Postdoc in synchrotron-based characterization of arsenic recovery from groundwater treatment waste and nano-scale chemical processes

Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)

Copenhagen, Denmark 🇩🇰

GEUS builds knowledge of the entire water cycle and contributes with high quality hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical knowledge in all subsurface and drinking water supply matters. With the purpose to strengthen GEUS’ competencies within the recovery of arsenic (As) from water treatment residuals and circular solutions to ground- and drinking water related environmental problems, the Department of Geochemistry offers a 2-year postdoc position.

Job description

The postdoc will be part of the Department of Geochemistry and will work closely with a senior researcher on a project funded by the Independent Research Council of Denmark. The project involves developing new technologies to recover As groundwater treatment waste. The key aims of the project involve developing chemical and electrochemical methods to transform residual arsenic into a less toxic and more stable form.

The postdoc is expected to lead several of the following functions related to the key aims of the project:

  • Perform experiments to separate arsenic from the solid matrix of iron oxide precipitates via chemical or electrochemical methods, with subsequent chemical or electrochemical processing to transform residual arsenic into a less toxic and more stable form.
  • Characterize the pathways of the transformation reactions using synchrotron-based X-ray techniques (X-ray absorption spectroscopy, high-energy X-ray scattering) and lab-based equipment (ion chromatography, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy and powder X-ray diffraction).
  • Design laboratory and field (Denmark and South Asia) experiments with support from our technical staff and lead the write up of experimental and field results in peer reviewed scientific journals.

The postdoc is expected to be an active part of the scientific community. Experience in giving oral presentation in international conferences, i.e., Goldschmidt, or willingness to participate and organise conferences and workshops is therefore an advantage.

Your qualifications

The appointment will be made on the basis of academic qualifications. The postdoc position is a full-time research position, and the best candidate is expected to have the following qualifications:

  • PhD degree in geochemistry awarded within the last three years with solid laboratory experience and background in analysis of reaction kinetics, reaction mechanisms and synthesis of nano-minerals. Previous research involving arsenic is required.
  • High proficiency in ion chromatography, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy, powder X-ray diffraction and Phreeqc modelling. Previous field work experience is essential, i.e., groundwater sample collection.
  • Several years of experience with synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy and high-energy X-ray scattering methods to probe the structure and surface chemistry of nano-scale minerals. Previous experience as a spokesperson and lead author of synchrotron beam line proposals (European synchrotrons) is a plus.

Along with the cover letter, the applicant must list the number of successful synchrotron proposals, including the year and name of facility, for which the applicant is/was the spokesperson and lead author. If not included in the cover letter, the application will be denied.  

Proficiency in English and academic writing is also required.

The desired start date is January 2024.

Department of Geochemistry

The aim of the Department of Geochemistry is to understand the fate of chemical substances in soil, groundwater and the deeper subsurface. The activities are characterised by both experimental work in the laboratory, field tests, and numerical modelling. The fate of pesticides and other xenobiotics in soil and groundwater is one of the department’s core research areas – you will become a part of the research group within this field. Another major research area includes the understanding of hydrogeochemical processes in soil, groundwater aquifers, water treatment facilities, and geothermal reservoirs as well as resulting from CO2-rock interaction. We also process groundwater chemistry data in relation to monitoring of the Danish groundwater. We are a staff of about 40 persons comprising researchers, consultants, postdocs, technicians, and students.

We offer

  • A creative and interdisciplinary research environment
  • A lively and informal working environment with talented and dedicated colleagues
  • Versatile work duties and good opportunities to influence them
  • Development opportunities with access to courses and other further education
  • Family friendly workplace with flexible hours
  • An active social environment, with a staff association and art society
  • Fitness centre with physiotherapy at the workplace

Salary and conditions of employment

In accordance with the collective agreements between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the relevant eligible trade union.
The appointment area is the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities and its institutions.
The Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities considers diversity to be an asset and invites anybody interested, regardless of gender, age, religion or ethnicity to apply for the position.

Further information

Please contact the Head of Department Claus Kjøller on tel. +45 5172 8202, e-mail: [email protected] or senior researcher Case van Genuchten on tel. +45 9133 3433, e-mail: [email protected].

International applicants can read more about living and working in Denmark on GEUS’ homepage:


The application must include a letter of motivation, a CV, a list of publications with a separate indication of journal papers that are registered in ISI Web of Science, copies of any individual publications of particular relevance to the position and, if relevant, contact details of referees (max. 2). PhD diploma, as well as a summary of the PhD or other material that can document qualifications at Postdoc level must be enclosed.
Submitted PhD theses that have not yet been defended may be sent with the application and will be included in the assessment. The PhD thesis must be approved by the University prior to appointment.

You can send your application by clicking on the “Apply for position” (“Søg stillingen”) button. Your application must be with GEUS no later than 12.00 midday (Danish time), 20th of September 2023.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

The appointment procedure

An expert academic assessment committee consisting of two internal senior researchers will make an individual evaluation of applicants’ academic qualifications, where candidates are deemed qualified or non-qualified in relation to the position advertised. Then an appointments committee decide which of the qualified candidates they want to call for a job interview. The procedure is in accordance with “Circular on the appointment and assessment of academic staff at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland”, Sections 4 and 7.

The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) is an independent and internationally oriented research institution within the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities, and is part of Geocenter Denmark. GEUS also acts as consultant to public authorities and companies within nature, climate, environment, energy and mineral resources. GEUS is responsible for the scientific exploration of the geology in Denmark and Greenland including shelf areas. GEUS maps, acquires and monitors data, informs the public about geological matters and is the national geological data centre.




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development