RGC Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme (PDFS) for 2022/23

An opening is available for an outstanding postdoctoral researcher wishing to continue their research on marine biogeochemistry and trophic ecology in collaboration with Dr Alex S.J. Wyatt and the Oceanographic Ecology Laboratory. The successful candidate will join the Department of Ocean Science at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) under the RGC Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme (PDFS) call. Further details on benefits of the scheme can be found at the RGC PDFS site and include an annual stipend of HK$406,550 per year (2022/23 call).

Research themes

The successful candidate will leverage new and existing facilities to broadly:

Quantify oceanographic and climatic drivers of the structure and function of tropical marine ecosystems

with a preference for projects focusing on the oceanographic drivers of coral reef ecology and biogeochemistry, or marine ecosystem restoration.

Access to, and where required training in, a range of specialist equipment will be possible, including facilities for compound-specific isotope analyses, in-situ productivity and calcification measurements (eddy covariance, gradient factor), technical scientific diving (including rebreathers), and on-campus running seawater facilities and a mesocosm system for manipulative experiments.

The University

HKUST is a world-class international research university dedicated to: (1) the advancement of science, technology and business, as well as humanities and social science; (2) education of the next generation of front runners, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels; and, (3) making societal impact. The university promotes interdisciplinary studies, dedicated to educating well-rounded students with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. It is one of the most international universities in Asia, with English as the language of teaching, research and administration. It was ranked 1st in the 2018 Times Higher Education Young University Ranking, 12th worldwide (1st in greater China) in the 2017 Global Employability University Ranking, and 32nd in the latest QS World University Rankings. It is the best young university in the world according to the Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2019. Located in the Clear Water Bay area, HKUST’s campus has a magnificent ocean view and is also widely known as one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.  The Coastal Marine Laboratory provides running seawater facilities for experimental studies right on campus.

Candidate Requirements

We are seeking a highly motivated candidates with a record of academic excellence.  The candidate will be expected to design and lead a project that complements or integrates with existing projects in the lab.  In addition to the requirements listed at the RGC PDFS site, the candidate should address the following criteria in their cover letter.


  1. A Ph.D. from a recognised university in biology, ecology or oceanography, preferably with a strong marine focus
  2. Extensive field research experience, preferably in marine / oceanographic settings
  3. Well-developed laboratory skills, including in sample preparation and / or performing chemical analyses
  4. High-level English abilities (e.g. degrees in English and TOEFL etc. for non-native speakers).
  5. The ability to participate in marine field work that may sometimes be physically demanding and in remote locations for extended periods.
  6. The ability to work independently and troubleshoot problems across field and laboratory settings.


  1. Experience with oceanographic techniques and oceanographic instruments, including well-developed data processing skills / programming (e.g. MATLAB®).
  2. Experience with abiotic (seawater, sediments) and/or biotic (coral, sponges, fish) sampling.
  3. Experience performing compound-specific isotope analysis (amino acids and fatty acids).
  4. Scientific and/or technical diving qualifications with extensive experience conducting research diving OR willingness and ability to become trained in technical scientific diving.

Application Procedure

Potential candidates should send, as three (3) separate attachments, a copy of:

  1. their CV (2 pages maximum)
  2. a cover letter (2 pages maximum), outlining:
    1. research interests in the context of the lab’s research themes,
    2. suitability for the role (refer explicitly to the criteria above), and
    3. contact details for three (3) professional referees.
  3. a research proposal document including:
    1. Title of project
    2. Abstract of Research (comprehensible to a non-specialist in one A4 page in standard RGC format)
    3. Proposed Objectives and Potential Impact of Research Project (a maximum of four A4 pages in standard RGC format)
    4. Background of Research, Research Plan and Methodology (a maximum of four A4 pages in standard RGC format)
    5. Illustrations (a maximum of one non-text A4 page of attached diagrams, photos, charts, tables, etc.)
    6. References (a maximum of two A4 pages of full references).



Review of applications will start immediately and continue until the internal deadline (10 September 2021).


Additional information is available on the web about the University, the Department of Ocean Science and the Ocean Ecol (Wyatt) Lab.

(Information provided by applicants will only be used for recruitment and other employment-related purposes)