We seek to recruit a early career post-doctoral researcher / university researcher (ca. 5 years from completion of doctoral studies) to develop knowledge on naturally occurring radionuclide (NOR) biogeochemistry and fractionation during mine bio-heap leaching. The work is part of the EU RadoNorm project . The project will be completed at the University of Helsinki in collaboration with scientists from the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland (STUK ).
During bio-heap leaching, metal-rich ore is crushed, agglomerated, and put into bioleaching stacks. The stacks are kept aerated and are constantly irrigated through recirculation of acidic production solutions. Indigenous chemoautotrophic bacteria leach metals from the ore under these conditions. The metals are then recovered from the leachates for further processing. The impact of bioleaching and refining processes on NORs is largely unknown. As bioleaching may become more important in the growing green economy, it is important to address the knowledge caveat on NORs. Information on NOR behavior can be used to better inform material / waste management from bio-heap leaching and environmental impact.
The project researcher will be based in Helsinki, and they undertake controlled laboratory studies that replicate common bioleaching approaches that are used on metal rich ores. NOR fractionation, NOR biogeochemistry, and the microbial ecology of the system, will be tracked during the bioleaching process. NOR chemistry and long-term stability will also be examined in waste products.
The project PI is Prof. Gareth Law (University of Helsinki). The lead STUK collaborator is Dr Antti Kallio. The position provides multiple opportunities for collaboration across the project partners and the wider RadoNorm consortium.
The position is full-time and is funded for up to three years. The starting date should be in February 2023.
Salary and benefits
For a post-doctoral researcher / university researcher, the starting salary is 3500 - 4000 euros/month, depending on previous qualifications and experience.
The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. The University provides support for internationally recruited employees with their transition to work and life in Finland. For more on the University of Helsinki as an employer, please see https://www.helsinki.fi/en/about-us/careers .
The applicant should hold a relevant PhD in Radiochemistry, Geochemistry, or Geomicrobiology. Cross-disciplinary experience is very important given the nature of the project. Applicants should have experience of working with complex environmental samples or nuclear industry samples and have experience of working in a wet chemistry laboratory. Field work experience is beneficial. Experience / knowledge of working with radioactivity, radioisotope separation techniques, radiometric methods, geochemical modelling programmes, and speciation techniques are considered a major plus. An interest in radiochemistry pedagogy is essential. Post-doctoral researchers are expected to develop a teaching portfolio and further their teaching skills at the University of Helsinki. The working language of the laboratory and the RadoNorm project is English and therefore good communication skills in English are essential.
How to apply
Please submit as a single pdf file:
• Application letter describing motivation, background, and research interests
• Contact details of two potential referees who have already agreed to provide letters of recommendation
• List of publications (and a link to your Google Scholar profile)
Please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System.
The deadline for submitting the application is February 8, 2023. Short-listed applicants will be invited to an online interview soon after.
The University of Helsinki welcomes applicants from a variety of gender identities, and linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
For more information on the position, please contact Gareth Law (Gareth.firstname.lastname@example.org).
The University of Helsinki is an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities in Europe and ranks among the top 100 international universities in the world.
The Department of Chemistry , which is part of the Faculty of Science , is the leading Chemistry research and teaching unit in Finland. The research themes of the Department cover all aspects of Chemistry research, including radiochemistry and environmental chemistry. The Department’s Radiochemistry Unit is Finland’s leading university-based radiochemistry research and teaching laboratory. The successful candidate will join a vibrant laboratory that is home to approx. 40 researchers. The laboratory is one of two laboratories in Europe to offer the EuChemS accredited Euromaster in Radiochemistry.
The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland (STUK ) is a regulatory control authority of radiation and nuclear safety in Finland. The purpose is to protect people, society, the environment and future generations from the harmful effects of radiation. STUK participates in research and has laboratories for radioactivity determinations and calibration services. The national measurement standards of ionising radiation are maintained by STUK.
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