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Department of Mineral Sciences

Izalco Volcano

Research Geologist (Biomineralogy)

Salary rangeStarting at $77,490, commensurate with experience
Open period10/7/2016 – 11/11/2016, or until the position is filled
Duty locationWashington, DC

The Department of Mineral Sciences invites applications for the position of Research Geologist in biomineralogy. Preference will be given to those whose primary research focuses on study of and understanding biologically-mediated minerals and/or biologically-mediated mineral processes using existing or new techniques typically employed in the field of mineralogy or environmental mineralogy. Examples include but are not limited to the impacts of microbial or other biological activity on mineral alteration, mineral weathering, corrosion, mineralization, mineral formation, and metal redox transformations. Interactions with colleagues across the Museum in the biological sciences is strongly encouraged. The successful candidate will have a strong track record of published research commensurate with level of experience. The Dept. of Mineral Sciences houses a world-class collection of minerals and gems that are used for a broad array of research and public programs both within and outside of the Smithsonian Institution.

The selected candidate will be expected to build an outstanding research program, and contribute to the growth and curation of the National Mineral Collection, particularly in the area of biominerals and other environmentally relevant minerals. Applicants should fully utilize the existing analytical strengths of the Dept. of Mineral Sciences, with instrumentation that includes field emission electron microprobe, field emission variable pressure analytical SEM, XRD, FTIR, fluid inclusion heating/freezing unit, cathodoluminescence microscope and spectrometer, biomineralogy laboratory, and experimental high-pressure and hydrothermal laboratories. The ability to effectively communicate with a wide variety of audiences, including the public, is essential. The successful candidate will be expected to participate in museum activities, such as exhibits programs, educational outreach activities, and to be involved with professional associations and other organizations within the scientific community.

Full-time, 5-year temporary appointment with full Smithsonian benefits to be filled at the IS-12 level, equivalent to Federal GS-12 and comparable to a tenure-track position. Proof of authorization to work in US required. The museum’s authorized salary range for this position at this time is $77,490 - $82,656 per annum. Qualified candidates who are referred to the hiring official will be asked to submit educational transcripts and proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study.


  • Pre-employment Background Investigation must be successfully completed.
  • Must be able to travel and work independently as well as within a team environment.

Candidates may qualify for this position by demonstrating the experience outlined above, by completion of three full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree related to the position, or by a combination of experience and education.

The Smithsonian Institution offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive package of benefits. This is not a Federal Position, but has similar requirements and benefits. For a complete description of benefits, please visit

Interested candidates should submit their curriculum vitae (CV), educational transcripts, names and contact information for three referees, and a cover letter that includes a research statement and other qualifications relevant to the position by November 11, 2016 to Please include the position title in the subject line of your e-mail. CVs should include a description of your paid and non-paid work experience that is related to this job; starting and ending dates of job (Month and year); and average number of hours worked per week.

To learn more about the Department of Mineral Sciences please visit

For more information, contact Elizabeth Cottrell, Research Geologist, 202.633.1859,

Job announcement (PDF)

The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

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