Recruiting for UKRI and UK SBS

Senior Geomicrobiologist & Lab Manager

2400007A Requisition #

Senior Geomicrobiologist & Lab Manager
BGS Geomicrobiology Laboratory
Location: BGS headquarters in Keyworth, Nottingham
Grade: UKRI Pay Band E/S2
Salary: £48,802 to £53,682 (depending on qualifications and experience)
Hours: Full-time – 37 hours a week (some flexible/remote working options may be available, although this is mainly an on-site laboratory-based role)
Contract type: Permanent
Closing date: 10th March 2024

Please note that internal UKRI applicants will currently be subject to the UKRI Pay & Reward Policy & Guidance  to determine their starting salary

A great benefits package is offered!, including an outstanding pension scheme (with a very generous employer contribution – on average 27% of your pay), 30 days annual leave plus bank holidays, and access to flexi-time


About the role

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a highly motivated and experienced Geomicrobiologist to join the BGS Geomicrobiology Laboratory in Keyworth, Nottingham.


In this role, you will have the opportunity to lead the geomicrobiology laboratory capability at BGS by:

·       Actively encouraging and empowering staff to achieve excellence and high impact in scientific research and delivery

·       Participating, as appropriate, in strategic programme development undertaken by BGS Programmes that involve the laboratory

·       Representing the laboratory externally, as appropriate, proactively engaging with the user community (government, universities, private sector, BGS colleagues) to develop science and business opportunities

·       Leading and being responsible for the development of science and staffing for the laboratory.


This post will report directly to the Lab Manager for the Transport Properties Research Laboratory and report indirectly to the Head of the Fluid & Rock Processes Laboratories. The successful candidate will be encouraged to work closely with the Head of Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste and will also be expected to have some staff management responsibilities. You are likely to be required to work on other projects across the Decarbonisation and Resource Management (DRM) Challenge area.


Working effectively with colleagues, and independently where necessary, you will assist with an improved understanding of subsurface microbiology for a range of Energy Transition applications through relevant research and publications. You will also improve the BGS knowledge and capabilities in subsurface microbiology.


As a senior Geomicrobiologist, you will work to gain and maintain stature and credibility by identifying and conducting a programme of research/technical innovation within the facility and develop new applications of facility science through some combination of BGS internal and external funding (NERC/EU/other grants/commercial projects) as well as publishing regularly in high quality journals of significant impact.


About you

Candidates should be educated to degree level in a subject relevant to subsurface microbiology. You should also have relevant postgraduate experience, which could include either a master’s and relevant industry experience, or a PhD in geoscience.


We are looking for someone with an excellent knowledge of geomicrobiological sampling, experimental systems to study subsurface microbiology, expertise in geomicrobiology and molecular microbial ecology of subsurface environments, and someone who has led multidisciplinary projects with a microbiology focus.


You will be expected to assist with and develop project proposals and engage with external customers and clients. The role also requires regularly leading or producing written outputs (including client-facing reports, peer-reviewed publications, and presentations). Although the role is primarily lab-based, you may be required to manage some field-based activities, as well as becoming involved in BGS’s international programme, including overseas office-based and field-based activities.


Please note – you will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role. UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during your employment.


Please also refer to the additional specific essential and desirable skills criteria for this post.


About us

The British Geological Survey (BGS) is an applied geoscience research centre that belongs to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and is affiliated to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). It is a world leading geological survey whose core mission is to advise government of science related to the subsurface and to undertake applied research to solve earth and environmental issues, both in the UK and globally. It is funded directly by UKRI, as well as through research grants and private sector contracts.


We strive to  promote equality and diversity across our organisation in order to continuously improve our scientific and organisational efficiency! As such, we aim to have a workforce with employees from all backgrounds with people who are passionate about earth science and who share our dedication to work for the good of the environment and the benefit of society.


How to apply

Applicants are required to include a CV and covering letter outlining their suitability for the role. We would stress the importance of this paperwork in our selection process.


A well thought through application providing evidence and examples of how you meet the advertised essential and desirable criteria for the post will be considered far more favourably than a generic covering letter and CV.


Please apply online, if you experience any issues applying for this role, please contact


The closing date for receipt of applications is 10th March 2024. Interviews are expected to be held in early April 2024 in Nottingham.


Senior Geomicrobiologist & Lab Manager: Skills Specification

Criteria to be assessed at Shortlist ‘S’ and Interview ‘I’ Stage




·       A First or Upper Second-class degree relevant to subsurface microbiology (S)

·       Relevant postgraduate experience, which could include either a Master’s and relevant industry experience, or a PhD in geoscience (S)



·       Current UK driving license (or equivalent) (S)




·       You will have a substantial amount of work experience within a specialist/research environment (S&I)

·       Your experience will include (S&I):

·       A demonstrable track record of initiating, developing, wining and delivery of large multi-institute research grants

·       An international reputation and track record exemplified by grants won and first author publications.

·       Management/supervisory experience.

·       Project and budget management experience.

·       Experience of designing and leading experiments.

·       Experience in providing observations and producing robust interpretations of geomicrobiological data and assessing the impact of those results on subsurface applications.



·       Excellent knowledge of some (or all) of the following (S&I):

o   Geomicrobiological sampling

o   Design and operation of experimental systems to study subsurface microbiology

o   Expertise in geomicrobiology and molecular microbial ecology of subsurface environments

o   Leading multidisciplinary projects with a microbiology focus

Skills & abilities


·       Excellent written & verbal communication skills (S&I)

·       Articulate and a confident communicator in English (S&I)

·       Able to convey complex problems to peers, senior management, and partners, both verbally and in writing (I)

·       Ability to work within a variety of teams and external clients, demonstrating an ability to participate as a team member (I)

·       Ability to empathise with the needs of the business and colleagues and relate this to your role in the organisation (I)

·       Leading a specific/significant area of research (S&I)


Personal qualities


·       Approachable, friendly, and able to work well with peers inside and outside BGS (I)

·       Demonstrable team-working skills through effective collaboration and good communication (I)

·       Able to travel off-site/abroad occasionally (I)

·       Able to empower and lead colleagues, peers and collaborators through clear articulation and decision-making (I)

·       Demonstrates an enthusiasm for the work of BGS/UKRI and our core values of impact, impartiality, and knowledge (S&I)

·       You will be committed to a diverse and inclusive approach to work in the geosciences (S&I)




·       Displays an enthusiasm for the safe disposal of radioactive waste and a desire to grow understanding and skills in this topic (S&I)

·       Demonstrates curiosity and a strong drive and proven ability to resolve scientific problems (I)

·       Demonstrates an interest in their own Continuing Professional Development (S)

·       Strong motivation and clear vision of science direction (S&I)

About The British Geological Survey (BGS)
The British Geological Survey (BGS) is an applied geoscience research centre that is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and affiliated to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).  It is a world leading geological survey that provides a core science mission to inform government of science related to the subsurface and its interfaces and also undertakes applied research for solutions to earth and environmental processes, both in the UK and globally.  It is funded directly by UKRI as well as through research grants and via private sector contracts. 
BGS has an annual budget of approximately £60 million and employs 650 people.  It has two main sites, a head office in Keyworth near Nottingham and the Lyell Centre, which is a joint collaboration with Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh.  BGS works with more than 150 private sector organisations as well as having close links with 40 universities and sponsors approximately 100 PhD students each year. 
How to Apply  
Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit your CV and a covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for BGS and the role you’re applying for. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit your application without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.  You will only be assessed on the content of your CV and covering letter and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 
About UKRI  
UKRI launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). 
Our organisation brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at
Choosing to come to work at UKRI means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme, excellent holiday entitlement, access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme.  For more details, visit benefits of working for UKRI.
The role holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role.  UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.
How we support EDI in the workforce 
At UKRI we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to flourish and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community.  For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’  
Disability Confident Employer 
As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

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