I have been in Scandinavia for two months now, and this weekend I decided that it was time to see if I could learn anything of the local geology on line, since the rocks are still too snow covered to be revealing many of their secrets to my own observations. So I called upon Google, as you do in such situations, and requested information on "Luleå geology". Much to my surprise the first hit was an announcement of a faculty position at the local university, the one within walking distance of my new home. They are looking for someone to teach ore deposit geology and conduct research on that topic. The translation of their ad says that this means that one uses "geochronology, isotope geochemistry, tectonics, structural geology, mineralogy, etc. to explain and describe the processes by which metals are transported, concentrated and precipitated".
This description made me smile; while I have not focused upon ore deposits in my own research their list of tools used is pretty much a one to one match to the list of research interests/tools on my CV. Reading the fine print of the ad I see that previous experience in research on the topic of "malmkaraktärisering" (ore characterisation) is "meritorious", rather than "required". This, too made me smile; I may not have done much with ore deposits myself, but I am a graduate of CODES: the Centre for Excellence in Ore Deposit Research at the University of Tasmania—all of the short courses and most of the seminars I attended were on ore deposit research of one sort or another, often sharing very cutting edge research or technological applications. Therefore, while I may not have the "meritorious" advantage of having done my own research on the subject, I have absorbed a fair bit of information on the topic over the years, and have a good idea of which colleagues to turn to if I have questions on any particular topic in the field.
While writing the application (read: taking information from my CV and inserting it into their template) I thought about what to put into the "future research" section of the document. This caused me to recall a particularly interesting seminar talk while I was still at CODES, so I e-mailed the speaker and let him know that I was preparing the application and would be interested in doing collaborative research using that technology should I be the successful applicant. Much to my delight I received an encouraging reply in plenty of time to include his name in the application. He also reminded me that the honorary doctorate degree he'd received a couple of years back happens to have come from this university. I am taking this as a positive sign, and happily turned in my application this morning (today being the application deadline—I saw the ad only just on time!).
I have no idea how I will do with this application—it matters as much what the other applicant's packets contain as it does what I have included in my own, but I am confident that should I be the lucky winner in this case I will be able to do the job, and do it well. How lovely it would be to be able to work in the town I have chosen for personal reasons. However, if it doesn't work out I am certain that I will enjoy whatever path I do take…