University of Exeter

University of Exeter

Graduate Research Assistant in Rare Earth Supply Chains

United Kingdom

Closing in 4 days

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Date posted


Application closing date



Cornwall (Hybrid)


The starting salary will be from £32,332 on Grade E, depending on qualifications and experience.


Generous holiday allowances, flexible working, pension scheme and relocation package (if applicable).

Contractual hours




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JD P89620.pdf
Graduate Research Assistant in Rare Earth Supply Chains

Job description

Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy

This new full time post is available from 1 April 2024 on a fixed term basis until 30 April 2025. This role offers the opportunity for hybrid working – some time on campus and some from home.

Summary of the role

The Faculty wishes to recruit a Graduate Research Assistant to support the work of Professor Frances Wall and Xiaoyu Yan in a team from Camborne School of Mines (CSM), Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) and the Business School. This Innovate UK-funded post is available 1 April until 30 April 2025. The successful applicant will be part of a project called MineMT led by Minviro, a university spin out life cycle assessment consultancy ( Together consortium members including University of Exeter, Mkango Rare Earths and Grundfos, with advice from the Rare Earth Industry Association, will create a tool enabling industry to conduct impact quantification on complex rare earth element supply-chains to optimise flows through UK/global economies. The project is part of the high profile UK CLIMATES ‘Circular Critical Materials Supply Chains' Programme initiative to establish rare earth supply chains. Rare earth magnet motors are essential constituents in many electric vehicles, water pumps and large wind turbines.

The post will support data collection and research for life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) modelling under Frances/Xiaoyu's (CSM/ESI) guidance, with advice from Professors Peter Hopkinson and Markus Zils in the Business School and Dr Sam Broom-Fendley in CSM. It will provide excellent experience for anyone interested in researching or working in geological/processing/environmental assessment/circular economy or business supply chain aspects of critical minerals.

About you

The successful applicant will be able to present information on research progress and outcomes, communicate complex information, orally, in writing and electronically and prepare proposals and applications to external bodies.

Applicants will be educated to first degree level or possess an equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study and be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the discipline (e.g. geology or mining, minerals processing, materials science, circular economy, business supply chains) and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes. Applicants will be able to acquire information from the literature and through conversations and present it in suitable form for use by multidisciplinary project team. They will be able to communicate well with a dispersed project team, learning quickly about this specialist subject.

Please ensure you read the Job Description and Person Specification for full details of this role.

What we can offer you

  • Freedom (and the support) to pursue your intellectual interests and to work creatively across disciplines to produce internationally exciting research;
  • Support teams that understand the University wide research and teaching goals and partner with our academics accordingly
  • An Exeter Innovation directorate that works closely with our academics providing specialist support for external engagement and development
  • Our Exeter Academic initiative supporting high performing academics to achieve their potential and develop their career

  • A multitude of staff benefits including sector leading benefits around maternity, adoption and shared parental leave (up to 26 weeks full pay), Paternity leave (up to 6 weeks full pay), and a Fertility Treatment Policy

  • A beautiful campus set in the heart of stunning Cornwall

  • The University of Exeter

    We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities and in the top 200 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024 and QS World University Ranking 2024). We combine world-class teaching with world-class research, achieving a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework Award 2023, underpinned by Gold ratings for Student Experience and Student Outcomes.

    Our world-leading research impact has grown more than any other Russell Group university in recent years, and we are home to some of the world's most influential researchers, seeking to answer some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today. More than 99% of our research is of international quality and 47% is world-leading (2021 Research Excellence Framework).

    We encourage proactive engagement with industry, business and community partners to enhance the impact of research and education and improve the employability of our students. Read about our world leading research – Green Futures and how we are transforming education for a changing world. We are located in a beautiful part of the country and Exeter (a fast growing tech hub) is one of only a few UK cities to have been designated as a UNESCO Creative City

    Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

    We are committed to ensuring reasonable adjustments are available for interviews and workplaces.

    Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented within our working community.

    With over 30,000 students and 7,000 staff from 150 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment where our diversity is celebrated and valued as a major strength. We are committed to creating an inclusive culture where all members of our community are supported to thrive; where diverse voices are heard through our engagement with evidence-based charter frameworks for gender (Athena SWAN and Project Juno for Physics), race equality (Race Equality Charter Mark), LGBTQ+ inclusion (Stonewall Diversity Champion) and as a Disability Confident employer.

    Further information

    Please contact Professor Frances Wall, e-mail [email protected] or Professor Xiaoyu Yan, [email protected]. Discussions about the post prior to application are very welcome.

    Interviews are expected to take place on possibly 12 March or similar date.

    We welcome applications from candidates interested in working part-time hours or job-sharing arrangements.

    Job details


    Graduate Research Assistant in Rare Earth Supply Chains


    University of Exeter


    United Kingdom


    February 06, 2024

    Application deadline

    February 26, 2024

    Job type



    Agricultural Science,Geosciences,Physics,Space Science

    About the employer

    The University of Exeter is a public university that focuses on research. It was established in the year 1955. In 1851, it was first formed as Schools of Science and Art. In 1900, its name was then changed to the Royal Albert Memorial College which later converted into a university college of the southwest in the year 1922. And finally, it received its authorization in 1955 as the University of Exeter.

    The university is a part of the Russell Group which contains the top research-intensive universities of United Kingdom and has a total of 3 campuses. Out of all 3, Streatham is the largest campus by area as it contains most of the university's executive buildings.

    Also, it is considered as one of the most beautiful buildings in the nation. Moreover, the Penryn campus is associated with Falmouth University as per a combined initiative.

    The University has more than 25,263 student population who are coming from over 130 different nations. The university organizes its educational and administrative departments into 6 scholastic colleges. There are many research centres and institutes inside the campus. There are more than 200 student societies including creative writing, theatre club, Socialist Students societies, Poker Society and Conservative Future society. The university maintains an athletic union which is responsible for organizing and administrating all the sports activities fairly and actively. The union governs more than 50 sports clubs which have around 5,000 students.

    The university has a great alumni base and actively connects with more than 125,000 alumni in 183 countries across the world. The graduates have been working in different fields. From globally known business leaders and lawyers to inspiring leaders and teachers to highly praised members of the press and artists, this university has proudly touched the lives of its alumni. Some of the much-known alumni of the university are J.K. Rowling (author- famous for Harry Potter series), Ameenah Gurib (Mauritius's 6th President) and Abdullah Gül (Turkey's 11th President).

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