Stable Isotope Technician

University of Glassgow
February 19, 2024
Offerd Salary:£25,138 - £29,605
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Open-ended
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Stable Isotope Technician

Location: East Kilbride

Job Purpose

The purpose of this job is to provide technical expertise for the National Environmental Isotope Facility (NEIF) Stable Isotope Ecology Laboratory at SUERC and will report to Dr Rona McGill. The laboratory houses several continuous flow systems for making stable isotope measurements. The postholder will be responsible for several systems, which include:

(i) a continuous flow system for measuring C and N in natural abundance and enriched (mainly) organic materials

(ii) a continuous flow system for measuring C, N and S in natural abundance (mainly) organic materials

(iii) a continuous flow system for measuring H in natural abundance (mainly) organic materials

(iv) other continuous flow systems are routinely utilised by this laboratory e.g. for carbonate C and O and for water H and O analyses, and there may be need for the postholder to receive training in these to provide cover when needed

(v) In all of the cases above, the postholder will provide support for these systems including maintenance, management of supplies.

Main duties and Responsibilities

1. Sample Preparation and analysis:

To analyse C and N isotopes in natural abundance and enriched organic materials

To prepare samples for the above measurements (e.g. cutting, drying, weighing, grinding and wet chemical treatment).

To work responsibly with biological samples, mineral acids and organic solvents, according to existing standard operating procedures and risk assessments on a daily basis.

2. Provide specialist technical advice to research team to ensure knowledge/skills transfer; to demonstrate processes, train, supervise and advise visiting researchers and students that need to use analytical equipment.

3. Progress technical aspects of research objectives in accordance with predetermined timescales as set out by project managers.

4. Be responsible for tracking of samples from arrival to measurement and eventual disposal/return to client. Ensure operational delivery of technical resources is optimised and seek to continuously improve the technical service.

5. Be responsible for troubleshooting complex technical problems, including issues with the design and operation of technical resources and/or with the data which is generated. This includes maintaining mass spectrometry and related equipment, promptly reporting faults, diagnosing/repairing faults or assisting others, and liaising with outside contractors for equipment servicing. Report any issues to our weekly lab meeting.

6. Keep track of analysis quality metrics such as blank analysis and cross- calibrations, perform data reduction and storage.

7. Be responsible for checking/maintaining consumables stock and orders.

8. Be responsible for compliance with relevant Health and Safety (H&S) and/or other specialist legal requirements. Report any potential issues to the Stable Isotope Laboratory Committee and the SUERC H&S Manager. Contribute to the development of COSHH risk assessments for new or updated processes. Ensure that Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) Bronze Award principles are maintained and progressed.

9. Work collaboratively with others, including external contacts, to enhance the delivery of the research aims and support the broader strategic aims of SUERC and the University.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience



A1 Either: Ability to demonstrate the competencies required to undertake the duties associated with this level of post having acquired the necessary knowledge and skills in a similar role. Or: Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 7 (Advanced Higher / Scottish Vocational Qualification level 3, Higher National Certificate) or equivalent, and experience of personal development in a similar role.

A2 Good practical knowledge of applied science.

A3 Good knowledge of standard lab safety procedures.


B1 Knowledge in the use and application of stable isotope measurements in earth/environmental sciences and/or ecology.



C1 In-depth technical skills to provide a range of technical support activities.

C2 Good interpersonal and communication skills.

C3 Proven ability to advise and assist staff, students and visiting researchers in development of chemical procedures.

C4 High degree of self-motivation and commitment.

C5 Proven ability to plan and organise own work.

C6 Ability to work independently and as part of a team.

C7 Good analytical and critical thinking skills.


D1 Ability to prepare samples in time for measurement deadlines.



E1 Sufficient relevant work experience or equivalent training through above qualifications or substantial work experience in a relevant laboratory-based technical or scientific role.

E2 Experience with the use of analytical instrumentation (at least one of the following: stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry, laboratory vacuum techniques, gas chromatography); see also F1-3

E3 Use of hazardous materials such as mineral acids or flammable solvents.

E4 IT skills and experience of commonly used software packages e.g. MS Office

E5 Experience of working independently and as part of a cohesive team


F1 Experience with chromatographic separation techniques.

F2 Experience working with hazardous compounds such as chloroform.

F3 Experience in preparation of organic/biological sample materials.

F4 Experience with standardisation and other forms of quality control.

Terms and Conditions

Salary will be Grade 5, £25,138 - £29,605 per annum.

This post is full time (35 hours per week) and open ended.

As part of Team UofG you will be a member of a world changing, inclusive community, which values ambition, excellence, integrity and curiosity.

As a valued member of our team, you can expect:

1 A warm welcoming and engaging organisational culture, where your talents are developed and nurtured, and success is celebrated and shared.

2 An excellent employment package with generous terms and conditions including 41 days of leave for full time staff, pension - pensions handbook https: // www., benefits and discount packages.

3 A flexible approach to working.

4 A commitment to support your health and wellbeing, including a free 6-month UofG Sport membership for all new staff joining the University https: // www.

We believe that we can only reach our full potential through the talents of all. Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our values. Applications are particularly welcome from across our communities and in particular people from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community, and other protected characteristics who are under-represented within the University. Read more on how the University promotes and embeds all aspects of equality and diversity within our community https: // www.

We endorse the principles of Athena Swan https: // www. and hold bronze, silver and gold awards across the University.

We are investing in our organisation, and we will invest in you too. Please visit our website https: // www. for more information.

Vacancy Ref : 138969 Close Date : 19-Feb-2024 23:45

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