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Quantification of the dermal absorption of organic soil contaminants present for human health risk assessment of post-industrial brownfield land

This CASE PhD studentship is a unique opportunity to make significant advances in the field of organic geochemistry and risk-based land management of post-industrial brownfield land. Your research will supervised by a team of globally acknowledged thought leaders from the University of Nottingham (Prof. Paul Nathanail), British Geological Survey (Dr. Christopher Vane) and WSP (Prof. Russell Thomas). You will develop in vitro laboratory methods to measure dermal absorption of organic soil contaminants associated with former gasworks sites. You will investigate some of the key controls on the release of these contaminants from soil by completing a placement in Australia of up to 6 months with a world leading research laboratory at the University of Newcastle, NSW under the supervision of Prof. Ravi Naidu. The project is part of a programme of industry led research into potential uptake of organic soil contaminants. The PhD CASE funding is provided by National Grid Property Holdings. WSP, an international geoenvironmental consultancy, will be your CASE partner and you will spend 3 months within the company gaining real-world experience. You will benefit from an extensive training programme within the University of Nottingham, the British Geological Survey and the University of Newcastle, Australia. You will learn how to use GC-MS/MS, FTIR, NMR and associated laboratory methods to an expert level. You will also be trained statistical and numerical modelling techniques to interpret and gain meaning from your results. The applied nature of the PhD means that this research project will provide you with an excellent chance of post-study employment in academia, government or the private sector.

The applicant will hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level in subjects such as Chemistry, Environmental Geoscience or Natural Sciences. A post-graduate qualification is desirable as is some industrial experience. A strong foundation in chemistry would be advantageous. Competition will be strong so the highest calibre candidates are encouraged to apply.

For further details please contact Dr Christopher Vane ( or Dr Daren Beriro ( at the British Geological Survey.