Research Assistant - School of BEES

University of New South Wales


Research Assistant


Job no: 496169

Work type: Fixed term / Full time

Location: Sydney, NSW

Categories: Research Administration support

  • One of Australia’s leading research & teaching universities
  • Vibrant campus life with a strong sense of community & inclusion
  • Enjoy a career that makes a difference by collaborating & learning from the best

At UNSW, we pride ourselves on being a workplace where the best people come to do their best work.


The School of BEES has over 100 academic staff, over 170 research students and 60 Honours students. BEES incorporates environmentally-relevant disciplines enabling the School to undertake comprehensive education and research in the mainstream disciplines of biology, geography and geology. This also provides students the opportunity for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies.


The University of New South Wales (UNSW) and University of Sydney (USyd) are committed to cross-institutional research programmes via the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) in a consortium with two other leading Sydney universities. SIMS recently invested $20M in research infrastructure and the universities’ membership of SIMS provides access to laboratory spaces and the wharf for field experiments to complement work-spaces available on our campuses.


Plastic pollution threatens humans and wildlife. Under Australian law polymers that alter the physical, chemical, biological or ecological status of aquatic habitats, are pollutants that require mitigation to reduce inputs and impacts.



About the role

  • $72K-$82K plus 17% superannuation and leave loading
  • Fixed Term – 2 years
  • Full-time (35 hours per week)


The Research Assistant will assist research by investigating plastic pollution and manage the laboratories in relation to these activities. This includes a project about clothing fibres funded by a ARC Linkage project which is based at UNSW (Randwick) and USyd (Camperdown) and determine how natural and plastic fibres, clothing brands and washing machine filters alter the emissions and ecotoxicological impacts of fibres.


About the successful applicant

To be successful in this role you will:

  • Completion of a degree in Environmental Science/Hydrology (or related fields) or an equivalent level of knowledge gained through any other combination of education, training and/or experience.
  • Demonstrated experience (+5 years) in designing advanced habitat-surveys, experiments, and statistical analysis of environmental impacts from sewage, plastic debris and other contaminants.
  • Practical experience identifying polymers using vibrational spectroscopy (e.g. FTIR) to investigate the sources and pathways of microplastic, with skills in sampling sewage, analytical chemistry and emissions of fibres to sewage from clothing.
  • Demonstrated experience in academia and government, designing and running surveys, and experiments linking the impacts of sewage and microplastic to environmental impacts across the world.
  • Demonstrated experience investigating spatial patterns of contamination by plastic debris in marine habitats at local and global scales, and designing and completing experiments with washing machines investigating emissions of fibres from clothing to sewage.
  • Demonstrated experience with statistical analysis and completing projects with academia and government.
  • Excellent organisational, problem solving and planning skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Hold a current, unrestricted drivers licence
  • Knowledge of health and safety responsibilities and commitment to attending relevant health and safety training.


You should systematically address the selection criteria listed within the position description in your application. Please apply online - applications will not be accepted if sent to the contact listed.


Mark Browne

Applications close: March 4th, 2019



Find out more about working at UNSW at

UNSW aspires to be the exemplar Australian university and employer of choice for people from diverse backgrounds. UNSW aims to ensure equality in recruitment, development, retention and promotion of staff and that no-one is disadvantaged on the basis of their gender, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation or identity or Indigenous heritage. We encourage everyone who meets the selection criteria to apply.

UNSW partners with Australia’s leading diversity organisations, networks, and campaigns. Please refer to UNSW’s diversity offerings for further information on our flexible work and leave options, and support for carers (childcare, parent rooms, parental leave).


Position Description

Advertised: 04 Feb 2019 AUS Eastern Daylight Time

Applications close: 04 Mar 2019 AUS Eastern Daylight Time

In your application, please refer to


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