Careers at mdru

MDRU are always looking for highly-qualified Researchers that can contribute skills to our research projects. In particular, we are always looking for Post-Doctoral Fellows and Research Associates with strong field and mapping skills, communication and language skills, spatial data analysis, structural geology, petrography, geochemistry and data integration.   Even if there are no postings, give us a shout.  If your skills are good, we may be able to develop a project around them.

We are looking for MSc and PhD candidates who are better than their peers and who excel in some of the above research areas.  We are preferentially looking for students who have some industry experience, who are mature and know what they want, and plan to return to the industry or aim for higher degrees.  We provide exceptional students with exceptional support, but those students with scholarship or industry support are more highly considered.

Current Postings
There are currently no career opportunites at MDRU.
Closed Postings
MDRU Business and Research Manager
Closing Date: August 1, 2021

This position is located in the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) which sits within Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (EOAS). This role is responsible for the management of the financial operations and research administration of MDRU.  The incumbent exercises initiative and sound judgment in advising and providing expertise and guidance to the MDRU Director, Research Associates, and Faculty on a broad range of issues regarding all facets of financial practices and research administration, both in the Faculty of Science and the University.

Organizational Status
This position reports directly to the MDRU Director, and has a dotted line report to the EOAS Director of Resources and Operations and works closely with all MDRU Research Associates, MDRU staff, faculty associated with MDRU, and MDRU graduate students.

Work Performed
Resource and Operations Management:

  • Develop processes to improve the efficiency of administration, organization and operation of MDRU and apply consistent measures for alignment with EOAS and UBC policies.
  • Provide Operational and Administrative leadership, by formulating, interpreting and implementing strategic plans, and promoting efficiency and effectiveness, to meet initiatives and evolving needs and to streamline business processes.
  • Works in partnership with the MDRU Director and Head EOAS to ensure resources are available to meet the initiatives, objectives and strategic plan of the MDRU and the department.
  • Works closely with the MDRU Communications and Events Manager and other staff to ensure that MDRU goals are met.
  • Primary liaison between MDRU and Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences.
  • Performs other related duties as required.

Research Administration:

  • Holds a knowledge and understanding of University Policies in order to appropriately formulate and evaluate researcher budgets to ensure that all grant funding agency and university requirements and protocols are met.
  • Monitors, identifies and disseminates information regarding various award opportunities.
  • Develop and negotiate contractor engagements as required (e.g., to support IT or Corporate Communications), including identification of external partners and contract review and execution.
  • Assists the MDRU Director with preparation of grant and academic proposals, letters of intent, background documentation, program rationales, and other reports.
  • Collects and coordinates relevant grant information, budgets, CVs and statistics.
  • Develops, implements, and maintains procedures, systems and processes for research file management and application/information guidelines.
  • Administers multiple large scale projects including: overseeing the management of work plans and collaborating on the most appropriate internal and external communications


  • Participates in the strategic planning of both annual and multi-year resource allocations for MDRU.
  • Financial oversight of income-generating activities. Analyze operations and income-generating activities and generate recommendations to optimize these activities. Provides advice to both the MDRU Director and Head EOAS Head on budget management for MDRU operational budgets.
  • Prepares the MDRU’s short and long-term financial plans in conjunction with the MDRU Director and Head of EOAS.
  • Develop budgets and oversee financial execution of MDRU revenue-generating courses. Generate proposals to optimize revenue generation of future MDRU courses.
  • Prepares operational and research financial reports for the MDRU Board of Directors for MDRU Board meetings.
  • Oversees the financial management of MDRU’S budget and all research, expense and revenue budgets. Monitors all operating accounts, on an individual and rollup basis; produces variance analyses of revenues and expenditures or other key financial indicators; develops and produces regular and customized financial reports as a basis for decisions on management resource allocations. Analyzes relationships between budget and actual financial data and determines reasons for variances; develops techniques to improve forecasts.
  • Directs and oversees the processing of financial transactions (supplier invoices, payroll and accounting journals, purchase requisitions, purchase orders, expense reports, internal service delivery); and the monthly reconciliation of Workday ledger reports

Supervision Received
Reports directly to the MDRU Director and works independently under broad directives from the MDRU Director. Takes direction from the EOAS Director of Resources and Operations and Head of EOAS.

Supervision Given
Directs the work of the MDRU Finance Clerk.

Minimum Qualifications
Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. Minimum of three years of related experience, or the equivalent combination of education and experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • University degree in business or financial administration or equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
  • Experience and knowledge of University policies, procedures, governance and administrative systems in budgeting, financial reporting, procurement, and internal controls preferred.
  • Experience with process improvement and process improvement education (e.g. LEAN) would be an asset
  • Minimum of three years experience in financial management, reporting, budget planning and forecasting at UBC, or at a medium-sized company, in the range of $1,000,000 to $3,000,000
  • Experience with grant proposal protocol/grant writing process is required
  • Experience with research grant budget preparation preferred
  • Experience with research administration, particularly NSERC funding rulesand reporting preferred
  • Experience with stakeholder engagement and/or fundraising desirable
  • Demonstrated experience with strategic planning and at least 2-3 years experience with managing and/or supervising staff
  • Outstanding writing skills, including grammar and spelling. Articulate, thoughtful, open and receptive communicator, verbally and in writing.
  • High degree of comfort with handling new situations, acquiring new skills, and prioritizing competing priorities in a fast paced environment
  • Ability to work independently in a team environment and work effectively and solve problems under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Proven ability to build long term relationships with diverse internal and external stakeholders while earning trust, maintaining appropriate confidentiality, using sound judgment, and exercising tact and diplomacy.
  • Customer focused approach with the ability to maintain accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Proven flexible approach, adaptability and comfort with ambiguity and change while dealing with new methods, procedures and changing conditions.

For more information about this posting and to submit your application, please visit

(Note: Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM on July 31st)

MDRU Director
Closing Date: September 30, 2019

MDRU Director

Mineral Deposit Research Unit at The University of British Columbia


The Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) Board of Directors and the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (EOAS) at The University of British Columbia (UBC), invite applicants for the position of MDRU Director.

The Director will provide visionary leadership, coordination and management of MDRU’s core areas of research, education, knowledge transfer and operating sustainability.  Successful leadership and management of MDRU requires an extensive knowledge of the exploration and mining business and the application of geoscience research and innovation to drive success.  The MDRU Director builds and maintains strong relationships within UBC, industry, geological surveys and other universities.  These relationships facilitate successful, interdisciplinary research collaborations amongst faculty members, researchers, graduate students and industry collaborators within MDRU and EOAS, elsewhere at UBC and internationally.  The Director raises ~$2M annually to fund collaborative research projects that typically support ~30 graduate students, Post-Doctoral Fellows and Research Associates on projects around the world.  MDRU is dedicated to education and training and has provided >100 training events and contributed to the success of over 150 highly-qualified persons (graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and research associates) since its inception in 1989. For more details, visit

Applications are invited from geoscientists with a proven track record of technical and scientific excellence in economic geology and mineral exploration.  The successful candidate will possess outstanding leadership, management, and interpersonal skills, have a demonstrated track-record of building successful collaborative teams, and be a strong strategic thinker.  A PhD is required.  Candidates must have extensive knowledge in economic geology and are expected to have significant career experience in the minerals industry and/or government and/or an academic environment with a significant focus on economic geology.  Candidates will have had broad experience across a range of mineral deposits types, settings and scientific challenges related to ore deposit discovery. Experience in integrated geoscience applications and the application of geoscience across the mining value chain are considered assets.  Candidates lacking industry experience must be able to demonstrate a significant record of applied mineral deposit research. Candidates lacking professorial experience must demonstrate the ability to advance mineral deposit knowledge and excellence in education and training and ability to effectively teach and mentor trainees

The initial appointment as Director will be for three years, and may be renewed by the MDRU Board of Directors.  The Directorship carries an academic appointment within the Department of EOAS at UBC (see criteria at: successful candidate will have experience and qualifications that satisfy both the applied industry focus and the academic eligibility of a Grant-tenured Associate Professor or Professor.   Salary will be commensurate with experience.  The starting date is negotiable, preferably by January 2020.

EOAS is a large and diverse department with research interests that span the evolution of Earth from core to stratosphere and is dedicated to innovative teaching ( We seek candidates who will collaborate with research groups both within and outside the department, strengthen research ties with other parts of UBC’s broad earth science community, demonstrate potential to contribute to excellence in teaching and mentoring, and build strong relationships with the minerals industry.  Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

UBC’s strategic plan identifies inclusion as one of our key priorities. We welcome colleagues with the experiences and competencies that can contribute to our principles of inclusion, equity, and diversity throughout campus life.  In your application, please include a statement describing your experience working with a diverse organization and your contributions to creating/advancing a culture of equity and inclusion within your discipline.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.

How to Apply

Application packages should include:

  1. a cover letter;
  2. a detailed curriculum vita and publication list;
  3. a one-page summary of research interests and accomplishment, and examples of three recent publications;
  4. a one-page outline of a potential three to five-year business plan for MDRU;
  5. diversity statement
  6. the names and contact details of three referees


These should be combined into a single PDF document and be uploaded through the UBC Careers website at:

The deadline for receipt of applications September 30, 2019, after which the review of applications will begin.

Inquiries should be directed to the Search Committee Chair via email:


Posted: August 1, 2019

Deadline: September 30, 2019

Post-Doctoral Research Fellows in Carbon Mineralization
Closing Date: September 3, 2019

The Carbon Mineralization Research Group in the Bradshaw Research Initiative for Minerals and Mining (BRIMM) seeks two to three postdoctoral fellows to assist in developing pilot demonstration projects in carbon mineralization in ultramafic mine tailings. Successful candidates will have a strong publication record demonstrating expertise in one or more of; ultramafic igneous rock processes and serpentinization, experimental geochemistry in mineral-fluid-gas reactive transport, and computational geoscience in phase equilibria, mass balance, and computational mineralogy. A Ph.D. from an institute of international standing and excellent communication skills in English is required. Prior experience mentoring undergraduate or graduate students is an asset. Salary will be commensurate with experience and skills.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community. We especially welcome applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Application packages including, CV, statement of research interests, example publications, and a minimum of three references should be emailed as a single PDF document to Greg Dipple (  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled.

posted 02 July 2019

Research Associate or Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Geometallurgy
Closing Date: September 30, 2019

MDRU is looking for a Research Geometallurgist to play a key role in developing and implementing a range of research opportunities, strategies and projects in this rapidly developing discipline. We are looking for a Research Associate to lead, or a Post-Doctoral Fellow to contribute, to MDRU’s geometallugy initiatives across the mining cycle from exploration to tailings; including alteration studies, defining 3D domains, petrophysical rock properties, gold deportment, rock hardness and comminution, mineral liberation and sorting.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • a track record of collaborating with the minerals industry to deliver research results that contribute to problem-solving and improved decision-making;
  • experience contributing to a team environment, interacting and facilitating research with colleagues, graduate students and faculty;
  • to be recognized for their contributions, as evidenced by their publications, involvement and influence;
  • experience in developing problem-solving strategies, utilizing a range of technologies and analytical approaches;
  • expertise in the acquisition, interpretation and application of SWIR, XRF, SEM/MLA, CL, EMPA, LA-ICP-MS and/or core scanning types of data.

MDRU’s approach to geometallurgy is “rocks first” with an emphasis on material characterization to establish domains of coherent mineralogical, geochemical and petrophysical characteristics as they relate to mineral processing, recovery and disposal. Candidates with strengths in geochemistry, mineralogy, 3D modelling, data management or rock mechanics will be more favourably considered.  The candidate will work with BRIMM collaborators in geological engineering, mining engineering, mineral processing.  We have projects in porphyry domaining and block caving.

The successful candidate will have excellent critical problem-solving skills, a record of excellent oral and written communications, and be able to contribute effectively to both academic and industry environments.  MDRU Researchers are expected to interact with and participate in the research activities of their colleagues, graduate students and geoscientists from other universities, government agencies, mineral exploration and service companies.

Applicants should hold a PhD degree and Research Associates should have at least three years of relevant post-PhD research, industry or government experience. Salary will be negotiated and commensurate with experience. The position is for a term of one-year, extendable.

Applications, including a one-page cover letter, CV, GoogleScholar page and salient publications should be sent to MDRU Director Dr. Craig Hart ( Applications will be screened and considered upon receipt.

MDRU-Mineral Deposit Research Unit is an internationally-recognized industry-sponsored research group based at The University of British Columbia, who are dedicated to reducing risk and solving mineral exploration problems by providing research, education and industry training.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. UBC is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes expressions of interest from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. However, Canadians and Permanent Residents of Canada will be given priority.

posted 01 July 2019