Ice Core Analytical Chemist

Job reference:
BAS 123/19
Contract type:
Full Time
Fixed-Term Appointment (36 months)
Starting salary from £30,782 to £38,478 per annum.
We offer generous benefits
British Antarctic Survey
BAS Cambridge
Closing date:
26 January, 2020 11:59 pm


The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is seeking an enthusiastic and motivated post-doctoral researcher to join our expanding ice core research group. You will join a team of scientists, students and engineers engaged in ice core drilling, chemical and isotopic analysis, gas extraction and paleoclimate modelling. You will be part of a world-leading Polar research institute and a member of the UK ice core hub, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, comprising of more than 18 ice core researchers.

The main responsibility is the chemical analysis of ice cores using our bespoke continuous flow analysis (CFA) system. The successful candidate will also design and develop their own research projects, using existing data or ice cores from the BAS archive, aligned with the teams objectives of reconstructing past climate over decadal to millennial timescales.

Applicants are required to have a PhD in Earth science, Chemistry, or related subjects. Knowledge and experience of ice core analysis, particularly CFA or trace chemistry, would be an advantage.


A post-doctoral position in the British Antarctic ice core group to analyse polar ice cores using continuous flow analysis (CFA). The candidate will work with a team of analytical chemists, technicians and students to continuously measure high-resolution chemistry, stable water isotopes and methane. The candidate will assist in the maintenance, trouble shooting and method development of the CFA system, a key part of NERC’s National Capability – “Ice core acquisition and analysis”.

The candidate is also expected to lead on their own research (~50%), aligned with the ice core group objectives. This can involve new data collection, method development and proxy interpretation. Current areas of interest include (but are not limited to):
- Proxy development and interpretation
- Reconstructing past climate and surface mass balance over decadal to millennial timescales
- Reconstructing past sea ice and atmospheric circulation

The candidate is expected to contribute to group outputs and publish quality data in high impact journals as first author.


PhD in Chemistry, environmental science or paleoclimate (or similar analytical degree).


• Analyse ice cores using continuous flow analysis (CFA)
• Work with the analytical laboratory manager and technician in the maintenance, troubleshooting
and method development of the CFA instruments
• Cut and process ice core samples in the -20 cold laboratory
• Prepare standards and samples in the wet chemistry laboratory
• Process and archive data (Matlab) for paleoclimate research and collaborate on group
• Conduct independent research using existing ice core samples and data from the BAS
archive (aligned to groups objectives)
• Publish results in high-impact journals
• Participate in outreach activities, including tours of the labs and media engagement when
• Any other tasks as identified by the Director

Please quote reference: BAS 123/19
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 26th January 2020
Interviews are scheduled to be held: 5th February 2020

BAS is an Equal Opportunity employer. As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome. We operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for the job. We are open to a range of flexible working options, including job sharing, to support childcare and other caring responsibilities.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills - a) oral skills b) written skills

  • Fluent in written and spoken English language - Essential
  • Strong publication record - Desirable [1]

Computer / IT skills

  • Ability to learn instrument software - Essential
  • Knowledge and experience using labview and Matlab - Desirable [1]

Decision Making

  • Leading independent research - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Ability to work as part of a team - Essential

Managerial ability

  • Ability to manage own time - Essential

Numerical ability

  • Strong numerical skills - Essential

Other Factors

  • Ability to work flexibly - Essential


  • PhD in Chemistry, environmental science or paleoclimate (or similar analytical degree) - Essential

Resource Management ability

  • Manage the needs of other lab users - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Significant laboratory experience. - Essential
  • Significant analytical chemistry - Essential
  • Experience of instrument maintenance - Essential
  • Experience using Continuous flow analysis (CFA) - Desirable [2]
  • Experience using ICP-MS and ion chromatography (or similar) - Desirable [1]
  • Experience with analytical techniques - Desirable [1]
  • Experience working in clean laboratory - Desirable [3]
  • Experience working in a cold laboratory - Desirable [3]
  • Ice core or paleoclimate - Desirable [1]

You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.

Apply Online:

Apply by post:

If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, you can print the application form(s) and post it back to us.

Please ensure you complete all required sections of the application form(s) and include a Cover Letter and a copy of your CV.

When posting your application, ensure there is sufficient postage.

These forms are in an OpenDocument format and may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. An accessible format may be requested by contacting us.

Send your completed application forms to:
Human Resources Team
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross, Madingley Road
United Kingdom

If you need more information

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 221400
Facsimile: +44 (0)1223 362616

The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.

The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.

Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.

Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.