Research Associate with expertise in Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Illinois
Jul 31, 2018
Aug 30, 2018
Career Level
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

The Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences at Northern Illinois University is searching for a Research Associate with expertise in Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS).  The ideal applicant will have a background in solid and liquid materials characterization and a thorough understanding of the scientific principles and analytical practices of mass spectrometry.  Daily duties will involve preparation and analysis of samples, data collection and interpretation, supervision and training of new users, and maintenance, trouble-shooting and repair of the LA-ICP-MS facility and its associated peripheral devices.


  • Conduct departmental, university and external, contracted analyses using the LA-ICP-MS facility in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences
  • Continuously develop and implement innovative, modern protocols for LA-ICP-MS analysis
  • Maintain the LA-ICP-MS system and its associated sample preparation facilities to ensure the lab produces the highest quality results
  • Train new users of the LA-ICP-MS facilities 
  • Maintain an active level of independently and externally funded research and/or be actively involved with collaborative faculty and student research in the department
  • Submit proposals individually or as part of a collaboration to obtain external funding
  • Operate and maintain other analytical research equipment as needed

Required and preferred skills:

  • A Ph.D. in geoscience, materials science, chemistry or a related discipline is required
  • Two years of research and analytical experience in LA-ICP-MS is required
  • At least one year of experience with the following analytical instruments is desired:
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Element 2 ICP-MS instrument
  • 193 nm Excimer lasers

Additional analytical equipment in the department includes:  

  • Thermo Scientific MAT 253 mass spectrometer
  • Thermo Scientific DELTAplus Advantage mass spectrometer
  • JEOL 5610 scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive spectrometry 
  • Shimadzu XRF-1800 Sequential X-ray fluorescence spectrometer
  • Bruker powder X-ray diffractometer
  • Varian Saturn 3800 gas chromatograph and 2100T mass spectrometer
  • See the department webpage for additional information on resources and facilities:

This is a 12-month, full-time appointment as supportive professional staff.

Apply by visiting the online portal at: Review of completed applications will begin on August 15, 2018; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  Applicants must submit a résumé/CV, a list of references, and a letter of application describing your research interests and qualifications. The letter should outline past research activities and accomplishments and plans for future research.  It should also include a strategy for obtaining external funding and an explanation of how your research leverages departmental facilities and integrates with or complements current faculty expertise.  

In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.

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