Postdoctoral researcher in clumped isotopes

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 22 Jan 2023

Ref. No. SU FV-4551-22

at the Department of Geological Sciences . Closing date: 22 January 2023.

Stockholm University is a leading European university in one of the world’s most dynamic capitals. The University has more than 29 000 students, 1 400 doctoral students and 5 700 staff members active within the natural sciences and humanities.

The Department of Geological Sciences is a department within the Faculty of Science with courses at master's, bachelor's and orientation levels. The department supports a broad range of basic research within marine geology, geochemistry and classical geology.

Clumped isotope geochemistry, with its ability to deliver information about formation temperatures and sources, is a fast-growing analytical approach in Earth Sciences that promises to both augment traditional isotope geochemistry and take the field in exciting new directions.

Project description
The Department of Geological Sciences (IGV), Stockholm University, is expanding the analytical capacity of its Laboratory for Stable Isotope analyses (SIL, SIL LAB) by adding equipment for measuring clumped isotopes. The concept of ‘isotopic clumping’ refers to bonding of 'heavier' isotopes of an element into rare isotopolouges (typically involving 13 C-18 O bonds).

The isotope laboratory at IGV is already well equipped to perform isotope analyses of 13 C, 15 N, 34 S, 2 H, and 18 O in organic and inorganic compounds and will now add a high-resolution HR-IRMS (High Resolution - Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry) with a KIEL IV unit to the facility.

The equipment will first be used to study 13 C18 O combinations in carbonates through measurements of D47 and D48 .  This two-year project seeks a candidate who is excited by the challenges of analytical geochemistry and curious about the geological past, to help launch this facility by developing user-friendly, application-specific processing and analytical routines for the analysis of clumped isotopes in carbonates at the SIL-IGV.

Signal-carrying materials to be analyzed will include biogenic and evaporitic carbonates from terrestrial, marine, or lacustrine environments. Foraminifers are expected to be a focus due to their special position in investigating climate change through Earth's history. In the long term, applications will not be limited to carbonate studies and methods for analysis of other molecules, such as methane (13 C2 H), will also be developed.

The new equipment forms part of suite of new infrastructures within the Swedish Science Council's program (VR) for scientific research, where 'clumped isotopes' is recognized as a rapidly growing field of research in earth sciences.

The successful candidate will have access to material for analysis of D47 and D48 in collaboration with researchers within IGV but we also encourage you to lead-with and develop your own research program using these new analytical tools at IGV as much as possible. This research program may build on the candidates' specific strengths in geochemistry but should also complement the research activities of the current geochemical group and other researchers at IGV.

Main responsibilities
The work tasks will entail helping to set up analysis routines for measurements of D47 and D48 with a high-resolution HR-IRMS connected to a KIEL IV unit. The work will include, if necessary, training to use the new instrumentation, training of new users in instrument operation, and carrying out quality assurance of data.

The successful candidate will be able to carry out their own research program. You will also be responsible for analysis of samples and calculations of raw data into publishable data, but can also influence sampling to ensure that the research questions are answered. We look for skills and experience with computational routines (e.g. in R, Python, etc) to process and analyze data.

Qualification requirements
Postdoctoral positions are appointed primarily for purposes of research. Applicants are expected to hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country.

Assessment criteria
The degree must have been completed at latest before the employment decision is made, but no more than three years before the closing date. An older degree may be acceptable under special circumstances. Special reasons refer to sick leave, parental leave, elected positions in trade unions, service in the total defense, or other similar circumstances as well as clinical attachment or service/assignments relevant to the subject area.

We are looking for candidates with a strong background and documented experience of measurements of so-called 'clumped isotopes' and to have good knowledge of the quality of raw data for the management of finished results. It is a merit to have documented experience of isotope analyses in general. The candidate should be fluent in English, and be able to work independently and in groups, as well as work towards set goals as the overall project as has specific sub-goals (e.g., method development of a specific analysis).

The selection among the eligible candidates is based on their expected ability to complete and implement the project's objectives. The following criteria are used to assess this ability: the applicant's documented knowledge and skills in the subject of the proposed specialization, the ability to express his work orally and in writing in English, creativity, the ability to take initiative, the ability to think analytically, independence and the ability to collaborate with other researchers.

The evaluation is based on previous education and experience, quality of previously published research, ambition expressed in the motivation letter, description of the proposed project direction, professional recommendations and possibly interviews.

Terms of employment
The position involves full-time employment for two years with the possibility of extension under special circumstances. Start date as per agreement.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace that is free from discrimination and provides equal opportunities for all

For further information about the position please contact head of department Carl-Magnus Mörth, .

Union representative
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), tel. 0708-16 26 64, , Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Trade Union ST/Teachers' Union), tel. 08-16 34 89, , and (SEKO).

You apply for the position through Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. We recommend that you submit your application, including the necessary documents, in English.

Please attach the following information to your application:

  • your contact and personal data
  • your highest degree
  • your language skills
  • contact information for at least two reference persons

and to attach the following documents

  • cover letter including:
    • Why you are interested in the advertised research area and project
    • What makes you a suitable candidate for this project including previous experience in the measurement of clumped isotopes.
  • CV – including degrees and other education, work experience and list of publications
  • List of publications (peer-review)
  • Research proposal:
    • a maximum 2-page description of research questions you would like to address. Here it is advantageous to develop specific applications of 'clumped isotopes' that complement IGV researchers’ expertise.
  • Exam certificates and grades that prove you fulfil the requirement (if the PhD is not completed, please write anticipated date of completion).
  • Up to 2 letters of recommendation from professional academics

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position .

Welcome with your application!

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