Lecturer in Isotope Geochemistry in association with the Wits Isotope Geoscience Laboratory and the Earth Observatory

The School of Geosciences at Wits University is seeking a young, dynamic candidate with a strong laboratory-based background in Isotope Geochemistry to manage the Wits Isotope Geoscience Laboratory (WIGL) and contribute to our academic teaching and research programmes.

The Wits Isotope Geoscience Laboratory (WIGL) is a state-of-the-art metal-free, ultra-clean (Class100-10) facility that processes geological, paleontological and biological samples using isotope dilution and ion exchange chromatography for a range of isotopic analyses including, Sr-Nd-Hf, Fe-Cu-Zn, Ca-Sr, U-Pb and Al-Be. The WIGL is part of the Earth Observatory in the School of Geosciences, which houses a diverse array of atomic and mass spectrometry instrumentation, including XRFs, an electron microscope (Tescan TIMA), a Thermo iCap quadrupole ICP-MS, a single collector Thermo Element XR ICP-MS, a NuSapphire multi-collector ICP-MS, and a NuTIMS.

The School of Geosciences is an acknowledged centre of excellence and global leader in Earth Sciences research and training with a specific focus on, but not limited to, the geology and natural resources of Africa. The vibrant and diverse academic grouping incorporates specialists in geology, economic geology, exploration and mining geoscience, geochemistry, geochronology, geophysics, palaeontology, and hydrogeology and environmental science, and is backed up by state-of-the-art research and training facilities In many of these fields, the School is the main (and in some cases, sole) training facility in South Africa for undergraduate and postgraduate candidates (PhD, MSc, MSc by Coursework and Research Report). The School of Geosciences co-hosts the national DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Integrated Mineral and Energy Resource Analysis (CIMERA) and the international AfricaArray Geophysics Programme. The School benefits from its location in Johannesburg in its strong collaborative links with the international Mining and Minerals Exploration Industry and has a strong focus on producing graduates with the requisite skills for the global workplace.

Job Summary:

We seek to appoint a Laboratory Isotope Geochemist (Lecturer) to manage the Wits Isotope Geoscience Laboratory. The successful candidate will work closely with a team of geochemists in the Earth Observatory to ensure the smooth operation of all our isotope facilities. As the WIGL Laboratory Geochemist, the successful candidate will be responsible for overall management and daily operation of the ultra-clean laboratory, as well as training of laboratory users and technique development. (S)he will be encouraged to advance her/his own research program within the School of Geosciences as well as contribute towards lecturing and project supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students. Appointment at the Lecturer level on the academic track will provide the successful candidate with opportunities for future promotion within the School.

Key Performance Areas:

  • General laboratory upkeep and safety, including reagent preparation, procedure evaluation and safety protocol
  • Training all users of the laboratory and ensuring that a safe working environment is maintained
  • Development and optimisation of analytical methods and protocols, as well as quality control and assurance
  • Co-supervise postgraduate student projects, pursue independent research projects, and contribute towards the research output of the School
  • Contribute towards teaching of geochemical techniques in undergraduate and postgraduate courses (limited teaching load due to lab responsibilities taking priority)

Key Competencies:

  • Efficient, observant and able to pay attention to detail
  • Excellent analytical and organisational skills
  • Strong communication and training skills
  • Ability to work within a team of geochemists in the Earth Observatory
  • Keen interest in method development and continuous quality assessment and control

Minimum Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in Geochemistry or Chemistry
  • Research experience in ultra-clean, metal-free laboratories including processes involving sample digestion, isotope dilution and ion exchange chromatography.
  • Experience with the analysis of geological materials, especially for academic purposes.
  • Understanding and prior experience in mass spectrometry as applied to academic geoscience research.

For more information on the Isotope Geoscience Laboratories, please contact Prof. Grant Bybee (, Dr Karen Smit ( and/or Dr Linda Iaccheri (

Applications: Only applicants who meet the minimum requirements should apply by submitting their cover letter, detailed CV, certified copies of all educational qualifications and identity document with names and e-mail addresses of 3 referees. It will be the successful candidate's responsibility to have foreign qualifications evaluated by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). More information about the School of Geosciences is available on the Wits website.

To apply: External applicants are invited to apply by registering their profile on the Wits i-Recruitment platform located at and submitting applications. Internal employees are invited to apply directly on Oracle by following the path: iWits /Self Service application/"Apply for a job. The University reserves the right not to make an appointment and continue searching after the closing date and only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Applicants hereby provide consent to process personal information in terms of POPIA.

"The University is committed to employment equity. Preference may be given, to appointable applicants from the underrepresented designated groups in terms of the relevant employment equity plan and policies of the University. The University retains the right not to make an appointment and to verify all information provided by the candidate".

Closing date: 12 February 2024

Committed to excellence and equity

posted: 08 January 2024     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.