NEW! Research Assistant in Public Engagement position available!

24 Jan 2024

Applications are invited for an 18-month full-time Research Assistant in Public Engagement position funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

The position will provide essential administrative and technical support to the Ireland’s Fossil Heritage  public engagement project. The successful candidate will join the large and dynamic Palaeontology Research Group at UCC, and will work closely with the PI, the project’s Senior Engagement Officer and volunteers in the delivery of the project objectives.

The successful candidate will assist with key aspects of project rollout and logistics, including:

- Liaising with teachers in the co-creation of school workshops

- Development and rollout of school workshops

- Delivery of the Ireland’s Fossil Heritage exhibit at festivals

- Construction of fossil kits for teachers

- Updating and management of social media accounts

- Manufacture, assembly and rollout of a fossil loan scheme for schools

- Collation, digitisation and preliminary analysis of evaluation data

- Assistance with launch of STEAM exhibits.



This title will apply to a person of appropriate qualifications e.g., BSc, MSc or PhD employed on a contract for the purpose of supporting a research project, programme, centre or institute. A Research Support Officer will work under the direction of one or more Principal Investigator (s)/ Senior Researcher(s) within a dedicated laboratory on one or more research projects.



  • To provide specific research skills to support the on-going development of the research team and to contribute to the transfer of knowledge in the specific research area.
  • To undertake research under the direction of a Principal Investigator.
  • To provide support in a specific area of expertise, including the use, maintenance and management of research, including equipment.
  • To perform a variety of technical duties supporting the research project or programme, as required.
  • To support research project activities.
  • To oversee installation of equipment, where required.
  • To assist PI’s and researchers in performing lab work, where required.
  • To coordinate lab activity to support the research area/project where required.
  • To develop contacts to acquire knowledge and understanding of the research project and research related work.
  • To facilitate collaboration by liaising with other research groups within UCC and externally including industry projects.
  • To develop and maintain a good working relationship with service departments in UCC.
  • To co-ordinate day-to-day work to support the research project.
  • To liaise with the Principal Investigator(s) and colleagues on matters relating to the research.
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of the research project and research related work.
  • To ensure compliance with Health and Safety procedures.
  • To perform other duties related to the work described herein.

The list of duties detailed above is not intended to be exclusive or restrictive and may be adjusted dependent on the area of research.



The successful candidate will provide a cover letter detailing how they meet the following essential criteria:

  • A first class or upper second class BSc or MSc, or PhD, qualification in geoscience.
  • Excellent knowledge of fossils
  • Familiarity with the Irish fossil record and the Irish school curricula in STEM subjects and Geography
  • Ability to interact with stakeholders from a range of settings and backgrounds
  • Experience of working with schoolchildren and the general public
  • Experience in design and/or application of hands-on activities for use by the public
  • Excellent at solving problems.
  • Excellent team member skills.
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills.
  • Full driving license


Position start date: 1st April 2024

Salary: starting €30,025 p.a.

Post duration: 18 months


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. Maria McNamara, Professor of Palaeontology, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Email:  

Applications should comprise a CV and cover letter and 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 5 pm (Irish Local Time) on Friday, 23rd Feb 2024.

Maria McNamara Research Group

Experimental and analytical taphonomy

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), University College Cork (UCC), Butler Building, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, T23 TK30, Ireland