Postdoctoral Position In Advanced Curation Methods For Mars Sample Return

SCI Earth&Atmospheric Sciences

Competition No.  -    A107946474
Closing Date  -    Will remain open until filled.

There is an open Postdoctoral Research Fellow position in the University of Alberta Meteorite Curation Facility.

The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in the study of advanced curation methods for planetary materials, with a focus on samples to be returned from Mars.

The successful candidate will work with Dr. Christopher Herd to investigate the best ways to preserve samples returned from future space missions (astromaterials), through simulations of returned sample curation and analysis. Using the University of Alberta Subzero Facility for Curation of Astromaterials, in collaboration with NASA-Johnson Space Center Curation experts, the candidate will develop and refine advanced methods of astromaterials curation, with a focus on processing of Mars samples. The successful candidate will be put forward for Collaborator membership status on the science team for the NASA Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission, and would participate in Returned Sample Science operational roles for the mission.

Applicants should have a recent (within 5 years) Ph.D. in the general area of planetary materials research (petrology and/or geochemistry). Experience with planetary materials, especially involving the analysis of organic matter, DNA extraction and sequencing, and/or experience in museum collections management or conservation, would be considered an asset.

The position would be for one (1) year, renewable for up to one (1) additional year. Although preference may be given to Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents, citizens of other countries are eligible and are encouraged to apply.

To Apply:

Applicants should forward a letter of interest, a curriculum vita with a list of publications, and a list of three references to:

Dr. Christopher Herd

1-26 Earth Sciences Building

University of Alberta

Edmonton, AB T6G 2E3 Canada

T: 780 492-5798 (1) if outside of Canada

COVID-19 Vaccination: Proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 in compliance with the University’s COVID-19 Vaccination Directive. Fully Vaccinated means a status an individual achieves 14 days after having received the recommended number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization, and requires the individual to maintain the recommended number and type of vaccine doses as updated and required by Health Canada thereafter.

How to Apply


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered. The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.