University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Postdoctoral Research Associate in Planetary Geochemistry (Fixed Term)

We are inviting applications for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) to join the ERC Advanced Grant funded project 'EarthMelt' (PI Helen Williams), which aims to investigate the geochemical records of magma ocean cooling and crystallisation on Earth and other terrestrial planets.

The position is available starting in the spring of 2022 for a period of 24 months, with further extension depending on funding. The successful candidate will be based in Cambridge and will join a supportive and expanding research community with expertise in isotope geochemistry, mantle petrology and thermodynamic modelling. Research will involve analysis of transition and other high-amu metal stable isotopes in basaltic and other primitive magmatic samples and of high-pressure experimental run products. These analyses will be carried out in conjunction with phase equilibria modelling incorporating stable isotope partitioning. The stable isotope analysis will take place at Cambridge employing a Thermo Neptune Plus MC-ICP-MS in the first instance. A new MC-ICP-MS unit with a collision-reactor cell is expected to be installed in the Department in 2022 and it is envisaged that most of the subsequent analytical work will take place on the new instrument.

Applicants should have, or be in the final stages of completing, a Ph.D. in igneous petrology, isotope geochemistry, cosmochemistry or any closely related field, or have recently submitted a PhD dissertation in that area. They should also have good communication and numerical skills and be able to demonstrate scientific independence and initiative. The project will involve numerous opportunities for the candidate to learn new skills and to travel for collaborations, conferences, and fieldwork. Although training in relevant analytical techniques will be provided and the candidate will be supported in learning new analytical, experimental and modelling skills, experience of high-precision isotope ratio measurement or numerical modelling would be advantageous. Depending on career stage and opportunities, the successful candidate will also have a track record of publication in peer-reviewed international journals and presentations at international conferences.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

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Informal enquires about the position should be made to Helen Williams (, Oliver Shorttle ( and Simon Matthews ( Should you have any questions about the application process itself, please contact

Please quote reference LB28697 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University and the Department are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. It is recognised that candidates will come from a range of backgrounds with differential opportunities and this will be considered in the selection process. The University holds an institutional Athena-SWAN sliver award and the Department is a bronze award holder. Details of some of the family-friendly policies operated by the University are at:

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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