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Researcher 4: Assistant Research Scientist at the Natural Resources Research Institute

University of Minnesota
This position is located at the Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth, MN
The University also offers a comprehensive benefits package
Closing date
Apr 17, 2024

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Geochemistry, Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology
Career Level
Education Level
Desired Certifications
Professional Geologist
Job Type
Relocation Cost
Sector Type

Job opening: 360188, apply here

The Natural Resources Research Institute was established by the Minnesota legislature in 1983 as an applied science and engineering research organization to inform state citizens and decision-makers while leveraging the power of the University of Minnesota. NRRI is guided by the forward-looking charter provided by the Legislature to foster the economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment. NRRI’s mission is to deliver integrated research solutions that value our resources, environment, and economy for a sustainable and resilient future. We are a mission-driven, project-focused team working to create opportunities for natural resource stewardship. With industrial-scale facilities in Duluth and Coleraine, MN, NRRI works across five strategic research platforms. These platforms address Minnesota’s soil, forest, water, and mineral resources:

  • Applied Ecology and Resource Management
  • Minerals and Metallurgy
  • Materials and Bioeconomy
  • Data Collection and Delivery
  • Commercialization Services

This intermediate-level research position is responsible for the execution and management of comprehensive research projects related to the origin and occurrence of natural resources. The successful candidate must have significant training and experience in one or more of the following areas: Mineralogy, Petrology, Geochemistry and Structural Geology and a demonstrated record of successful execution and completion of research projects in areas of specialized interest. The successful candidate will work on a wide variety of projects, including but not limited to 1) examination of geological characteristics of natural resources; 2) fieldwork, sample-collection, laboratory sample preparation; 3) petrographic studies of collected samples; 4) contributing to analytical reports and participating in group efforts to prepare manuscripts for publication. The researcher will be expected to contribute to ongoing collaborative research programs across the Institute. Predominantly day trips but occasional overnight travel to field locations and to external labs will be needed for up to 15% of the time.

Travel will be needed for fieldwork and sample collection. Lab work will include sample studies in hand and under microscope. Visiting external labs for sample analysis and data collection will be needed from time to time. Lifting heavy objects up to 40 lbs. might be occasionally required.

The researcher will work under the supervision of an NRRI research manager to engage in research and associated activities such as project development, management of resources, and team leadership to achieve the strategic objectives of the Institute. The position leverages Institute policies and procedures and applies project management skills in concert with their technical expertise to manage day-to-day research activities.

Project Development 50 %, Research Funding 20%, Publications 20%, Operational Assistance 10%.

***Please note this position is NOT eligible for sponsorship***

Required Qualifications: 

  • BS/BA plus 4 years applicable experience or MS plus 2 years applicable experience in geological sciences or in related areas of study from an accredited college or university in one or more of the following areas: mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, structural geology, and high temperature geochemistry
  • Demonstrated knowledge of geology and mineral resources
  • Experience in geological fieldwork.
  • Experience in drill core collection and inspection.
  • Proficiency with petrological microscopes and the development of comprehensive lithogeochemical models of rock systems.
  • Proficiency in written and oral English.
  • Experience in working with collaborative teams.
  • Lifting heavy objects up to 40 lbs. might be occasionally required.
  • Working in rugged terrains and visiting mining and industrial locations are expected occasionally
  • Must possess a valid US Drivers License

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in geospatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Proficiency in lithogeochemical software such as ioGAS and IGPET.
  • Knowledge and experience in the geology of the Great Lakes Region.
  • Experience using mineralogical techniques and analytical methods such as MLA/QEMSCAN, XRD, Electron Microprobe (EPMA) and X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRF).
  • A record of publishing peer-reviewed articles and geological maps.
  • Experience in project management, execution, and reporting.

Applications must be submitted online.  To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions.  You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a Cover Letter and Resume. You are required to attach a Cover letter and Resume. Please apply before April 19th to ensure full consideration, the position is open until filled. 

The University also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes:

  • Competitive wages, paid holidays, and generous time off
  • Continuous learning opportunities through professional training and degree-seeking programs supported by the Regents Tuition Benefit Program
  • Low-cost medical, dental, and pharmacy plans
  • Healthcare and dependent care flexible spending accounts
  • University HSA contributions
  • Disability and employer-paid life insurance
  • Employee wellbeing program
  • Excellent retirement plans with employer contribution
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) opportunity
  • Financial counseling services 
  • Employee Assistance Program with eight sessions of counseling at no cost

Please visit the Office of Human Resources website for more information regarding benefits.


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