Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail British Geological Survey
Reference Number IRC247288
Location Nottingham See on Map
Salary £24435 - £26560
Date Posted 26 October 2018
Grade UKRI-Band C
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 18 November 2018
Interview Date 10 December 2018

Brief Description

Salary: £24,435 per annum to £26,560 per annum (depending on qualifications and experience)
Grade: UKRI - Band C
Contract Type: 2 year fixed term appointment
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 18th November 2018
Interview Date: On or around 10th December 2018

Primary Tasks:

To provide support in NIGL-GTF’s U-Pb geochronology programme by undertaking, to a high standard, sample preparation, low-blank ion exchange chemistry and isotope ratio mass spectrometry.

The post requires strong practical laboratory skills and good communication to play a key team role within the high precision U-Pb geochronology group.

The core tasks will be based around co-ordinating and maintaining complex laboratory work flows requiring attention to detail, excellent time management and organisational skills.

As part of the NIGL-GTF team the you will be expected to interact and engage with staff as well as a range of post-graduate level visitors and assist with troubleshooting issues within the work flow and help generate practical chemistry based solutions that assist with data quality and laboratory efficiency. You will also contribute to the maintenance of the Health and Safety systems within the laboratory environment.

Under the guidance of the NIGL-GTF team you will undertake a personal research project focussed on improving an aspect of the efficiency and efficacy of NIGL-GTF’s chemical purification procedures or analytical chemistry, with the aim of publishing in a peer reviewed journal. The project will provide experience and training in mass spectrometry techniques.

You will be expected to have an awareness and understanding of health and safety within the laboratory environment, practical laboratory skills, ideally with some previous clean laboratory experience and a self-driven, rigorous and methodical nature.

Specific tasks include:

  • sample preparation and characterisation, including preparation of sample grain mounts, SEM imaging and analysis
  • mineral sample manipulation to be carried out under a microscope
  • Ion exchange chromatography
  • quality control of low laboratory blanks throughout U-Pb workflow
  • acid distillation and monitoring of acid molarity and impurity levels
  • operation of isotope ratio mass spectrometers
  • documentation of progress and communication with team members
  • Health and Safety. 

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The British Geological Survey (BGS), founded in 1835 is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and is the world's longest-established national geological survey and the UKs premier centre for earth science information and expertise.

Shortlisting and Interview Criteria



  • BSc or MSci, 2:1 or higher in Chemistry or 1st Geology.


  • A level Maths (or equivalent level university course)
  • PhD geochemistry, chemistry, Masters level research.



  • extensive laboratory experience in a chemistry or analytical geochemistry environment equating to 6 months (such as university laboratory practical’s)
  • handling and use of acids in a laboratory environment, including aspects of health and safety
  • independent working and quality control and quality assurance procedures and evaluation
  • independent research (e.g. undergrad thesis project).


  • mass spectrometry
  • clean/low blank laboratory experience
  • acid handling and distillation
  • microscope operation and micromanipulation of samples under magnification.



  • understanding of the principles of data validation, quality assurance and quality control
  • a good grounding in mathematics, statistics and uncertainties and an awareness of the use of statistics as applied to analytical data
  • MS Excel or similar for data manipulation
  • knowledge of Risk Assessments and Health and Safety systems and practices.


  • experience using R, Matlab, MS Access, or similar database software
  • principles and practice of radio-isotope dating, geochemistry
  • awareness of BGS, NERC and UKRI.



  • methodical approach and good attention to detail
  • good organisational skills, particularly in a multi-user laboratory environment
  • good personal time management
  • good interpersonal skills, understanding the importance of good communication across a small team
  • ability to work unsupervised
  • ability to prioritise work and meet tight deadlines
  • ability to work within a variety of teams, demonstrating an ability to lead teams, manage upward and participate as a team member
  • ability to adapt to changing priorities.


  • ability to present their science clearly to non-scientists
  • effective written communication skills
  • ability to train other students and researchers
  • ability to empathise with the needs of the business and colleagues and relate this to your support role in the organisation.



  • approachable
  • alignment to BGS Core values
  • flexible and willing to help out where and when required to the benefit of the business.

Working hours will be 37 per week excluding lunch breaks. A generous benefits package is also offered, including a company pension scheme, 30 days annual leave plus 10.5 days public and privilege holidays. NERC has an equal opportunities policy and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. People with disabilities and those from ethnic minorities are currently under represented and their applications are particularly welcomed. Guaranteed interview scheme for applicants with disabilities. The British Geological Survey is an Investors in People organisation.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive background and pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

Only online applications will be accepted and should be submitted in the form of an up-to-date c.v. and covering letter (ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded), which clearly outlines why you are applying for this post and how you meet the criteria described in this advertisement. Please note that applications submitted without a covering letter, or which fail to address these points, may not be considered further.

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