PhD Student Position on Oceanography and Paleoclimate in the framework of ERC Project PASSAGE

Web Universidad de Salamanca

Deadline for the reception of candidatures: 15th August 2022

Applications are invited for a PhD Student position for 48 months to be funded by the European Research Council (ERC) Project “PASSAGE: Provenance And transport PathwayS of mArine proxy-bearinG particlEs”, starting in November 2022 and supervised by Dr. Blanca Ausín.

Aims and Scope
PASSAGE investigates the long journey that marine sedimentary components experiment in the ocean since their formation until their final deposition and its impact on climate reconstructions. Sedimentary components encapsule information about the time and environmental conditions in which they were formed and constitute a paramount material to reconstruct past climates. However, their secondary transport to distant locations introduces allochthonous climate signals in our records, raising questions about the robustness and fidelity of corresponding climate interpretations. PASSAGE aims to fill in the knowledge gap on particle transport modes, to generate a new proxy to identify distorted climate signals, and to provide an accessible approach to correct them. Full information about the project can be found here:
Keywords: oceanography, paleoclimatology, biogeoscience, micropaleontology, organic biomarkers, radiocarbon, oceanographic cruises, laboratory experiments

The PhD researcher will contribute to the goals of PASSAGE using a combination of biogeochemical and micropaleontological techniques, such as radiocarbon dating, stable isotopes, biomarker quantification and isolation, geochemical characterization of sedimentary particles, hydrographic data process and implementation of isotope mixing models and correction of existing records. The PhD researcher will conduct original primary research that will conclude with the production of a PhD thesis. The PhD researcher will be based at University of Salamanca and enrol the Oceanic Geosciences research group (, which holds extensive expertise in both Oceanography (water-column, sediment traps, and surface sediments) and Paleoclimate studies (climate variability at different time scales). The PhD researcher will benefit from further continuing education, which includes experience and laboratory skills in sampling and both well-established and novel methods in the (paleo)oceanographic field(s), research stays at other field-leading European institutions (e.g., MARUM (Germany) and ETH (Zurich)), and active participation in oceanographic cruises, workshops, and conferences. The PhD researcher is also given the opportunity to gain teaching experience if language and academic background allow.

We look for a highly motivated and proactive student with a master’s degree in Marine Sciences, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, or related disciplines relevant to the position. Candidates are expected to have a background and interest in oceanography and past climate variability. Prior experience in organic geochemistry or radiocarbon dating would be ideal. Candidates should have strong interest in analytical work, data analyses and interpretation. Programming skills in R or Matlab are highly desirable. They should be able to work both independently and within a team. Good understanding, spoken and written English skills are essential to successfully conduct the research.

Assist in instrument setup and testing
Participate in fieldwork: oceanographic cruises to sample material
Conduct geochemical laboratory experiments and measurements
Analyse and interpret data
Formulate additional hypotheses and research questions
Collaborate, discuss data, and exchange ideas with mentors and international partners
Write high quality research manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals
Disseminate results at international conferences
Mentor undergraduate students

Conditions of contract
This is a full-time (37.5 hours a week) PhD contract limited to 48 months. The gross salary is 1.550 €/month (14 salaries a year) during the first and second years, and 1.600 €/month (14 salaries a year) during the third and fourth years
The work must be carried on-site at University of Salamanca (Spain)
Estimated starting date: November 1st, 2022

Deadline: August 15th 2022
Interested candidates must send (i) a brief CV (maximum 3 pages), (ii) a letter of their research interest and motivation for this position, experience, and skills, (iii) two recommendation letters, and (iv) transcripts and diplomas of their BAs and MAs degrees to the following email address:

For further information and inquiries contact Dr. Blanca Ausín at

Selection process
The selection commission will ensure a transparent, open, equal, and internationally accepted recruitment process, with special care for gender issues.
Applications will be valued based on better adaptation of the Curriculum vitae to the profile established and compliance with the requirements. Selected candidates will be invited for an on-line interview in which they will provide a 15-minute presentation and will answer questions from the selection commission.

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Proyecto financiado por el Ministerio de Educación en el marco del programa Campus de Excelencia Internacional y por el Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, dentro del Plan Nacional de Investigación Científica, Desarrollo e Innovación Tecnológica.