Research Associate; SEACHANGE

University of York

10 Nov 2023
Job Information

University of York
Human Resources
Research Field
Chemistry » Analytical chemistry
Researcher Profile
Recognised Researcher (R2)
United Kingdom
Application Deadline
7 Jan 2024 – 23:59 (Europe/London)
Type of Contract
Job Status
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

We are looking to appoint an analytical chemist / geochemist to be responsible for conducting amino acid research from modern and ancient marine shells and corals under the direction of Professor Kirsty Penkman . This position could be undertaken full-time or part-time (≥50% FTE) and is fixed term for 18 months. If this is offered on a part time basis the contract length may be offered for more than 18 months.

The role is funded by the European Research Council under the project “SEACHANGE:  Quantifying the Impact of Major Cultural Transitions on Marine Ecosystem Functioning and Biodiversity”. This 6-year ERC Synergy grant is led by Professor James Scourse at the University of Exeter with a range of global collaborators.  

The Department of Chemistry  at the University of York is one of the UK’s leading Chemistry departments and we are renowned internationally for our research. This is combined with a commitment to teaching and outstanding student satisfaction, and we have been recognised consistently for our family-friendly policies and are proud of our Athena SWAN Gold Award . As a Department we strive to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We aim to ensure that there is a supportive and egalitarian culture at all levels and across all staff groups. We promote good practice and a strong culture of equality in higher education. Further information can be found on our website  

The postholder will be part of the BioArCh group, which hosts a range of archaeological and environmental scientists. BioArCh is a world class facility which draws on the expertise of staff from the departments of Biology, Archaeology, Environment and Chemistry. 


This post will be based in Chemistry where you will conduct amino acid analysis from ancient and modern marine organisms. You will conduct research into the proteins, peptides and amino acids in biominerals; this will help develop the chronology for the material and to determine endogeneity of the organic matter, enabling other members of the project to use stable isotope analysis to track food web functioning across the different cultural transitions.  All the required instrumentation for the project (RP-HPLC, UHPLC & MS, microscopy) is housed at the university, including the NERC-recognised amino acid facility, the Technology Facility and the Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry (CoEMS). 

You will work collaboratively with the larger SEACHANGE team of over 30 scientists. The project will apply a structured and systematic approach to the reconstruction of marine ecosystem baselines and quantify the impact of cultural transitions on marine ecosystems, investigating five key cultural transitions. 

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • First degree and PhD in Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Biology, Archaeological Science, or related subject
  • Knowledge of chemistry and its application to ancient samples
  • Experience of carrying out both independent and collaborative research in a relevant subject area
  • Experience of working with chromatography and / or mass spectrometry 

Interview date: To be confirmed

For informal enquiries: please contact Professor Kirsty Penkman ([email protected] )


Research Field
Chemistry » Analytical chemistry
Education Level
PhD or equivalent

Additional Information
Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
University of York
United Kingdom

Where to apply



Heslington, York
Postal Code
YO10 5DD


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