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Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher (PUSHH)

Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
41,070 or 44,930 (Family allowance if applicable)
Interview Date
13 May 2020
Posted Date
Apply by
Job Reference

Role Description


The Department of Chemistry at the University of York has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No.861389. This vacancy offers a 3 year, fully-funded PhD on “Amino acid racemisation based chronologies” (Ref ESR14) as part of a European Training Network (ETN) entitled “Palaeoproteomics to Unleash Studies on Human History” (PUSHH).  You will be supervised by Dr Kirsty Penkman and Professor Jane Thomas Oates. The PUSHH ETN builds on the recent exciting advances in “palaeoproteomics” – the use of ancient proteins to understand the past, see for more details.

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest and most successful departments at York, renowned internationally for our research. As a department, we strive to provide a working environment that allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We are proud of our Athena SWAN Gold Award.


To be eligible for this role on 1st September 2020 you must:

  • be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the UK for more than 12 months in the preceding 3 years.

Main duties:

  • To provide support to the research project, undertaking research work on the ESR 14 project within the overall programme of the PUSHH ETN and assisting with the day to day operation of the project. The research will involve combining liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry of experimental and fossil samples to understand protein breakdown, develop geochronologies and unpick evolutionary relationships
  • To work closely with the project supervisors to prepare work for dissemination, presenting preliminary findings at meetings within the research groups as appropriate.
  • To assist in writing articles, papers, reports or books as appropriate.
  • To participate in the dissemination of research findings internally and externally at seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • To undertake a programme of learning and development, in the form of a PhD , as an integral part of the role

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • Undergraduate degree in Chemistry (or relevant related subject); minimum 2:1 or equivalent grade.
  • Applicants who do not have English as their first language will need to meet or exceed the requirements for Chemistry PhD entry:
  • Broad knowledge and experience of Chemistry and its application to ancient samples and of synthetic and of a range of relevant research techniques, including liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.
  • Appreciation ofthe challenges of working with complex samples containing trace biomolecules
  • Ability to undertake academic research, organise own research activities to agreed deadlines and quality standards
  • Excellent IT and oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to provide support to staff and students and work as part of a team and independently using own initiative
  • Commitment to and enthusiasm for travel and studying overseas
  • Interest in and enthusiasm for palaeoproteomics and geochronology

For informal enquiries: please contact Kirsty Penkman on

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