Research Fellow (PFAS)

University of Birmingham

Birmingham, UK 🇬🇧

Job Description

Position Details

College of Life and Environmental Sciences, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £33,348 to £43,155 with potential progression once in post to £45,737

Grade 7

Full Time, Fixed Term contract up to January 2025

Closing date: 19th March 2023


This post is to contribute to the creation of knowledge in the field of fate and toxic effects of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in the environment and human populations.

Role Summary 

  • Within the role you will be tasked with generating in vitro toxicity and transcriptomic data on PFAS chemicals supplied by the SCENARIOS project, to enable project partners to perform PBPK modelling, including conducting environmental risk assessments and creating scientific reports for project reporting and for high impact environmental science journals.
  • Evaluating and organising existing PFAS hazard data to support the development of Adverse Outcome Pathways and develop strategies for Adverse Outcome Pathways for data-sparse PFAS compounds, though, for example, read-across and QSAR modelling approaches (in collaboration with relevant partners)
  • Generating data to optimise detection and quantification of PFAS and its metabolites in soil and water and apply these methods to samples provide by project partners, including in demonstration of the effectiveness of SCENAIOs control and elimination strategies.
  • Analysing and interpreting research findings and results including for project promotional materials and website.
  • Contributing to generation of follow-on funding and support the project team where needed.

Main Duties

The responsibilities will include the following duties:

  • Development and rollout of new analytical methods for extraction and quantification of PFAS contamination.
  • Conducting analysis of PFAS and its metabolites in soil, water or other matrices using analytical methods with quantitation by LC-MS/MS or GC-MS and determine safe levels based on published and generated data.
  • Implementing GLP-type processes for sample management and reporting to ensure high quality reporting, including metadata for all samples such as water and/or sediment samples collected from rivers around United Kingdom and Europe.
  • Evaluation of the impacts of pollutants on keystone and model organisms such as Zebra fish to provide detailed insights into the modes of action and multi-generational exposure impacts of PFAS and its derivatives.
  • Establishment of proposed Adverse Outcome Pathways associated with chronic and multi-generational impacts of PFAS and its derivatives.
  • Provision of experimental data to partners for environmental modelling including read-across, QSAR modelling etc. to help assess the impacts of data-sparce PFAS members and developed predictive AOPs.
  • Design and monitoring of toxicology studies, including assessment of the risks to human and environmental health and implementation of appropriate mitigation measures.
  • Supervision of MSc. and PhD students on research related work and provision of guidance to PhD students where appropriate to the discipline.
  • Analysis and interpretation of complex datasets, including through technical discussions with modelling partners.
  • Presentation of research outputs, including drafting academic publications or parts thereof, for example at seminars and as posters.
  • Promote equality and diversity in all aspects of research ensuring in day-to-day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly.

Person Specification

  • Qualified to PhD level in Environmental Science or related scientific discipline. 
  • Have extensive experience of gas chromatographic techniques used in a range of analytical methods for the study of PFAS or other Persistent Organic Pollutants in environmental matrices. Ability to contribute to developing new methods.
  • Formal qualifications and extensive experience of the working under and application of Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), including training of technical staff to high standards in compliance with GLP.
  • Have experience in cell culture and knowledge of toxicity studies and exposure assessment.
  • Have a minimum of 5 years of practical analytical laboratory experience.
  • Experience designing and delivering research projects, including field studies.
  • Experience in assessment and review of academic articles.
  • Formal qualification in English Language to a high level.
  • Good competency with statistical programming languages such as STATA or R with multiple libraries.
  • Willing to travel and stay overnight for project meetings, and to make project presentations on results and approaches.
  • Include the following information with your application:
  • A cover letter outlining your motivations and suitability for this position
  • Letters of recommendation (minimum 2) and contact details
  • Copy of PhD diploma.

Informal enquires to Iseult Lynch, email:





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development