Postdoctoral Research Fellow

University of Exeter
December 12, 2022
Offerd Salary:£39,745
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:fixed term basis on
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Job Ref.:N/A
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The starting salary will be from £39,745 on Grade F, depending on qualifications and experience.


Generous holiday allowances, flexible working, pension scheme and relocation package (if applicable).

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P85984 FP/Job/Description.pdf
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Job description

This new BBSRC-funded full-time post is available from 1 February 2023 to 29 November 2024 on a fixed term basis on our Cornwall campus.

The post

We wish to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to participate in the project ‘ Bioprocessing of Geothermal Brines for Lithium'. This project will use biotechnology to help recover lithium from geothermal brines, firstly optimising the process in the laboratory and testing circular economy approaches, and then working with our industrial partner, Cornish Lithium to build a pilot-scale plant to investigate whether the process can be scaled up to be used in commercial lithium extraction. The successful applicant will:

  • Undertake laboratory experiments to optimise microbially-induced carbonate precipitation and diatom-based silica stripping to enhance the recovery of lithium from geothermal brines.
  • Investigate using waste material as feedstock (urea) and assess whether the wastes produced can be used as fertiliser.
  • Isolate diatom cultures from local water samples.
  • Work with our industrial partner Cornish Lithium to build a pilot-scale processing plant at their United Downs site, scale-up of microbial cultures to 10 litres.
  • Work with our industrial partner Minviro to support their life cycle analysis of the environmental impact of the pilot plant and expected impacts at commercial scale.
  • Publish the results in peer-reviewed journal articles.
  • About you

    The successful applicant will be able to develop research objectives, projects and proposals; identify sources of research funding and contribute to the process of securing funds and make presentations at conferences and other events.

    Applicants will possess a relevant PhD or equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study. The successful applicant will be a nationally recognised authority in (geo)microbiology and possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop research programmes and methodologies. The successful applicant will also be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required. Applicants require the following skills and knowledge:


  • Growing and maintaining microbial cultures including bacteria and phototrophs (e.g. algae, diatoms).
  • Optimising experimental conditions to achieve the best outcome.
  • Desirable

  • Conducting microbially-induced carbonate precipitation experiments.
  • Analysis of samples using ICP-OES or ICP-MS, ion chromatography, spectrophotometry.
  • DNA extraction; quantification; sequencing, data processing and interpretation.
  • Preparing samples for and collecting images using scanning electron microscopy.
  • Working with industrial partners.
  • Please ensure you read the Job Description and Person Specification for full details of this role.

    What we can offer you

  • Freedom (and the support) to pursue your intellectual interests and to work creatively across disciplines to produce internationally exciting research;
  • Support teams that understand the University wide research and teaching goals and partner with our academics accordingly
  • An Innovation, Impact and Business directorate that works closely with our academics providing specialist support for external engagement and development
  • A beautiful campus set in the heart of stunning Cornwall.
  • 41 days leave per year
  • Options for flexible working
  • Numerous discounts at leading retailers
  • Onsite gyms on all of our campus' and a cycle to work scheme
  • Sector leading policies around maternity, adoption and shared parental leave (up to 26 weeks full pay), paternity leave (up to six weeks full pay) and a new Fertility Treatment Policy
  • The University of Exeter

    We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities and in the top 150 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 and QS World University Ranking 2022).

    Our research income in recent years means we're the fastest growing UK Research University with some of the world's most influential scientists, and we seek to answer some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today through this. More than 99% of our research is of international quality and our world-leading research impact is growing faster than any other Russell Group university (2021 Research Excellence Framework). We encourage proactive engagement with industry, business and community partners to enhance the impact of research and education and improve the employability of our students. Read about our world leading research – Green Futures and how we are transforming education for a changing world. We are located in a beautiful part of the country and Exeter (a fast growing tech hub) is one of only a few UK cities to have been designated as a UNESCO Creative City.

    Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

    With over 27,000 students and 6,400 staff from 180 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment where our diversity is celebrated and valued as a major strength. We are committed to creating an inclusive culture where all members of our community are supported to thrive; where diverse voices are heard through our engagement with evidence-based charter frameworks for gender (Athena SWAN), race equality (Race Equality Charter Mark), LGBTQ+ inclusion (Stonewall Diversity Champion) and as a Disability Confident employer. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented within our working community. Reasonable adjustments are available for interviews and workplaces.

    For further information please contact Laura Newsome, e-mail

    The closing date for completed applications is 12 December 2022. Interviews are expected to take place on 20 December 2022.

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