Postdoctoral Research Associate in Critical Mineral Global Production Networks

Sydney, Australia
$97,043 p.a. - $107,516 p.a. + 17% superannuation
30 Sep 2022
End of advertisement period
14 Nov 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • Full-time, 2 year fixed term with possible extension, located on the Camperdown Campus at the School of Geosciences
  • Develop your academic career and contribute to research exploring critical mineral global production networks and their impacts on regional development in Australia
  • Base Salary Level A $97,043 p.a. - $107,516 p.a. + 17% superannuation

About the opportunity

Critical minerals - including cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel, and rare earth elements - are vital components in many clean energy technologies such as electric batteries and wind turbines. As energy transitions gain momentum, it is likely that demand for these minerals will grow rapidly. Already an established exporter, Australia is home to globally significant deposits of a wide range of critical minerals which will likely be of huge importance to both global energy transitions and Australia's future economic development trajectories.

Reporting to Professor Neil Coe in the School of Geosciences, the Postdoctoral Research Associate will assist in the development and undertaking of research projects that examine the regional development issues associated with Australia's engagement with critical mineral production for the global economy. Informed by Global Production Network thinking in Economic Geography, and cognate approaches to studying global production (e.g. global value chain analysis), the research will seek to explore: (1) how Australian firms and regions are connected into global production networks for global minerals, and the power, value and geopolitical dynamics that characterise those relations; (2) contestations over land, labour and environment in mineral producing and processing regions of Australia; and (3) the interplay between those two domains and the resultant regional development outcomes.

This is an excellent opportunity to accelerate your academic career and become a valued member of the intellectual community in the School of Geosciences.

Your key responsibilities will be:

  • conducting independent though supervised research into different aspects of Australia's engagement with critical mineral global production networks
  • coordinating, incorporating, and communicating research - both individual and with collaborative teams
  • taking a leading role in organising and promoting seminars and workshops in relation to these projects (including communication, logistics, web content, and managing social media feeds)
  • writing peer review publications and preparing competitive grant applications
  • actively contributing to research seminars and workshops, as well as the broader research activities of the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney.

The preferred candidate start date will be January 2023 (negotiable)

Where appropriate, some limited teaching opportunities within the School of Geosciences may also be available through this position.

About the School of Geosciences

The School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney is a dynamic and collegial multi-disciplinary community of scholars and students encompassing the fields of human and physical geography, geology and geophysics, marine science and environmental studies. It has a strong global reputation for the quality of its research and teaching across those domains. Our common passion is to engage in research and teaching that promotes a better understanding of our world and its challenges, and we address key issues facing society including climate change, resource management and sustainability.

The School of Geosciences is firmly committed to creating a diverse workplace by improving equity, access and opportunity. We want to create an environment where individuality is welcomed and celebrated, and a workplace that is open, supportive and safe for everyone. We are actively seeking to improve the diversity of our staffing profile, and welcome applications from women, people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, and members of the LGBTIQ+ community.

To learn more about the School of Geosciences, click here

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate who has:

  • a PhD (or near completion) in economic geography or a cognate social science or business discipline
  • demonstrated knowledge and an emerging profile in studying industry dynamics, broadly defined, and their intersections with regional development
  • evidence of the ability to conduct independent research and assume responsibility for the development and completion of research projects and publications
  • a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively
  • an emerging track record of academic publications and the potential to develop further research expertise through various projects.

Existing knowledge of the Australian mining/mineral extraction sector would also be an asset.

To keep our community safe, please be aware of our COVID safety precautions which form our conditions of entry for all staff, students and visitors coming to campus.

Pre-employment checks

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

How to apply

Applications (including a cover letter, CV, and any additional supporting documentation) can be submitted via the Apply button at the top of the page. The cover letter should give a full account of your research experience and trajectory.

For employees of the University or contingent workers, please login into your Workday account and navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard. Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.

For a confidential discussion about the role, please contact Professor Neil Coe via email:

If you require reasonable adjustment or support filling out this application, please contact Helen Efstathiou, Recruitment Consultant, Recruitment Operations, Human Resources on +61 2 8627 7137 or by email

© The University of Sydney

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

Click to view the Position Description for this role.

Applications Close

Monday 14 November 2022 11:59 PM