africa, to foster – among the public at large and the scientific community – understanding of and interest in this area and, through partnerships, to contribute substantially to its sustainable development. The core endeavours of this Africa-oriented institution consist of acquiring and managing collections, conducting scientific research, implementing the results of this research, disseminating knowledge, and mounting selected exhibitions of its collections.

The scientific institute is divided into three departments : Cultural Anthropology & History, Earth Sciences and Biology.

The candidacy

The Department of Earth Sciences at RMCA seeks to appoint a talented individual to the role of Senior Researcher. We welcome applications from those with research expertise in the broad fields of Earth sciences that come in complementarity to the current activities of the Department.

This post offers an exciting opportunity to make a major contribution to the development of internationally excellent research on Africa while contributing to the key missions of a renowned institution.

The RMCA is committed to enabling all of our colleagues to achieve their full potential. We promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment to ensure that all colleagues can thrive. Researchers are supported to publish world-class research in their area of interest with a focus on quality, rather than quantity.


Objectives of the position in relation to the institution's missions

The recruited candidate is expected to :

  • Conduct research in the field of Earth Sciences in sub-Saharan Africa and contribute to the improvement of knowledge, in priority within regions where the Department is yet active; this new research should be complementary to the existing research themes of the Department;
  • Conduct research based on fieldwork, field data and/or in-house collections;
  • Contribute to and develop scientific collaborations with African institutions;
  • Contribute to increasing the accessibility of the RMCA collections or derived scientific information to a wide audience.

Result areas

The recruited candidate is expected to :

  • Publish the results of her/his scientific research in leading peer-reviewed journals at international level;
  • Contribute to the scientific management of the Department and its collections, including rocks, minerals, fossils, geological and cartographic archives (maps and aerial photographs),
  • Contribute to the RMCA's exhibitions;
  • Update and develop databases in his/her field of expertise and ensure that they contribute to the scientific development and visibility of the Department;
  • Participate in capacity building of African universities, museums and scientific institutions.


Technical skills (knowledge, specialisations, experience, ...)

Skills, specialisation(s) and experience required:

The recruited candidate must :

  • Demonstrate research excellence in one of the following fields:
    • Geodynamics and metamorphic geology with skills in petrology, mineralogy and geochemistry or geochronology;
    • Geophysics with skills in geodesy, and/or prospecting methods, and/or seismology, and/or numerical modelling;
    • Geomatics applied to geology or geomorphology.
  • Have published in international journals in one or more of the above fields
  • Have proven experience in developing project-based research (fundraising, writing, submitting and managing),
  • Be willing to conduct scientific research in sub-Saharan Africa and develop collaborations with African and other international partners

In addition, any of the following skills/competences is considered an added value:

  • Be familiar with the geology of Africa, its environmental issues, its societal challenges in relation to Earth sciences,
  • Be familiar with matters surrounding the sustainable development in Africa;
  • Have experience in developing and managing databases, digitisation, and handling digital information;
  • Have experience in conducting geoscientific fieldwork in challenging environments;
  • Have technical analytical experience in one of the above three fields and a willingness to contribute to the technical development and maintenance of the departmental labs (i.e. rock preparation, geochemical analyses, image analyses etc.)

Additional assets:

The candidate will be required to know one of the national languages (FR, NL); the knowledge of the second national language is an asset. A good knowledge of English is required.

Generic competences (behavioural competencies, skills, ...).

  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to develop and implement projects in collaboration with African institutions.
  • Provide innovative and creative ideas.
  • Making decisions based on (in)complete information and initiating targeted actions to implement decisions.
  • Accompanying or supervising young researchers, acting as a role model and supporting them in their daily work.
  • Creating and improving team spirit by sharing opinions constructively, avoiding conflicts and promoting dialogue.
  • Supporting internal and external users in a transparent, honest and objective manner, providing a personal service and maintaining constructive contacts.
  • Provide advice to interlocutors and develop a relationship of trust with them based on expertise.
  • Act with integrity, in accordance with the organisation's expectations, respect confidentiality and commitments and avoid any form of bias.
  • Actively plans and manages own development according to one's possibilities, interests and ambition, critically questioning one's own functioning and continuously enriching oneself with new ideas and approaches, skills and knowledge.

Interested candidates are advised to read the details of the call carefully before applying to ensure that they meet the requirements. The detailed and official description of the call is available (in French and Dutch only) at the following address

posted: 03 August 2022     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.