PhD Researcher Position

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    University College Cork
    Biological sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    08/10/2021 17:00 - Europe/London
    Ireland › Cork


Positon Summary

Applications are invited for a four-year PhD researcher position investigating the taphonomy of vertebrate melanin. The position is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and forms part of a series of new hires in palaeontology at UCC.

The project

The successful candidate will undertake analysis of extant and fossil melanin and melanosomes, plus taphonomic experiments using in-house facilities for laboratory decay and high pressure-high temperature maturation. Key analytical techniques include SEM, AHPO-LCMS, Synchrotron-XRF, STEM, STXM. In addition to research, the successful candidate will have opportunities to undertake training in transferable skills, to gain experience in mentorship, and to participate in fieldwork. The successful candidate will work closely with the PI and other members of the team, especially a postdoctoral researcher also working on the taphonomy of melanin.

The School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES)

The School of BEES at University College Cork (UCC) is one of the most successful Schools in UCC in terms of grant capture and PhD completion, and has the distinction of having four ERC-funded projects in the last five years. It is located in three interconnected buildings on extensive grounds and comprises 30 academic staff, 20 postdoctoral researchers and >100 postgraduate students supported by 14 administrative and technical staff. The successful candidate will benefit from excellent laboratory facilities, including a dedicated palaeontology laboratory with high-spec facilities for experimental decay and maturation, melanin extraction, and tissue preparation for electron microscopy. The School’s new Mary Ward microbeam laboratory houses a new JEOL IT-100 VP SEM with sputter coater, a Perkin-Elmer Frontier uATR coupled to a Spotlight micro-FTIR, a Renishaw Raman microscope, extensive light microscopy facilities, and an ultramicrotome. Planned analytical facilities include a major new investment in a hyphenated headspace analyser-GC-MS facility for chemical analyses of maturation experiments in real time. Additional laboratory facilities include a furnace, dedicated histology lab, and photography facilities. Researchers in the palaeobiology group have access to additional analytical facilities elsewhere in the university, including cryotomy and immunofluorescence imaging.

The successful candidate will join us at a very exciting time, as part of a major expansion of the palaeontology group at UCC. This includes new PhD and postdoctoral researchers, research support officer, outreach officer, and a new lecturer in palaeontology. The successful candidate will benefit from the PI’s commitment to his/her career development and the PI’s extensive global network of collaborators.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

The primary focus of the PhD Researcher will be research however a particular emphasis during this stage should include;

  • To conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision and direction of a Principal Investigator/Project Leader.
  • To engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by the Principal Investigator, School or College in order to develop research skills and competencies.
  • To engage in the dissemination of the results of the research in which they are engaged, as directed by, with the support of and under the supervision of a Principal Investigator.
  • To become familiar with the publication process.
  • To acquire generic and transferable skills (including project management, business skills and postgraduate mentoring/supervision).
  • To engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of the research group, School or College.

For further particulars on this position please refer to: https://www.ucc.ie/en/hr/vacancies/research/full-details-1382652-en.html

Mehr Information

Additional comments

Candidates should apply, in confidence, by submitting a CV (including contact details of two referees) and cover letter to maria.mcnamara@ucc.ie before 5 pm (Irish Local Time) on Friday, 8th October 2021.


UCC is committed to creating and fully embracing an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated.  As a University we strive to create a workplace that reflects the diversity of our student population where people from a wide variety of backgrounds learn from one another, share ideas, and work collaboratively. UCC is committed to being an employer that recognises the value of diversity amongst its staff.  We encourage applicants to consult our policies at https://www.ucc.ie/en/edi/policies/ and initiatives at https://www.ucc.ie/en/edi/implementation/ and we welcome applications from everyone, including those who are underrepresented in the protected characteristics set out in our Equal Opportunities & Diversity Policy.

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