Vacancy: Research Assistant (Technical)

3 Feb 2021

A temporary, 10 month Research Assistant (Technical) position is available in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at University College Cork.

Please note that this appointment will be based at the Mt Lucas fish farm near Edenderry, Co. Offaly.

Applications are invited for a position of Research Assistant Technical on the Bord Iascaigh Mhara funded DW-Biomass project, hosted by School of Biological Sciences, University College Cork, and based at the Mt Lucas fish farm near Edenderry, Co. Offaly.

The DW-Biomass project develops a sustainable, circular, nutrient cycle in freshwater aquaculture by growing duckweed (Lemna species) on wastewater from a fish farm. This will reduce impacts of aquaculture on the environment, generate a second source of income, reduce dependency of fish meal, and foster a sustainable use of resources. The primary purpose of the research role is to optimise management of duckweed growth (Lemna sp.) at the fish farm, while monitoring water quality including levels of ammonia, phosphates and other nutrients. This will help maintain fish health and quality, while generating valuable protein-rich plant biomass.

The ideal candidate has experience with aquaculture and/or water quality management and/or appropriate research experience, has practical experience working on research projects, has good communication, organisation and interpersonal skills, and is highly independent.

The Research Assistant Technical will work closely with the Project Leader, Prof Marcel Jansen at UCC. Yet, the appointee will be based at the Mt Lucas fish farm in Offaly, and is anticipated to attend UCC Cork once a month, subject to COVID 19 restrictions.


The appointee will be a staff member at University College Cork.

The duties of the successful candidate will include:

· Working pro-actively with the PI and the funding body to plan, perform and report on tasks.

· Management and quantification of duckweed growth.

· Monitoring of a range of water quality parameters, using established assays. Pioneering of small-scale use of harvested duckweed biomass as a soil improver & fertiliser.

· Liaising with Teagasc-partners on extraction of protein from duckweed biomass, and its use as a soya replacement in feeds.

· Engaging with commercial stakeholders to further develop the after-use of duckweed biomass.

· Development of PR material, engaging in outreach activities and report writing


Salary: €23,061 - €35,922 p.a. (IUA Salary Scale)


A Research Assistant- Technical will work under the direction of the Principal Investigator/Project Leader and perform a variety of technical duties involved in conducting laboratory and field tests, experiments and determinations in support of the research project.


· To work under the direction of the Principal Investigator.

· To perform a variety of technical duties involved in supporting the research project(s) or programme.

· To work with the Principal Investigator to review work assignments and to develop plans to support the research/area.

· To maintain lab books and lab reports.

· Collection of data, research and record maintenance.

· To make minor modifications to existing laboratory procedures and techniques to meet the needs of the particular equipment as required.

· To order and maintain lab equipment and to provide the general essential laboratory services of the unit, i.e. these include but are not limited to the cleaning and maintenance of glass ware, research equipment and laboratory space as directed by the Principal Investigator of his/her nominee.

· To determine and set up instruments, material and apparatus and operate laboratory equipment required for specific tests relevant to the research project(s) or programme, as required.

· To prepare culture media, chemicals, reagents and solutions relevant to the research projects, as required.

· To maintain a sufficient inventory of materials, supplies and equipment.

· To demonstrate practical procedures as required.

· To ensure Health and Safety in the lab.

· To perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.

· To carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.



· A graduate qualification in a field of discipline relevant to the area of investigation i.e. BSc or MSc.

· Undergraduate experience in laboratory practices and in conducting laboratory experiments.

· Demonstrated ability to use standard lab equipment and techniques.

· Demonstrated ability to work well within a team.

· Demonstrated commitment to research.

· Ability to maintain records and excellent computer skills

· Excellent organisational and administrative skills, including a proven ability to work to deadlines.

· Please note that Garda vetting and international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.


For an information package including full details of the post, selection criteria and application process see

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Prof Marcel Jansen, School of BEES, UCC; Email:

Applications must be submitted online via the University College Cork vacancy portal ( Queries relating to the online application process should be referred to, quoting the job-title.

Candidates should apply, in confidence, before 12 noon (Irish Local Time) on Friday, February 23, 2021

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, Ireland T23 N73K