Research Fellow in Deep Sea Environmental Impact Assessment

Queen's University Belfast

The School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, is currently seeking to appoint an exceptional candidate to the post of Research Fellow.

The postholder will join the research team led by Dr Patrick Collins, Lecturer in Marine Science, School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast to work on an EU Funded Programme, Horizon 2020: Technology based impact assessment tool for sustainable, transparent Deep Sea Mining exploration and exploitation (TRIDENT).

We are looking for a Research Fellow to join the QUB Marine Biology Research Group to play a key role in the TRIDENT programme. TRIDENT is tasked with developing technologies and recommended protocols within the European context for managing and monitoring (in real time) the environmental impacts of deep-sea mining.

This 18-month full-time PDRA research position will assist Dr Collins in fulfilling QUB’s obligation in the TRIDENT project and will be assisted by an additional PDRA to be appointed at the same time. The successful candidate will be an employee at Queen’s University Belfast based either in the main campus or at the Portaferry marine station.

The PDRA will primarily focus on collating existing data relating to the deep-sea mining test site on Tropic Seamount, offshore Mauritania. The data will be interrogated to assess its suitability for an environmental baseline (e.g. assign biotopes using ROV collected video). Data gaps will be identified and prioritised for field work in 2024, with a special emphasis on magnitude and spatial extent of mining impacts to determine baseline parameter sensitivity.

The PDRA will be involved at the initial stages of the project focussing on the development of an environmental baseline assessment of the simulated deep sea mining test site on Tropic Seamount, offshore Mauritania; advancing our understanding of the geological and benthic boundary background environmental processes at Tropic Seamount which possesses cobalt crusts and ferromanganese nodules, assessing the environmental impact of simulated mining against the baseline and improving environmental baseline draft recommendations. 

The candidate will drive the QUB TRIDENT research agenda, under direction of Dr Collins, assist in postgraduate supervision, networking, and collaborations across the TRIDENT programme and beyond, carry out data analysis and lead on publications. 

The successful candidate must have, and your application should clearly demonstrate you have:

  • Obtained or are about to obtain a PhD in Marine Biology or related field.
  • At least 3 years’ relevant research experience to include:
  • Experience with marine image-based data analysis
  • Experience with habitat/biotope mapping.

Please note the above are not an exhaustive list. For further information about the role including the essential and desirable criteria please click the Candidate Information link below.

This post is fixed term until 31 October 2024. Fixed term contract posts are available for the stated period in the first instance but in particular circumstances may be renewed or made permanent subject to availability of funding.
At Queen’s our people are at the heart of everything we do. As a staff member you will become part of a vibrant organisational culture, which will provide you with the opportunity to achieve your full potential and enhance your career through a continuous focus on learning and development.

We offer an excellent employment package that includes:

  • Great terms & conditions
  • Pension schemes
  • Flexible working by enabling you to design your working week in collaboration with your manager through a blend of remote and office working                              
  • Family-friendly initiatives
  • Career development opportunities
  • Support for health & mental wellbeing
  • Generous holiday entitlement of 8.4 weeks a year (made up of 23 days annual leave, 10 closure days and 9 bank holidays)

Queen’s University is committed to promoting equality of opportunity to all. We have created an inclusive culture by establishing staff networks such as iRise (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and International Staff Network) and PRISM (LGBTQ+) which help us progress equality.

We also subscribe to Equality Charter Marks such as the Diversity Charter Mark NI in addition to Athena Swan. For further information on our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, please visit: ;  and

Informal enquiries may be directed to Dr Jon Houghton at [email protected]  

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