University of Oxford

University of Oxford

Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Biogeochemistry

United Kingdom

Closing in 18 days

Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Biogeochemistry

The Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, seeks to appoint a full-time Postdoctoral Research Assistant (PDRA) in Biogeochemistry. The PDRA will join a research team and report to the Principal Investigator Prof. Robert Hilton on the project “Accelerated carbon dioxide release from sedimentary rocks in a warming world” which is funded by the NERC Pushing the Frontiers scheme.

The overall aim of the project is to generate the first robust quantification of the role of sedimentary rock weathering as a positive feedback on climate change, constraining its role in the long-term carbon cycle and over the coming century. This PDRA position will focus on quantifying the rates of oxidative weathering and rates of CO2 release from recently exposed sedimentary rocks at sites undergoing rapid deglaciation in Svalbard and/or Canada. They will use laboratory incubations and field-installations to constrain the temperature sensitivity of weathering-derived CO2 emissions from dominant sedimentary rock lithologies and the role of microbial communities in enhancing weathering. They will combine geomicrobiology methods with gaseous and dissolved geochemistry to tackle these important themes.

The PDRA will collaborate with scientists across the team of researchers at the University of Oxford, University of Bristol, Arctic University of Norway, University of Cambridge, Durham University and the NEIF Radiocarbon Facility. The PDRA will work alongside a PDRA focusing on glacial and geochemical modelling, and join a wider group of researchers and DPhil students working on complementary themes in the Earth Surface Geochemistry group. They will provide guidance to less experienced members of the research group, while also having responsibilities to plan and manage fieldtrip and equipment logistics. Alongside this project, the PDRA will have the opportunity to interact and develop collaborations with a wider range of academics working on biogeochemistry in the Department.

About you

You will hold, or be close to completion of, a PhD/DPhil in a relevant field, together with relevant experience.

You will have experience in either: i) methods in geomicrobiology (e.g. sterile/clean laboratory working), laboratory incubations, and DNA sequencing; or ii) carbon isotope geochemistry (stable isotopes, radiocarbon methods) and trace element geochemistry (e.g. via ICP-MS, IRMS, EA-IRMS, AMS). You will also have experience of panning fieldwork and contributing to data collection in the field. You must have the ability to manage your own academic research and associated activities and excellent communication skills including the ability to write for publication, present research proposals and results, and represent the research group at external meetings.

For further details of the role please see the job description. The post is available to start as soon as possible.

The deadline for applications is midday on 17 June 2024. Interviews will be held mid-July 2024.

You will be required to upload a CV and a Supporting Statement as part of your application. Please do not attach any manuscripts, papers, transcripts, mark sheets or certificates as these will not be considered as part of your application.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and ethnic minority candidates, who are under-represented in research posts in the Department.

Contact Person : HR Team Vacancy ID : 172777 Contact Phone : Closing Date & Time : 17-Jun-2024 12:00 Pay Scale : STANDARD GRADE 7 Contact Email : [email protected] Salary (£) : £37,099 - £38,205 per annum

Job details


Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Biogeochemistry


University of Oxford


United Kingdom


May 09, 2024

Application deadline

June 17, 2024

Job type



Agricultural Science,Chemistry,Geosciences,Physics

About the employer

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and is actually so ancient that its founding date is unknown – though it is thought that teaching took place there as early as the 11th century. It’s located in and around the medieval city center of Oxford, dubbed “the dreaming city of spires” by the 19th century poet Matthew Arnold, and comprises 44 colleges and halls as well as the largest library system in the UK. 

There are 22,000 students at Oxford in total, around half of whom are undergraduates, while 40 per cent are international students. A quarter of the city of Oxford’s residents are students, giving the city the youngest population in the UK. 

The University of Oxford does not have a main campus, its buildings and facilities instead being scattered around the medieval city center. Its colleges each have a distinctive character and traditions often dating back centuries. Colleges are self-governing institutions to which students usually apply directly. There are four academic divisions within Oxford University: Humanities, Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences; Medical Sciences; and Social Sciences. The university’s particular strength is the sciences, and it is ranked number one in the world for medicine.

Oxford is a youthful and cosmopolitan city with plenty to see and do. There are dozens of historic and iconic buildings, including the Bodleian Libraries, Ashmolean Museum, Sheldonian Theatre, the cathedral, and the colleges themselves.  Students can choose to spend their time studying or avail themselves of the many extracurricular activities available. There’s a strong musical life at Oxford, with clubs and societies spanning all genres, from jazz, through to classical and folk. Oxford is also ranked highly for sport, with its top rowers taking part every year in the world-famous boat race with the University of Cambridge on the River Thames. Drama lovers are also well catered for, with one of the largest and most vibrant university drama scenes in the country.

Oxford has an alumni network of over 250,000 individuals, including more than 120 Olympic medalists, 26 Nobel Prize winners, seven poets laureate, and over 30 modern world leaders (including Bill Clinton, Aung San Suu Kyi, Indira Ghandi and 26 UK Prime Ministers). 

It has a friendly rivalry with Cambridge for the title of best university in the UK and is regularly ranked as being one of the top three universities in the world. Notable Oxford thinkers and scientists include Tim Berners-Lee, Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins.

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