Organisation NERC
Organisation Detail NERC - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster
Reference Number IRC240992
Location Lancaster See on Map
Salary £22224
Date Posted 20 April 2017
Grade NERC-7 New
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 09 June 2017
Interview Date 04 July 2017

At CEH, we offer a prestigious Research Associate training programme to develop skilled UK/EU scientists for the future of European environmental research.  The 3-year training programme offers you the opportunity to gain practical experience of working within our active research projects whilst acquiring specialist and wider skills valuable for your future career.  Each Research Associate will deliver specific, measurable objectives intended to develop their skills as a researcher and to demonstrate their suitability for a career in an analytical laboratory. 

CEH has a centralised laboratory in Lancaster that provides analytical expertise and sample chemical analyses to support the environmental research community. The group specialises in low level analyses of a wide range of environmental samples for organic and inorganic analytes and stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen.  The analytical work arises mainly from within the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, either from internally or externally funded projects.  Additionally the chemistry group supports the research conducted in almost all of the CEH science areas.

Description of work area

Organic and inorganic Analytical Chemistry

Description of specific work to be undertaken and skills to be gained

The role is for an analyst to conduct chemical analysis in environmental samples in a wide range of matrices from water to soils, biota, etc. You will be responsible for analyses of organic compounds using Gas Chromatography- Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), such as old and new persistent organic pollutants OPs, phospholipid fatty acids, pesticides, etc. The responsibilities involve all aspects of samples preparation for the analyses of organic compounds as well as the maintenance and troubleshooting of the GC-MS, therefore, previous experience on GC-MS is essential.

You will also prepare and carry out analyses of nutrients, determination of physical properties (such as pH, conductivity), moisture content and loss on ignition and the operation of automated techniques: e.g. alkalinity, ion chromatography, automated colorimetry, carbon and nitrogen analyser. Furthermore, you will also be involved in the preparation and analyses of organic compounds by Liquid Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry as well as method development. 

However, depending on the science needs you will be expected to perform other types of chemical measurements, including metals and stable isotopes.

Responsibilities will also involve general maintenance and troubleshooting of instruments; maintaining a good laboratory environment; purchasing of general equipment and reagents. You will also be expected to work within the laboratory’s quality system and ISO 17025:2005.

Training and skills to be gained  

The training goal is to offer an early stage analyst an opportunity to broaden their knowledge and to develop analytical skills in environmental chemistry.  Training will be provided in the following areas: QA to ISO 17025:2005 standard; method development; instrument operation; maintenance and troubleshooting; sample preparation and standard operation plans writing.

Skills and qualifications required on appointment

  •  a degree (2:1) in Environmental Chemistry and/or relevant experience
  • experience and competence in the use of GC-MS is essential
  • relevant skills/experience in analytical experience and competence in organic chemical analysis is essential
  • experience of working in a laboratory accredited to ISO 17025:2005 will be beneficial, however full training will be given in the quality system and laboratory safety
  • able to work independently and manage own time effectively
  • effective IT skills
  • demonstrate flexibility and adaptability
  • communicate effectively with peers and more senior staff
  • scientifically numerate and with good mathematical skills
  • make active contributions and provide support to other team members
  • proven experience of producing high quality data.
In addition NERC offer a public sector pension scheme, 30 days’ annual leave and 10½ days’ public and privilege holiday per annum. We offer a flexible and supportive working environment and will encourage your continuing professional development as part of our career support. NERC has an equal opportunities policy and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. People with disabilities and those from ethnic minorities are currently under represented and their applications are particularly welcomed. Guaranteed interview scheme for applicants with disabilities.

Eligibility to apply
To work for CEH, you must be eligible to live and work in the UK without the requirement for a work permit. CEH can only apply for a work permit in cases where there are no suitably qualified or experienced resident workers; otherwise applicants should normally be resident in the UK or a national of the European Union.  Please do not apply if you require a visa to work in the UK.

Further information regarding working for CEH can be found on our website.
It is CEH policy to use an online application form (link below), please ensure that you complete an application form as CVs will not be accepted as a standalone. The form should be uploaded via the "My Account" menu option on the "Jobs Home" page.

CEH Application Form

If you are unable to apply on-line, please contact UK Shared Business Services Ltd by telephone on 01793 867000.