20/04/2020
The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers
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PhD. In geosciences, ITN MSCA H2020, PANORAMA (offer 1)

This job offer has expired


  • ORGANISATION/COMPANY
    Université de Rennes 1
  • RESEARCH FIELD
    Environmental scienceEarth science
  • RESEARCHER PROFILE
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE
    30/09/2020 23:00 - Europe/London
  • LOCATION
    France › Rennes
  • TYPE OF CONTRACT
    Temporary
  • JOB STATUS
    Full-time
  • HOURS PER WEEK
    35
  • OFFER STARTING DATE
    01/10/2020
  • EU RESEARCH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
  • MARIE CURIE GRANT AGREEMENT NUMBER
    857989
  • IS THE JOB RELATED TO STAFF POSITION WITHIN A RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE?
    Yes

OFFER DESCRIPTION

Ph.D. Title : REE interactions with organo-mineral colloids as a control of the REE environmental dissemination

Research objectives

Characterize and model REE interactions with organo-mineral colloids, which partially control REE dissemination in the environment.

Rare earth elements (REE) are crucial to a wide range of modern technologies such as catalytic additives, hybrid vehicles, wind turbines, oil refining and lighting technologies; all of them rely on the chemical, optical and electro-optic, and paramagnetic properties of REE.The industrial use of REE and all the strategies developed to increase the REE supply by either mining or recycling also increase the REE fluxes resulting in environmental and occupational exposures. Potential concerns about the environmental safety of their use is raisen, since concentrations already 100 times above background in some areas have been reported. Disruption of biogeochemical cycles by some REE is already apparent notably in aquatic and terrestrial environments. However, many uncertainties in our current understanding and modelling are related to the lack of studies on the REE anthropogenic sources (e.g. mining and mining waste, recycling wastes, gasoil, oil sands, etc.) and transfer. Moreover, no studies were dedicated to the understanding of the mechanisms that control their transport in between soils, waters and sediments. A major reason is that REE are particle-reactive, having high affinity for colloids that subsequently control both their mobility and transport.

The pH.D. project aims at providing both speciation datasets and innovative analytical and modelling tools required to fully understand the intimate bonds linking REE to heterogeneous colloids. Such knowledge is crucial to understand, quantify and predict the REE mobility, bioavailability and toxicity in the environment. Investigate the REE speciation onto heterogeneous surfaces is still unexplored and requires advanced spectrometry and spectroscopic techniques (XAS, WAXS, SAXS, GC-MS, etc.) but also the development of innovative analytical and colloids-characterization methodologies adapted to field studies (e.g. REE selective electrodes, field DLS). Indeed, the “nano-speciation” of REE is still unexplored. By developing multi-dimensional analytical approach, such as field flow fractionation coupled to high resolved mass spectrometry, a one-step further approach will be achieved on the REE distribution to colloidal phase. New development using MSn will allow to characterize trace REE and related mechanisms to colloids and other nanoscale materials. The use of multi angle light scattering associated to these methods will bring new data on the implication of the colloid aggregation mechanisms on the REE distribution.

The ESR will benefit from advanced expertise on REE-surface modelling from UR1, spectroscopy from SOLEIL and huge technical expertise of Cordouan Technology. More precisely, the pH.D. project will consist on a coupling between experimental laboratory work, field campaign and modelling calculations to investigate the distribution of REE on heterogeneous nanoparticules in order to evaluate the ability of such nanoparticules to control the REE bioavailabilty and dissemination in the environment. For this, nanoparticules will not only synthetize in the laboratory but also collected in contrasted REE contaminated sites. The targeted field sites (Portugal, Spain, France) were selected according to both their low (wetlands) and high REE contamination (mine) level.

 

Presentation of the research project (cooperative aspect)

This PhD position is within the framework of a European ITN project named PANORAMAM: EuroPean trAining NetwOrk on Rare eArth elements environMental trAnsfer: from rock to human involving 15 PhD positions.

Under the supervision of Mélanie Davranche and Julien Gigault, the PhD student will investigate the binding between REE and heterogeneous synthetic and natural nanoparticles under various physico-chemical parameters. The nanoparticles were characterized following advanced characterization techniques (DLS, Zeta potential, SAXS, WAXS, SANS, A4F-UV-SLS-ICPMS, XAS spectroscopy, CryoMET, etc….) as well as the REE-nanoparticles physico-chemical interactions (A4F-UV-ICPMS, XAS spectroscopy, etc). All the produced dataset, will secondly be modelled to test various binding scenaris and determined the most relevant REE-nanoparticles complexation mecanisms in order to estimate REE bioavailabilty and potential dissemination in the environment.

The project involves a strong collaboration with several institution and private company, including required research stays (secondment) with SOLEIL (2 months) on REE-colloids interaction characterization by spectroscopy, CORDouan technology (3 months) colloids characterization, characterization tools development, EDM for field sampling and superior Institut of Technology of Lisboa ( 1 month) for support to field

The PhD student will be also involved in scientific/soft-skills meetings and in research activities conducted in other laboratories/companies from Europe and associated countries.

An important component of the training will be the participation to 3 main major training events:

WS1-(December 2020) REE as emerging contaminants: Properties, uses and dissemination –Germany-fundamental REE biogeochemistry and currently known anthropogenic REE inputs into the environment

SS1 (May 2021) - AMD and REE contamination mitigation - Portugal-Management and remediation solutions of AMD in old mining areas and Management of WEEE, recycling areas

WS2 - Colloids and nanoparticles as REE vectors -France- Structural characterization of colloids and nanoparticles by innovative and fine spectroscopic and scattering techniques: X-Ray absorption fluorescence and scattering, light scattering. REE interactions with bearing phases.

SS2 - (Eco)toxicology of REE –Germany- Eco)toxicological concepts and approaches, Physico-chemical properties of REE for bioavailability, ecotoxicity and environmental risk

In addition to these major milestones of the program, the PhD students will 1) continuously develop their core research skills via their own research project locally and within the network while at secondments and conferences, 2) receive a mandatory amount of hard and soft-skills training specific to their own doctoral school, along with mentoring by joint supervising bodies, 3) use conferences both as dissemination events for ESRs results and network events for progress reports and evaluations, and 4) collaborate into practical activities aimed at network-structuring legacy deliverables.

PANORAMA's research objective is to elucidate the man-induced environmental dissemination of REE and the associated effects on the environmental health. For that purpose, interdisciplinary approaches are required combining geochemistry, ecotoxicology, hydrology, chemical analysis and coupling field monitoring, original in and ex situ experimental set-up and modelling from the element speciation to the environmental impact. PANORAMA’s key aim is to set-up an optimal scientific and non-scientific training to the understanding and forecasting of the environmental impacts of new emerging pollutants such as REE.

More Information

Benefits

With indicative financial conditions of the research project (in local currency)

  • 3-years full-time employment contract
  • Attractive salary tuned to living standards of the hosting country. Brut salary, and excluding family and mobility allowance will be around 2900 euro
  • Conditional family allowance of 500€ per month (potentially subject to taxes)
  • Mobility allowance of 600€ per month (potentially subject to taxes)
  • Based in 3 leading institutions in Environmental Sciences in Europe and 2 private companies, Geosciences-Rennes (30 months), Soleil (2 months), IST/EDM (1 month) and Cordouan Technology (3 month), with excellent staffs in Geosciences-Rennes and friendly working conditions.
  • Possibility to collaborate with a large network of international research groups engaged in the ITN

Eligibility criteria

Recruiting is in accordance with the European rules for Marie Curie Initial Training Networks. Early-stage researchers (ESR) can be of any nationality. They must be, at the time of recruitment by the host organization, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. The research career starts after the degree that enables a student to proceed with a PhD (usually, the Master degree).

Selection process

How to apply

Send your complete application before June 15th to both contacts below (application will remain open until position is filled).

A single pdf file needs to be submitted including:

  • a cover letter, stating your research motivation and interests; including relevant background and career plan (max 1 A4 page)
  • a Curriculum Vitae, including academic background, previous research and/or industrial experience (max 2 A4 pages)
  • Degree transcripts (with marks)
  • English language qualification certificates (or equivalent)

Reference letters:

  • at least 2 confidential reference letters from academics (including name, position and email address of the referee) (max 1 A4 page, with substantiated assessment of the applicant’s technical skills, creativity, innovation ability, working capacity, efficiency and level of independence) must be sent directly to the contacts below.

Contacts:

ESR Supervisor: mélanie.davranche@univ-rennes1.fr, Julien.gigault@univ-rennes1.fr and aline.dia@univ-rennes1.fr

Recruitment committee: to be completed after the kick-off meeting

Project website: Created by Cordis when grant agreement will be signed

Additional comments

Contacts:

 

ESR Supervisor: mélanie.davranche@univ-rennes1.fr, Julien.gigault@univ-rennes1.fr and aline.dia@univ-rennes1.fr

Recruitment committee: to be completed after the kick-off meeting

Project website: Created by Cordis when grant agreement will be signed

Offer Requirements

  • REQUIRED EDUCATION LEVEL
    Environmental science: Master Degree or equivalent

Skills/Qualifications

  • The candidate should be in the first four years of their research career. They should not have a doctoral degree and fulfil the eligibility criteria and mobility rule (see below)
  • The candidate should hold or be about to obtain a Master’s degree in Earth Science, Geochemistry or (Environnemental) chemistry.
  • Excellent technical skills including experience in geochemistry, mineralogy, analytical chemistry and thermodynamic modelling
  • Ability on numerical modelling. Experience with geochemical modeling codes (PHREEQC, MODEL VII, NICA-DONNAN, ORCHESTRA…) will be appreciated
  • Broad understanding of concepts and applications in environmental geochemistry
  • The ability to work both as part of a team, and independently, coupled with excellent communication, organizational and problem-solving skills
  • Availability to travel for training events and research secondments.

Specific Requirements

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Recruiting is in accordance with the European rules for Marie Curie Initial Training Networks. Early-stage researchers (ESR) can be of any nationality. They must be, at the time of recruitment by the host organization, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. The research career starts after the degree that enables a student to proceed with a PhD (usually, the Master degree).

MOBILITY RULE

At the time of the recruitment by the first host institution, the ESRs must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their first host institution for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Geosciences-Rennes
France
Brittany
Rennes
35000

EURAXESS offer ID: 515808

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