Research Associate in Structural Geology

Salary: £39,347 - £ 44,263 per annum (Grade 6)
Vacancy Number: 18208BR

Are you a structural geologist with an interest in earthquakes? Would you like to work on an exciting project that combines field geology, microstructures, rock deformation experiments and numerical models? Consider joining our team that combines the above techniques to better understand earthquake processes at the scale of natural faults!

We're looking for a structural geologist (with a PhD or equivalent research experience at time of appointment) to work on a new project (ASPERITY: Aseismic SliP and Earthquake Ruptures: Interrogating Transitions in rheologY) that focuses on the broad question of 'Where and why do tectonic faults produce earthquakes or slip aseismically?' Your main role will be to study fault zones in the field, collect samples, and study the microstructure of these samples in the laboratory. You'll be part of an interdisciplinary and multinational team including local collaborators at a number of field sites. You will be expected to collaborate with other team members, with specialities in numerical modelling and experimental rock deformation.

This project was selected for an ERC Consolidator Grant, and is funded by the UKRI Frontier Research Guarantee, awarded to project lead Ake Fagereng. For more information on this and past projects, see Ake's web profile here:

The role can start from July 2024 and is funded for four years. We can discuss the start date within a time range through the autumn of 2024.

Our research programme is fundamentally based on understanding the structure of fault zones and the geological controls on fault slip. As such, this role is an essential part of the project and responsible for field observations and microstructural analysis.

We are expanding the School's Electron Microbeam facility with a new Variable-Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope to which you will have extensive access, including for method development. There is scope to shape the role to align with your interests, and the observational work could be coupled to some rheological modelling. You will have prior experience of field geology, and ideally in working with fault zone rocks. There may also be scope to get involved in numerical or experimental efforts, based on experience and interest.

You should be committed to a positive and supportive team environment, capable of organising your own work, and co-ordinating with others over shared work and resources. You'll be part of the ASPERITY project along with Ake Fagereng, two other Research Associates, and one PhD student. We commonly also have some Masters students join the group for dissertation work. You'll also be part of the wider Centre for Tectonics and Geophysics, which at the moment includes nine members of faculty, two more Research Associates and seven further PhD students, providing many colleagues' experience to draw on. The Centre is a part of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, which is a lively and dynamic community that aims to promote sustainability through education, dissemination, and direct participation. Much of our work is in collaboration with international partners, so please indicate in your application if you have previous experience of similar collaborations.

There are opportunities to travel for meetings, conferences, and fieldwork and those who have particular needs around travel and fieldwork (such as adjustments for family commitments) will be accommodated as best we can: we will work with you to ensure that your travel and fieldwork meets your needs and that you find it enjoyable and fulfilling. Fieldwork locations potentially include Japan, Panama, New Zealand, and more locally in north Wales.

This role is eligible to be offered on a blended working basis, meaning that as well as spending time working on campus you may spend some time working from another location, e.g. your home. We are also very flexible on working hours, supporting work-life balance. If you need a visa to take up this position, we can help with the paperwork and contribute to the costs.

Please read the job description and person specification carefully and ensure that you demonstrate how you meet all of the Essential Criteria in your Supporting Statement (for example, by using the criteria as headings and writing a couple of sentences under each one), and then similarly show how you meet as many of the Desirable Criteria as you can. Please do not be put off if you cannot meet all the desirable criteria, as you will have the opportunity to learn additional skills as part of the position.

For further informal queries please contact Ake Fagereng (

The School is committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN charter for promoting inclusive working practices in STEMM subjects in higher education. It has recently renewed is Athena Swan Bronze Award. Staff and students from the School are active members of the global 'Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE)' community. We particularly welcome female applicants and those from an ethnic minority, as they are under-represented within the School at these levels.

This post is full-time, fixed-term for 4 years.

The appointment will be made, dependent on relevant qualification and experience within the following grade bands: Salary: £39,347 - £ 44,263 per annum (Grade 6)

The role comes with pension provision through the Universities' Superannuation Scheme, 37 days of annual leave, and a range of other staff benefits including a cycle-to-work scheme.

For further details about working at Cardiff University please contact John Evans, email: or local HR Administrator Claudia Pena at

More information on the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences:

Closing date: Thursday, 14 March 2024.

Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds. We therefore welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of sex, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, trans identity, relationship status, religion or belief, caring responsibilities, or age. In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.

Cardiff University is a signatory to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions we will evaluate applicants on the quality of their research, not publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which the research is published. More information is available at: Responsible research assessment - Research - Cardiff University

posted: 26 February 2024     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.