Post-Doctoral Research Associate (Planetary Protection), AstrobiologyOU

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Milton Keynes, ENGLAND
Deadline: 11 Sep 2023

Unit :  Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Salary :  £37,099 to £44,263
Location :  Milton Keynes
Please quote reference :  21127
Full Time, Fixed Term Contract for 15 months from start date
Closing Date :  11 September, 2023 - 12:00

Change your career, change lives

The Open University is the UK’s largest university, a world leader in flexible part-time education combining a mission to widen access to higher education with research excellence, transforming lives through education.

The role

You will be welcomed into AstrobiologyOU, an interdisciplinary research group investigating the feasibility of life beyond the Earth, and the associated scientific, governance and ethical implications.

Your role within the group will be to contribute to their planetary protection research activities. In your role, you will investigate the survivability and potential growth of cleanroom contaminates within simulated brine pockets and channels that may exist within the icy shell of Europa. This work is of significance in light of future exploration missions to Europa.

You will be a highly motivated and driven PDRA and will be expected to write up results for publication and present findings at conferences and workshops.

Skills and experience

You will have a PhD in microbiology, geomicrobiology, or a related discipline.

The full summary of duties and person specification can be found within the Job Description.

If you would like to discuss this role before applying, please email Louise.Thomas

If you would like to discuss the application or recruitment process before making an application, please contact Lauren Denton at Resourcing Hub on 01908 655544 or quoting the reference VRF 21127.

What you get in return

You will be welcomed into one of Europe’s largest astrobiology groups with a vibrant research environment, including regular formal and informal meetings, research support and knowledge exchange. Benefits include a supportive and friendly working environment, 33 days holiday per annum pro rata plus Bank Holidays and Christmas closure days, and an attractive pension proposition.

How to apply

Unless otherwise stated in the advert, all applications are completed online via the OU Job’s page and following the instructions below and clicking the “APPLY NOW” link below. Applications submitted via 3rd party websites will not be considered. 

To apply for this role please submit the following;

  • CV
  • Personal statement, up to 1,000 words, you should set out in your statement why you’re interested in this role and provide examples of where your skills and experience meet the required competencies for this role as detailed in the job and person specification.

The above documents will need to be submitted as one attachment during the application process, please include the personal statement followed by the CV in this document.

To ensure your file is uploaded to our system correctly, please make sure your document is saved with the following file name as appropriate to the vacancy you are applying for: reference, surname, first initial.

You will need to have your documents ready ahead of submitting the electronic application.


Remember to attach your CV and Personal Statement as ONE DOCUMENT.  

You will receive updates regarding your application from . Please ensure this email address is added to your list of trusted senders. Please also keep an eye on your junk folder to ensure you do not miss any important updates regarding this role. 

You can view your application communications on the Candidate portal . 

Thank you for your interest in The Open University, we will be in touch as soon as possible after the closing date to confirm either your interview slot or that you have been unsuccessful.  If the latter, we thank you for your application and do encourage you to apply for future positions at The Open University.

 Find out more about us and our mission by watching this short video (you will be taken to YouTube by clicking this link). 

Closing date:  11th September 2023 12pm (noon) 

The Open University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion which is reflected in our mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. We aim to foster a diverse and inclusive environment so that all in our OU community can reach their potential. We recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge, and culture, and that this difference brings great strength. We strive to recruit, retain and develop the careers of a diverse pool of students and staff, and particularly encourage applications from all underrepresented groups. We also aspire to make The Open University a supportive workplace for all through our policies, services and staff networks.

Job related information : 

PDRA microbiology_2023_FINAL_PP.docx 62.05 KB

  • Terms and Conditions - Academic Staff (PDF)
  • Terms and Conditions - Academic Staff (Word document)

Posting Date :  29 August, 2023 - 09:00

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