Research Fellow in Enviromental Engineering

University of Queensland

 About UQ

As part of the UQ community, you will have the opportunity to work alongside the brightest minds, who have joined us from all over the world, and within an environment where interdisciplinary collaborations are encouraged.


At the core of our teaching remains our students, and their experience with us sets a foundation for success far beyond graduation. UQ has made a commitment to making education opportunities available for all Queenslanders, regardless of personal, financial, or geographical barriers.


As part of our commitment to excellence in research and professional practice in academic contexts, we are proud to provide our staff with access to world-class facilities and equipment, grant writing support, greater research funding opportunities, and other forms of staff support and development.


About This Opportunity 

The group of "Ecological Engineering in Mining" is a leading group providing new knowledge and technology for mining industry to achieve sustainable rehabilitation of mine wastes and severely degraded soil. We are leading many large industry-partnered projects to deliver cutting-edge solutions to engineer and develop sustainable and resilient soil-plant systems at mine sites. This is an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and ambitious Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Level A) or Research Fellow (Level B) to conduct research on developing novel and nature-positive ecological engineering technology to accelerate the transition from mining wastes towards soil for sustainable rehabilitation, particularly,  in the area of organo-mineral interactions and organic carbon sequestration in tailing-technosol.


 Key responsibilities include:  

1. Research

  • Develop a coherent research program in the area of organo-mineral interaction and organic stabilization in the early phase of soil formation, as well as other relevant areas.

  • Characterize microbial processes modulating mineral weathering and organics turnover using next generation sequencing and/or high resolution microscopic/spectral techniques

  • Prepare research publications, progress reports, and oral presentations and participate in regular meetings to discuss project objectives, methodology and outcomes.

  • Participate in applications for competitive research funding to support projects and activities

  • Work with colleagues to contribute into multi-disciplinary industry-partnered research projects.


Academic Level B (in addition to Level A Research responsibilities)

  • Develop an independent and/or team research program to achieve national recognition and impact in the research area.

  • Participate in or contribute as chief investigator role (often in conjunction with more experienced researchers) in applications for competitive research funding to support projects and activities, which includes actively seeking, obtaining and managing


2. Supervision and Researcher Development

  • Contribute to the effective supervision of Honours and Higher Degree by Research students (as appropriate).

  • Work to promptly resolve conflict and grievances when they arise in accordance with University policy and procedures

  • As appropriate, manage research support staff effectively throughout the employee lifecycle in accordance with University policy and procedures.


Academic Level B (in addition to Level A Supervision and Researcher Development responsibilities)

  • Demonstrate a track record of the effective supervision of Honours and Higher Degree by Research students.

  • Demonstrates personal effectiveness in supervision and management and development of researcher capability and skill.

  • Facilitate engagement opportunities for Higher Degree by Research supervisees


This is a research focused position. Further information can be found by viewing UQ’s Criteria for Academic Performance.


This is a full-time (100%), fixed-term position for up to 12 months years. At Academic level A the full-time equivalent base salary will be in the range $77,324.85 - $102,945.12, plus a generous super allowance of up to 17%. The total FTE package will be up to $90,470.08 - $120,445.79 annually.


At Academic level B, the full-time equivalent base salary will be in the range $108,201.26 - $128,201.75, plus a generous super allowance of up to 17%. The total FTE package will be up to $126,595.47 - $149,996.05 annually.


As this role are covered by an Enterprise Agreement, you will also receive regular remuneration increases in line with the Enterprise Agreement.


The greater benefits of joining the UQ community are broad:  from being part of a Group of Eight university, to recognition of prior service with other Australian universities, up to 26 weeks of paid parental leave, 17.5% annual leave loading, flexible working arrangements including hybrid on site/WFH options and flexible start/finish times, and genuine career progression opportunities via the academic promotions process.


About You  

  • Completion or near completion of a PhD in soil science/environmental science, specialised in mineralogy, soil biology, and/or environmental organic chemistry with relevance to microbial mediated soil processes, such as organic matter decomposition, mineral bioweathering.

  • An emerging profile in research in the discipline area.

  • Evidence of publications in reputed refereed journals and presenting at conferences.

  • Evidence of contributions towards successfully obtaining external research funding.

  • Some experience in meaningful internal service roles and contributions towards external activities

  • Demonstrated expert knowledge and skills in an aspect of microscopic and spectroscopic analysis of organo-mineral forms in soil/plant/environmental samples, such as SEM-EDS and/or synchrotron-based X-ray absorption analysis of soil, organics and mineral samples.

  • Demonstrated knowledge about soil organic carbon and organic matter cycles and turnover.

  • Demonstrated skills of soil chemical analysis and microspectral and microstructural analysis of mineral and/or organic phases in soil and processing complex data derived from spectral analysis, such as synchrotron-based X-ray absorption data.

  • The following would be deemed highly desirable.

    • Experiences in working with mine wastes, such as tailings.

    • Experience in field sampling and laboratory experiments.

    • Experience in mentoring postgraduate students.

    • Experience of working with industry partners or mining companies.

    • Demonstrated experience in writing competitive research grant applications.


In addition, the following mandatory requirements apply:

  • Work Rights: You must have unrestricted work rights in Australia for the duration of this appointment to apply. Visa sponsorship is not available for this appointment. 

  • Mandatory Immunisations: It is a condition of employment for this role that you will be required to provide evidence of immunisation against certain vaccine preventable diseases.

  • Background Checks: All final applicants for this position may be asked to consent to a criminal record check. Please note that people with criminal records are not automatically barred from applying for this position. Each application will be considered on its merits. 


For more information about this opportunity, please contact Professor Longbin Huang


For application queries, please contact stating the job reference number (below) in the subject line.


Want to Apply? 

All applicants must upload the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

  • Resume

  • Cover letter responding to the ‘About You’ section


Other Information 

At UQ we know that our greatest strengths come from our diverse mix of colleagues, this is reflected in our ongoing commitment to creating an environment focused on equity, diversity and inclusion.  We ensure that we are always attracting, retaining and promoting colleagues who are representative of the diversity in the broader community, whether that be gender identityLGBTQIA+cultural and/or linguisticAboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, or people with a disability. Accessibility requirements and/or adjustments can be directed to


If you are a current employee (including casual staff and HDR scholars) or hold an unpaid/affiliate appointment, please login to your staff Workday account and visit the internal careers board to apply for this opportunity. Please do NOT apply via the external job board.


Applications close 19 May 2024 at 11.00pm AEST (R-38260).