Research Assistant – Ocean Acidification & Biogeochemistry, Ryan Institute, College of Science, NUI Galway

Closing date: 31 October 2017

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full time, fixed term position as a Research Assistant with the Ryan Institute at the National University of Ireland, Galway. This position is funded by the Marine Institute and is for 2 years.

The Ryan Institute is the National University of Ireland, Galway’s hub for Environmental, Marine and Energy research and contributes to some of the most important national and international, long-term, environmental, marine and energy research issues.  Staff from a range of disciplines and schools across the University contribute to research in the Institute. The research project to which this post will be linked includes staff from the School of Natural Sciences (disciplines of Earth & Ocean Sciences and Botany & Plant Sciences) and from the School of Physics.   

Job Description:  The successful candidate will be involved in day to day support for a range of research activities involving physical, chemical and biological studies related to ocean acidification (OA). The post will be based partly at NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute and partly at the Marine Institute in Rinville, Oranmore, Co. Galway, as different phases of the project are undertaken. The project involves a considerable amount of fieldwork which will involve travel and some out of hours work, and will include seagoing work. Training for specific skills will be given where required. Candidate will have the opportunity to become involved in the development of a CPD module in ocean acidification and biogeochemistry suitable for persons involved in environmental monitoring.


• Lead and carry out fieldwork. This will include support for OA sampling on annual winter oceanographic surveys across the Rockall Trough and winter surveys in Irish coastal waters, including preparation of sampling equipment and participation in surveys. It will include assisting with the refurbishment, calibration & testing of pCO2 sensors and installation and maintenance on board ship, as well as the set-up of sensors (salinity, temperature, pH, DO) at remote coastal sites (requires driving) and the carrying out of regular sampling of OA and biogeochemical parameters which may include snorkelling/diving.

• Carrying out laboratory analyses. This will involve laboratory analysis of OA parameters, nutrients, O2, salinity, and the analysis of data from sensors (e.g. post-survey pCO2 data processing and analysis, analysis of temperature, salinity, light sensor data).

• Report writing and dataset compilation and control. Successful candidate will be expected to maintain accurate records of work carried out and to contribute to project reports. They will also be involved in the collation and quality control of datasets for submission to national (Marine Institute) and international (ICES, OCADS) databases.   

Qualifications/Skills required:   Candidates must demonstrate good coastal/marine field skills, must be willing to drive university vehicles to remote sites, must demonstrate good literacy and numeracy, must demonstrate strong communication skills and good time management skills. Must have a flexible approach to their work, as some evening and weekend work will be required, and seagoing for up to 3 weeks at a time once or twice per year.

The ideal candidate must be able to demonstrate background knowledge and a keen interest in one or more of physical oceanography, marine chemistry, marine biology, air-sea interaction, and be willing to be trained up in a wide variety of techniques related to making oceanographic measurements and analysing water samples and related data. An interest in ocean acidification an advantage. Candidate will ideally be qualified to M.Sc. level though candidates with a good B.Sc. in a relevant subject plus commercial or other relevant experience are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidate with a B.Sc.may have the opportunity to carry out a part-time MSc. by research within the project.

Candidates will need to demonstrate skills and aptitude for working with both instrumentation and data and must be fit and able to carry out fieldwork both at sea on research vessels and from small boats in coastal waters.  Candidates must have or be prepared to obtain PST certificate in Personal Survival Techniques and must have or be fit to pass an ENG-11 seafarer’s medical certificate. Driving licence essential, and good driving experience required, licence enabling towing an advantage. Seagoing experience essential. Scuba diving certification an advantage.  Powerboat handling qualification an advantage.

Employment permit restrictions apply for this category of post.   

Salary: €21,850 to €23,181 per annum.      Start date: January 2018

Further information on research and working at NUI Galway is available on Research at NUI Galway

For information on moving to Ireland please see

Further information about the Ryan Institute is available at

Informal enquiries concerning the post may be made to Dr. Rachel Cave, rachel.cave (at), +353 91 492351

To Apply:  Applications to include a covering letter, CV,and the contact details of two referees should be sent, either via e-mail (in word, odf or PDF only) to Dr. Rachel Cave: email: rachel.cave (at) Please put reference number NUIG 153-17 in subject line of e-mail application.

Or by post to.Dr. Rachel Cave, Earth & Ocean Sciences, National University of Ireland, Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm on Tuesday, 31st October 2017.

Interviews will likely be held week beginning 20th November 2017.

More information.

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