Research Officer - Biohydrometallurgy and Geomicrobiology: UK

Applications are invited for a fixed-term, full-time post of a Research Officer working in the College of Natural Sciences (School of Biological Sciences) under the direction of Professor Barrie Johnson.

Duties will include carrying out prescribed laboratory-based experimental work, writing full reports of work carried out, liaising with other groups and individuals involved in the EU Horizon2020-funded project CROCODILE: first of a kind commercial Compact system for the efficient Recovery Of CObalt Designed with novel Integrated LEading technologies, attending and presenting at meetings arranged as part of this project. Candidates should have a doctoral (PhD) degree in geomicrobiology or biohydrometallurgy, and have practical experience in carrying out research in mineral bio-processing. A proven track record of publishing in scientific journals and making presentations at international conferences is also expected. The successful candidate will be expected to commence on 1st March 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter and the post is available for a period of 15 months.


The Project

The CROCODILE project aims to develop and apply novel processing strategies for cobalt extraction, recovery and the synthesis of targeted products using an integrated multi-institute and multidisciplinary approach. The research team at Bangor University will be mostly involved in one Work Package (WP 3) in the CROCODILE project. This will involve combining bioleaching of oxidised and reduced cobalt ores with selective removal of the solubilised metal from mineral leachates using microbial sulfidogenesis within two separate Work Tasks: (i) Optimising protocols for effective bioleaching of lateritic and mixed oxide/sulfide ores, and (ii) Scale-up and production of a cobalt concentrate. Full details of the CROCODILE project can be obtained by contacting

Purpose of the Job

The post is part of an established research group (the Bangor Acidophile Research Team) working in the area of biohydrometallurgy and geomicrobiology. The project involves carrying out and reporting on experimental work that will involve the disciplines of microbiology, molecular biology, mineralogy and analytical chemistry. The research outcomes will be incorporated into the key objectives of the CROCODILE project. The post holder will be responsible for conducting, analysing and publishing a series of laboratory based studies and liaising with all partner groups involved in the CROCODILE project.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Setting up and analysing laboratory-based experiments aimed at gathering new insights into microbially-accelerated mineral breakdown and metal solubilisation under conditions envisaged to be suitable for bioleaching both oxidised and reduced mineral ores that contain cobalt. The primary objectives are to develop and demonstrate novel or modified, environmentally-benign biological strategies for extracting cobalt from primary ores, for recovering cobalt from the process liquors, and for biomineralization of cobalt to synthesise targeted products. These biological strategies will be compared with existing (non-biological) approaches used to extract and recover this strategic critical metal;

  • Critical analysis of data, in collaboration with other groups in the CROCODILE project involved in the areas described above.
  • Acquiring and maintaining a thorough and up to date knowledge of the scientific literature related to the research aims of the project. Actively supporting the principal investigator in developing new techniques, validating laboratory models, scheduling and testing research, and collecting and analysing data.
  • Delivering research outcomes. This will include: (i) contributing to the dissemination of research outputs through relevant scientific technical and public press and conferences; (ii) working with partners to disseminate results to industry and other stake holders; (iii) writing regular updates and progress reports for the project management group; (iv) collaborating with co-researchers, including preparation of joint reports and scientific articles; (v) writing of the final report of work carried out within the CROCODILE project.
  • Administration of the research project, to include: (i) participation in project meetings; (ii) helping to coordinate the aims and objectives of the Work Package that Bangor University has responsibility for: (iii) liaison with stakeholders (external and internal).
  • Coordinating with the principal investigator to ensure that the research project is kept within budget.
  • To assist and advise on other research (including undergraduate and postgraduate projects) being carried out by BART personnel, if requested by the head of the research group.

Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and developmental activities.
  • The post holder will be expected to comply with the University’s equality policies and statements, Dignity at Work and Study Policy and the University’s Welsh Language Scheme.
  • The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and wellbeing and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for him/herself and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by his/her actions or inactions. The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments.
  • The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their posts.

Person Specification



  • A PhD degree in geomicrobiology or biohydrometallurgy
  • Research background in mineral bio-processing.



  • The ability to undertake quantitative analysis /strong research method and skill analysis.
  • Proven track record of publications in quality journals.
  • Proven track record of conference presentations.


  • Previous experience in working as a member of a large research consortium.
  • Previous experience of interacting with industry.
  • Experience of field work.



  • Demonstrate good verbal and written skills though the medium of English.
  • Demonstrate good analytical skills, ability to analyse numerical data and present results appropriately.
  • Demonstrate the ability to prioritise work load and work to deadlines.
  • Demonstrated skills in microbiology and molecular biology.


  • Demonstrated skills in molecular biology.
  • Demonstrated skills in mineralogy/geobiology.
  • Demonstrate ability to work as part of a team.
  • Demonstrate proven project management skill.
  • Demonstrate good computer skills, including MS Office, Powerpoint, Excel etc..
  • Demonstrate interpersonal skills.



  • Demonstrate an understanding of the bilingual nature of the institution and area and the ensuing responsibilities.
  • UK Driving licence to be able to occasionally access remote sites.

All members of staff have a duty to ensure their actions are in line with the overall environmental aims of the University and minimise their environmental impact. All offers are made subject to proof of eligibility to work in the UK and receipt of satisfactory references All candidates must meet the requirements of UK ‘right to work’ requirements*

** If you require Home Office permission to work in the UK, or need to switch your visa status in order to take this job, please note that following the introduction by the Government of immigration limits on skilled workers we recommend you use the following link to information about the routes into employment and to check eligibility requirements:

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