Research Assistant/Associate: Seismology and Thermodynamic Inversion (Fixed Term)

Application deadline: 19 November 2023. Applications after that date may be considered until the position is filled, please contact Sergei Lebedev (

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in seismology and thermodynamic inversion to work on a new NERC funded Pushing the Frontiers Project. The overarching goal of the project is to reach a fundamental new understanding as to how lithospheric structure and mantle dynamics control the origins of CO2-rich intraplate magmatism and associated rare-earth element (REE) deposits.

The REE-LITH project involves a multi-disciplinary international team of Earth Scientists -- from the Universities of Cambridge (Sally Gibson & Sergei Lebedev), Exeter (Sam Broom-Fendley), St Andrews (Will Hutchison), Madrid (Javier Fullea) and Bergen (Stephane Rondenay). An additional Postdoctoral Research Associate in igneous petrology and geochemistry is being sought for the same project (LB39036 at

The successful candidate will be based at the Bullard Laboratories of the Department of Earth Sciences, the University of Cambridge, and work with Prof. Sergei Lebedev and all other co-investigators in the research team. They will work with seismic tomography models and undertake thermodynamic inversion of seismic and other data in order to determine the physical structure of the lithosphere and underlying mantle. Joint analysis of the geophysical data and models with intraplate volcanic rock data will yield novel inferences on their origin, on the long-term evolution of continental lithosphere and on REE mineralisation.

Applicants must have (or be about to obtain) a PhD in seismology, geophysics or a related field. We are looking for a candidate with substantial experience in computing and programming. Previous experience in seismic imaging, thermodynamic inversion or both is desirable.

The successful candidate will be highly motivated, have a strong publication record (commensurate with their career stage) and good communication skills. Attending and presenting results from REE-LITH at international conferences will be supported and encouraged. The successful applicant will be mentored and supported in developing their career and research interests by the Principal Investigator and University of Cambridge Postdoc Academy.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 30 months in the first instance.

Earliest start date: 16 February 2024 (a later start date is also possible).

Salary Ranges: Research Associate: £36,024 - £44,263 (Grade 7). Appointment at Research Associate level is dependent on having a PhD. Those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD will initially be under-appointed as a Research Assistant (Grade 5, Point 38 - £32,982), moving to Research Associate (Grade 7) upon confirmation of their PhD award.

Click the 'Apply' button at to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Enquiries concerning this research post can be sent to Sergei Lebedev (

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a covering letter and publications list in the upload section. If you upload any additional documents that have not been requested they will not be considered as part of your application.

Please quote reference LB39037 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

The University holds an institutional
Athena-SWAN silver award and the
department is a bronze award holder.

published: 10 November 2023     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.