Senior Research Specialist

Urbana, Illinois
Up to $55,000 + benefits
Jul 09, 2018
Aug 08, 2018
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

The Department of Geology within the School of Earth, Society, and Environment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is seeking applications for a Senior Research Specialist who will research and analyze the critical functions of the Helium Analysis Laboratory (HAL).  The HAL is centered around the science of Uranium-Thorium/Helium ((U-Th)/He) measurements for rock dating purposes. 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Perform and analyze research using a suite of instruments associated with the Helium Analysis Laboratory (HAL)
  • Grain selection and sample preparation using a microscope
  • Degassing of helium from selected grains on a custom-built laser extraction line and subsequent measurement on a connected gas-source mass spectrometer
  • Dissolution of mineral grains, isotope dilution, and subsequent measurement of U and Th concentrations on an iCAP Q ICP-MS.
  • Perform experiments including noble gas extraction and measurement systems, wet chemistry procedures focused on isotope dilution geochemistry, and ICP-MS methods
  • Guiding samples through the dating of various mineral systems that are necessary to obtain a (U-Th)/He date.
  • Interface with faculty, staff, students, and external users that enter the lab and assist them in all aspects of the U-Th)/He dating process.  All users of the lab will often require some initial training in the sample selection and preparation and guidance in the collection of helium measurement data from the noble gas line
  • Supervise the running of the noble gas instrument

Required Qualifications

  • Master's Degree in Geosciences or a closely related field  (e.g. Environmental Sciences, Geology, Geochemistry, Analytical Chemistry)
  • A minimum of two years of research experience, preferably as part of a graduate program, working in a noble gas or mass spectrometry laboratory
  • Exceptional organization, problem-solving and communication skills.
  • Able to work independently and interact well with a large and diverse research group.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ph.D. degree
  • Four or more years of research experience working in a noble gas or mass spectrometry laboratory


The candidate will be a full-time, benefits-eligible academic professional appointed on a 12-month service basis. Eligibility for benefits are contingent on your citizenship or work authorization.  For full details on eligibility requirements, please reference . The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.


To apply, create a candidate profile through and upload your application materials: a letter of application and resume/CV in a single pdf.  Online application will require names and contact information including email addresses for three professional references. For inquiries about the position and application procedures, contact the Search Committee through Jill Randell at  The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. 

For full consideration, applications must be submitted by August 10, 2018.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit