Research Specialist

Champaign, Illinois
Salary is commensurate with experience: $45,000-$55,000
Feb 23, 2021
Mar 25, 2021
Field of specialization
Job Type
Full time

Research Specialist
Department of Geology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research Specialist will provide technical support for, and operate, four analytical instruments: A Nu Plasma multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer; A Thermo-Fisher Delta V gas-source isotope ratio mass spectrometer; a Photon Machines 193nm excimer laser ablation device; and a Thermo-Fisher iCAP-Q single collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer.  

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit


Perform and analyze research related to the four instruments associated with the Geochemistry Laboratory, including:

  • Overseeing scheduling and use of instruments and sample preparation facilities, and maintaining supplies of laboratory consumables
  • Supervise and train new users of the instruments 
  • Perform routine maintenance and assist with repairs and upgrades of the instruments 
  • Operate instruments to perform routine analyses 
  • Perform sample preparation 
  • Take part in preparing research publications and proposals
  • Improve and develop analytical methods 
  • Monitor long term precision of instruments based on replicates and standards 
  • Perform other duties necessary for the smooth functioning of the Geochemistry Laboratory


Required: Bachelor's Degree in Geoscience or a related field (e.g., Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Biology) at the time of appointment; A minimum of one year of research experience working with mass spectrometry, geochemical analyses, or closely related analytical methods.

Preferred: Master's degree or Ph.D. in Geoscience or a related field (e.g., Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Biology) at the time of appointment; Two or more years of research experience working with mass spectrometry, geochemical analyses, or closely related analytical methods. Experience with analysis using a gas-source isotope ratio mass spectrometer; a multicollector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer, or a single collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer. Experience with analytical method development. Experience training analytical instrument users.

Successful candidates will have excellent organization, problem-solving, and communication skills. Potential to learn advanced technical procedures and, over time, master the operation and maintenance of all four instruments in the Geochemistry Laboratory. Ability to work independently and take charge of laboratory operations. Ability to interact well with a large and diverse group of laboratory users, and train and support users as they learn advanced methods


This is a full-time academic professional position appointed on a 12 month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.

To apply for this position, please create a candidate profile at, directly apply to our position and upload your cover letter and resume by March 23, 2021. Online application will require names and contact information including email addresses for three professional references. Full consideration will be given to complete applications received by the closing date.

For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-6747.  For further information on this specific position, please contact Jennifer Druhan at   

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois must also comply with applicable federal export control laws and regulations and, as such, reserves the right to employ restricted party screening procedures for applicants. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.