Bayi Glacier in Qilian Mountain, China (Credit: Xiaoming Wang, distributed via

Job advertisement Postdoctoral Research Associate in Lunar Magmatic Processes

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European Geosciences Union

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Lunar Magmatic Processes

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Lunar Magmatic Processes

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University of Edinburgh

School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh

The School of GeoSciences explores the factors and forces that shape our world. The School aims to understand the world through fundamental curiosity-driven research and to support prescient decision-making at individual to global scales. We undertake world-leading research; offer new ways of understanding natural and social drivers of change; provide inter-and trans-disciplinary solutions; and work in partnership to improve livelihoods and explore ways to manage the environment that are both sustainable and socially equitable.

With over 500 academics, researchers and research students, we are the largest and most successful interdisciplinary grouping of geoscientists and geographers in the UK. Research activity is coordinated within three main Research Institutes – Global Change, Earth and Planetary Science, and Geography and the Lived Environment – and within smaller research groupings that reach across and beyond the School.

A distinctive feature of the School is the combination of academic strength, intellectual breadth and societal relevance. Our interdisciplinary research and teaching builds on established core disciplines (ecology, environmental sciences, geography, geophysics, meteorology, oceanography) to provide a variety of approaches to understanding the world (including, for example, system-scale modelling, process studies and the development of urban and social theory). The School’s research covers fundamental ‘blue-skies’ questions, as well as having application to key societal challenges including inequality and vulnerability; urban precarity; nature and cultural meaning; development and sustainability; climate and environmental change; energy, food and water security; health and wellbeing; natural resources; and natural hazards.

The School holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to gender equality in higher education. Our aim is to recognise and value diversity in our staff and students, and to support flexible and family-friendly working.


Edinburgh, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


Relevant divisions
Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology & Volcanology (GMPV)
Planetary and Solar System Sciences (PS)

Full time

Entry level

£(UKP): 33797-40322

Preferred education

Application deadline
31 May 2021

4 May 2021

Job description

We invite applications for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) position to perform high-temperature experiments to simulate lunar magmatic degassing processes, as part of a Leverhulme Trust funded project “The Moon’s enigmatic chlorine fingerprint and the origin of Earth’s water”.

The scientific aim of this work is to constrain the extent of volatile element loss (degassing) from the early Moon, providing insight into Moon formation and volatile delivery to the early Earth-Moon system. High-temperature experiments in model lunar systems will be used to constrain degassing mechanisms, and determine the effects of degassing on the chlorine and zinc isotopic signatures of lunar magmas. The PDRA will be hosted in the School of GeoSciences under the guidance of Dr Geoff Bromiley, and work in collaboration with Prof. Mahesh Anand (Open University), Dr. Paul Savage (University of St. Andrews), and Dr Magali Bonifacie (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris).

Experimental work will be conducted using high pressure/temperature (piston-cylinder) apparatus and rapid quench gas-mixing high-temperature furnaces at the Experimental GeoScience Facility ( Run products will be characterised using scanning electron microscopy and electron probe microanalysis. Volatile concentrations in magmas (F, Cl, H) will be determined by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). SIMS analysis will then be used to determine Cl isotopic compositions. SIMS analysis will be conducted at the Edinburgh Ion Microprobe Facility, EIMF ( following application to the steering committee. You will also work with EIMF staff and project team in developing protocols for Cl isotope analysis. Zn isotopic compositions will be determined by multicollector-inductively coupled plasma mass (MC-ICPMS) spectrometry at the University of St Andrews. Additional characterisation of material may be conducted by nano-SIMS at the Open University, following application for instrument access.
Training and guidance will be given at all stages of work. This position is an exciting opportunity to develop research and technical expertise.

The School aims to ensure equality of opportunity and holds an Athena SWAN Silver award. We welcome applications from everyone irrespective of gender or ethnic group. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

Your skills and attributes for success:

· Relevant PhD or equivalent experience

· Experience in the general area of high temperature geochemistry, magmatic/igneous processes, and/or planetary geochemistry

· Ability to communicate complex information clearly, orally and in writing;

· Evidence of taking responsibility for own research.

Informal enquiries are very welcome and should be made to Dr Geoffrey Bromiley (

As a valued member of our team you can expect:

An exciting, positive, creative, challenging and rewarding place to work. We give you support, nurture your talent and reward success. You will benefit from a competitive reward package and a wide range of staff benefits, which includes a generous holiday entitlement, a defined benefits pension scheme, staff discounts, family friendly initiatives, flexible working and much more. Access our staff benefits page for further information and use our reward calculator to find out the total value of pay and benefits provided.

The University of Edinburgh holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. We are members of the Race Equality Charter and we are also Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champions, actively promoting LGBT equality.

If invited for interview you will be required to evidence your right to work in the UK. Further information is available on our right to work webpages.

The University is able to sponsor the employment of international workers in this role. If successful, an international applicant requiring sponsorship to work in the UK will need to satisfy the UK Home Office’s English Language requirements and apply for and secure a Tier 2/Skilled Worker Visa.

How to apply

Click here for a full job description, further details and to apply: