Subject: Unique minerals fellowship opportunity based in the tropics
From: Nick Oliver
Date: Tue, 8 May 2007 15:35:28 +1000

  May 14th
Dear friends and colleagues,
the deadline on this position has been extended. Please distribute as widely as you can or contact me if interested. Itís a great opportunity but a very tough market at present. If you want an unspoilt coastal lifestyle with close access to reef and rainforest, but researching on a world class mineral field, this could be the job for you. The salary top-up has the capacity to reach or exceed a reasonable industry salary, and the university offers several perks (good super, packaged car options).

Nick Oliver

Dear friends and colleagues,



            I’d like to bring your attention to an unusual research position at JCU in EGRU. Xstrata Copper has put up $450 000 (over 3 years) to fund a Townsville-based researcher with the brief of doing Xstrata-flavoured research at its 3 main copper groups (Mt Isa Cu, Ernest Henry, and Exploration), while at the same time drawing on the capacity and facilities at EGRU to boost our minerals-related research and training. It is offered across a broad range of position level (nominally Levels B to D, Lecturer to Assoc Professor, in the range ~ AUD $60 to $100K per annum) reflecting the desire of Xstrata to get someone who can work well with diverse groups (in university, mine, and exploration office environments) rather than being concerned about relative age or experience. Furthermore, there is no specific expertise sought for the position, it could be a structural geologist, geochemist, petrologist, economic geologist etc. although there will be an expectation that the person would have some desire and/or skill in dealing with mineral systems. Consideration will be made (as specified in the advertisement) for candidates who do not have a PhD if they can demonstrate appropriately equivalent R&D experience potentially suitable for the job.


Note that there are opportunities for an ‘industry loading’ via an Australian Workplace Agreement (if you are primarily concerned about university salary relative to those currently offered by the industry in Australia). The job also comes with access to research, travel and accommodation funds and allowances, and there are a range of salary-sacrifice schemes available especially for cars. All Australian universities offer highly generous superannuation (17% from them against 7% normal employee contribution).


We have a major ARC Linkage application associated with this position, and we will find out about the success (or otherwise) of that shortly. In any case, there is provision for research funds within this budget. If the ARC proposal is successful, it is anticipated there will be an extra $150K or more, per annum of research funds associated with the project, ensuring that there is an instant team of researchers involved.


The potential for permanence will depend on performance – the challenge for the incumbent will be to convince Xstrata operations that budget should be set aside for a long term, beyond the initial 3 years. You should also note that at least 2 staff of our School have indicated they will be retiring during the course of this program, opening up other opportunities for continuation.


Anyone with either/or academic or industry experience is welcome to consider applying. If you have colleagues you think would be particularly suitable, please drop me a line; and/or forward this on.


Click here for more details



Nick Oliver

Professor of Economic Geology,

School of Earth & Environmental Sciences,

James Cook University, Townsville, 4811, Australia.

ph +61-(0)7-47815049