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Research Assistant/Associate in Exploration Geophysics

Requisition ID:  13888

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  19-Nov-2021

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Starting Salary for Research Assistant:  £28,756 to £30,497 per annum

Starting Salary for Research Associate:  £31,406 to £33,309 per annum

Closing Date:   16 December 2021


The Role


We are seeking a motivated individual to join our dedicated research family working as part of a new Living Lab Project. The project is unique in its integrated approach that uses technologies from different disciplines with the common goal of achieving Net Zero for a University Defence partner. You will be part of one of six experiments that make up the Living Lab framework: Decarbonise heating and cooling using geothermal energy.  While you will work as part of this interdisciplinary team, you will also be joining our growing Energy Geosciences team at Newcastle University, where we’re focused on the role of geosciences in achieving Net-Zero. We’re looking for a PDRA with experience of acquiring and processing passive and active source seismic data.


Having expertise in passive seismic methods, as well as familiarity with reflection methods and interpretation, you will be responsible for 1) the design, deployment and acquisition of seismic surveys at the site and 2) for the analysis and interpretation of data. You will be a team player and have the ability to work with other researchers, academics, contractors and clients. You will have a BSc (or equivalent) and PhD, or thesis submitted subject to examination, in geophysics (or related subjects including Earth Sciences, Geophysics, Physics, Engineering). Experience in deploying field monitoring equipment is essential.


This opening is available on a full-time basis, available immediately for a period of 24 months from the start date. However, we are dedicated to building and maintaining a fair and inclusive working environment and would be happy to discuss flexible working arrangements or part-time working. This role will be based in Newcastle University with some UK travel required.


This position is open to individuals who have a PhD awarded or are on the pass list (or equivalent). If you are pending your PhD award, you are encouraged to contact Dr Mark Ireland.


Security: As the Living Lab is with a partner in the Defence sector, you should be prepared for security checks if you are selected as the preferred candidate.  For example, individuals working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.


To apply, please submit an online application and upload a covering letter and CV. Please state in your covering letter how you are working towards, meet or exceed the essential and desirable criteria for the role holder as outlined below, evidencing how you are a good fit for the role. 


Interviews are anticipated to be held week commencing 10th January 2022


For all informal enquiries, please contact Dr Mark Ireland, via email: Mark.Ireland@newcastle.ac.uk 


For more information about the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences and our research, please click here



Key Accountabilities 


  • Design and support the acquisition of both active and passive source seismic surveys to help characterise potential geothermal resources.
  • Investigate the use of high-density ambient noise tomography to characterise shallow and deep geothermal resources.
  • Interpret active source seismic reflection data.
  • Integrate the results of both active source and ambient noise seismic surveys to characterise geothermal aquifers
  • Use repeat passive seismic surveys to monitor and characterise the variations in aquifer flow.
  • Use the interpretations of both active and passive seismic surveys to construct a 3D geological model of the location
  • Work effectively with contractors/sub-contractors to acquire geophysical data in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Effectively communicate and work within an international team composed of staff, postgraduate and undergraduate students and external partners, including regular reporting


The Person (Essential) 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Expertise in passive seismic methods
  • Expertise in appropriate programming languages (e.g. Python)
  • A record of publication commensurate with experience level
  • Observational and practical skills consistent with the demands of contemporary scientific research
  • A good standard of written and verbal English
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work within a team


Attributes and Behaviour

  • A desire to work with due attention to the safety of themselves and others
  • Punctual and reliable; excellent time-management skills
  • Being a trusted and professional ambassador for Newcastle University and promoting the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Self-motivation, a determination to succeed and a commitment to high standards
  • The capacity to undertake original research and work independently
  • Excellent communication skills both oral and written (e.g technical reports, papers, presentations)
  • An ability to interact with professionals from different disciplines and work as part of a multidisciplinary team across various locations, settings and research sites
  • Experience of, or exposure to creating professional connections with potential collaborators and project partners
  • Professional approach with a commitment to equality, diversity, dignity and respect in the workplace
  • The ability and willingness to travel locally
  • A willingness to take on the day-to-day supervision of PhD and MSc project students as necessary



  • PhD (awarded or near completion) in exploration geophysics with a focus on passive seismic methods
  • Ability to drive in the UK with an appropriate driving licence



Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all.  You can learn more about what is available here on our Benefits Website page.

Requisition ID: 13888