Paleonet: postdoctoral researcher vacancy

McNamara, Maria maria.mcnamara at
Thu Apr 7 07:21:20 UTC 2016

Dear All,

Postdoc position available at University College Cork.

Post Doctoral Researcher
Closing Date for Applications: 15 Apr 2016
School: School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences
College: College of Science, Engineering and Food Science
Contract Type: Fixed Term Whole-Time
Job Type: Research
Salary: €33,975 - €42,394 p.a.
Position Summary

Applications are invited for a three-year postdoctoral research position funded by the European Research Council investigating the biological significance of colour patterning in fossil insects.

Why fossil colour?

Colour underpins visual signalling in extant animals and also has diverse physiological functions. Fossilised evidence of colour can therefore provide insights into the behaviour and physiology of ancient animals and is a major focus of interdisciplinary research worldwide.

The project

The successful candidate will undertake quantitative analysis of colour patterns in fossil insects and taphonomic experiments on colour patterns in extant insects using in-house facilities for laboratory decay and high pressure-high temperature maturation. The successful applicant will use morphometric analysis, electron microprobe microanalysis, synchrotron-X-ray fluorescence, and time of flight-secondary ion mass spectrometry. In addition to research, the successful candidate will also have opportunities to undertake supervision of PhD and undergraduate projects, occasional undergraduate teaching, fieldwork on related projects, and to participate in public outreach events.


Applicants should have a PhD in palaeobiology, preferably with considerable experience of research into taphonomy and / or palaeoentomology and / or morphometric analysis. The research requires skills in at least some of the microscopic and chemical analytical skills listed above. Candidates should demonstrate a track record of high-calibre research published in peer-reviewed journals, and should demonstrate excellent communication, organising, problem solving and computing skills.

The School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES)

The School of BEES at University College Cork (UCC) is one of the most successful Schools in UCC in terms of grant capture and PhD completion. It is located in three interconnected buildings on extensive grounds and comprises 30 academic staff, 20 postdoctoral researchers and >100 postgraduate students supported by 14 administrative and technical staff. New in-house laboratory facilities include tissue histology, palaeontology, environmental scanning electron microscopy, and a high-pressure laboratory dedicated to experimental maturation (under construction). Researchers in the palaeobiology group have access to additional analytical facilities elsewhere in the university, including field emission scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and microspectrophotometry.

The successful candidate will join a team of researchers working on the evolution and taphonomy of colour in animals, and will benefit from an extensive global network of collaborators.

Project start date: June-July 2016

Post Duration: 36 months

Key Duties and Responsibilities

This title will apply to newly qualified Post-Doctoral Researchers and will be considered as a period of training as the researcher will have dual goals in terms of the research project and their own career development.  The researcher will be mentored by a Principal Investigator (PI).  It is expected that a researcher would spend not more than 3 years at the Post Doctoral level, subject to the term of the project and would then be eligible to compete for a Senior Post Doctoral post advertised by the University.

The primary focus of the Postdoctoral Researcher will be research however a particular emphasis during this stage should include;
·         To conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision and direction of a Principal Investigator/Project Leader.
·         To engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by the Principal Investigator, School or College in order to develop research skills and competencies.
·         To gain experience in grant writing.To engage in the dissemination of the results of the research in which they are engaged, as directed by, with the support of and under the supervision of a Principal Investigator.
·         To become familiar with the publication process.
·         To acquire generic and transferable skills (including project management, business skills and postgraduate mentoring/supervision).
·         To engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of the research group, School or College.
·         To interact closely with postgraduate research students who are studying for a Masters or a PhD and possibly have an agreed role in supporting these students in their day to day research in conjunction with an academic supervisor.
·         To carry out administrative work to support the programme of research.
·         To carry out additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.
·         To contribute to costing research grant proposals and assist in the financial management of a research project.
·         A PhD qualification.
·         Appropriate research experience.
·         Appropriate technical competence and accomplishment.
·         A capability of working within a project team to achieve results.
·         Good communication, organisation and interpersonal skills.
·         A commitment to gaining practical experience working on a research project.
·         Ability to work well within a team.

For Informal Enquiries on the post candidates should contact:

Name: Dr Maria McNamara

Title: Lecturer in Geology

Email Address: maria.mcnamara at<mailto:maria.mcnamara at>

Telephone: +353 21 490 4570[skypec2c://r/204]+353 21 490 4570

To Apply:

Please submit a short cover letter and C.V. to Dr Maria McNamara (maria.mcnamara at<mailto:maria.mcnamara at>, on or before the closing date of Friday 15th April 2016.

Supplementary Information on the Department/Research Centre and the post is available at the following URLs: maria.mcnamara at<mailto:maria.mcnamara at>,

Dr Maria McNamara
Lecturer in Geology
School of Biological, Earth and
Environmental Science
University College Cork
North Mall, Cork

Tel: +353 21 490 4570
Fax: +353 21 490 4664

University College Cork is named The Sunday Times University of the Year 2016:<>

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