Job advertisement REE and other heavy metals in mining and milling wastes

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European Geosciences Union

REE and other heavy metals in mining and milling wastes

REE and other heavy metals in mining and milling wastes


Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon




Relevant divisions
Biogeosciences (BG)
Energy, Resources and the Environment (ERE)
Soil System Sciences (SSS)

Full time

Entry level

Brut salary, and excluding family and mobility allowance will be around 2700 €; Conditional family allowance of 500€ per month (potentially subject to taxes) Net mobility allowance of 600€ per month (potentially subject to taxes)

Preferred education

Application deadline
15 June 2020

25 May 2020

Job description

Objectives: Mining and milling sites: quantification and behaviour of REE and other trace elements in surrounding water – stream sediments – soils systems
Presentation of the research project (cooperative aspect)
Text in italics (slanted) is common to all ESRs and should NOT be modified. Modify the rest (in blue) according to your ESR description.
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 Dr. Maria Isabel Dias e Dr. Rosa Marques the PhD student will perform: a) the geochemical and mineralogical characterization of the stream sediments and soils surrounding the mining and milling sites (2 sampling campaigns in each site) ; b) the study and modeling of REE and other trace elements in waters; and c) the REE-surface interactions with stream sediments and soils minerals, particularly clay minerals, and other nanoparticles, for a better characterization of the REE mobility downstream of tailings impoundment that becomes crucial.
The project involves a strong collaboration with: Empresa de Desenvolvimento Mineiro (EDM), Portugal, for field work and sampling (2×1 month, Dr. Catarina Diamantino); University of Huelva, Spain, for field work and sampling (2×1 month, Dr. C. Ruiz); Université de Rennes, France, for REE and other trace elements analysis and modelling in waters (2×2 months, Dr. R. Marsac); synchroton SOLEIL, France, for REE-surface interactions stream sediments and soils minerals (XAS) (1 month, Dr.G. Landrot) including required research stays (secondment) during a total of 9 months.
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.

How to apply

Send your complete application before 15th June 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.