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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Planetary Science

Royal Holloway, University of London - Department of Earth Science

Location: Egham
Salary: £39,233 to £46,397 Per annum - including London Allowance
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 6th June 2024
Closes: 30th June 2024
Job Ref: 0624-188

Applications are invited for the post of Postdoctoral Research Associate in Planetary Science. The postholder will join the UKRI STFC-supported project ‘Understanding the origin and diversity of water-soluble carboxylic acids in pristine meteorites,’ led by Dr Queenie Chan, which aims to understand the formational pathways of life essential water-soluble organic compounds in meteorites. This is a new STFC Solar Studies and Planetary Studies award in collaboration with Imperial College London (PI: Dr. Queenie Chan, co-I: Prof. Mark Sephton). The successful applicant will lead on characterising the structural diversity of the biologically relevant, water-soluble carboxylic acids, and establishing their synthetic origin, formation mechanisms, and role in the origin of life on Earth. 

The postholder will join the Centre for Dynamic Earth and the Solar System (CeDESS) at Royal Holloway University of London, which includes other PDRAs and PhD students, as well as undergraduate and masters-level project students. They will be based in the Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, and collaborate closely with the meteorite and organic geochemistry groups in Imperial College London, Natural History Museum London, and NASA Johnson Space Center and University of Alberta in the US. They are supported and encouraged to develop their own ideas for independent research, and will have the opportunity to attend international conferences and to spend time with researchers in the laboratory at Imperial College Organic Geochemistry.

Applicants should demonstrate the capability of using a diversity of laboratory and analytical equipment (e.g. HPLC, GC and MS). Experience of synthetic pathway design and working in vivo, meteorite handling and the corresponding contamination control, wet chemistry expertise required for the extraction of targeted organic molecules and their derivatisation, will be an advantage. Previous experience of working in a clean laboratory and a knowledge of planetary science, organic chemistry and meteoritics are also important for the role. The candidate should have an excellent academic track record (commensurate with their career stage and experience), ideally including peer-reviewed published work. They are expected to be active in developing the project, to collaborate with all team members, and to contribute to the mentoring/training of PhD students and project students.

We offer a highly competitive rewards and benefits package including:

  • Generous annual leave entitlement 
  • Training and Development opportunities
  • Pension Scheme with generous employer contribution 
  • Various schemes including Cycle to Work, Season Ticket Loans and help with the cost of Eyesight testing. 
  • Free parking 

The post is based in Egham, Surrey where the University is situated in a beautiful, leafy campus near to Windsor Great Park and within commuting distance from London. 

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Dr Queenie Chan on queenie.chan@rhul.ac.uk or +44 (0)1784 443896.

For queries on the application process the Human Resources Department can be contacted by email at: recruitment@rhul.ac.uk 

Closing Date:  23:59, 30 June 2024  

Interview Date: To be Confirmed (likely to be July 2024)

Further details:   Job Description & Person Specification    Email details to a friend

This position is not eligible for hybrid working.

Royal Holloway is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and encourages applications from all people regardless of age, disability, gender, marital status, parental status, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or trans status or history. More information on our structures and initiatives around EDI, including information on staff diversity networks, can be found on our Equality and Diversity Intranet page.

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