Research

Apply to GIA’s Liddicoat Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program





Karen Smit uses a Scanning Electron Microscope to view images of a sample's topography or composition and the internal growth structure of diamond. The screen to her left shows compositional maps of a sulphide still included in a diamond. Six different color images map the distribution of a certain element across an area of interest. The screen on her right shows the features on the surface of a pearl.
Karen Smit, a postdoctoral researcher for GIA from 2014-2016, is a research scientist at GIA. She is using a Scanning Electron Microscope to image a sample's shape or composition and see the internal growth structure of diamond. Photo by Jian Xin (Jae) Liao/GIA.

The Richard T. Liddicoat Postdoctoral Research Associate Fellowship program was created in 2014 to honor of GIA’s former president, who was widely considered the “Father of Modern Gemology.” The one-to-two year fellowships encourage early career scientists to pursue full-time academic research in mineralogy, geology, physics, materials science and other fields related to gemology – the study of diamonds, colored gemstones, pearls and their treatment. Diamond research activities consider fundamental scientific problems in diamond geology, defect physics and synthesis.

The specific focus of the program is tailored to each fellow’s interest, expertise and the needs of the GIA research laboratories. Gemstone access for research purposes at GIA is unrivalled, and includes natural, synthetic and treated gemstones in rough or polished forms, including materials acquired by our Field Gemology department. In-house research tools include FTIR; UV-Vis-NIR absorption; Raman, photoluminescence and EPR spectrometers; an SEM microscope equipped with EDS and CL spectroscopy and imaging; laser ablation ICP-MS; and a CVD diamond growth lab with laser cutting and polishing facilities. GIA also facilitates access to outside research facilities.

Research fellows and the Institute’s experienced researchers and gemologists work side-by-side to explore and learn from the gems that come into GIA’s lab.

The fellowship includes a competitive annual stipend ($60,000+), research funding and travel subsidies for approved offsite research work. Benefits include full health, dental and vision insurance, and the potential reimbursement of relocation expenses. Appointments are for one year and may be extended for a second year based on mutual agreement.

Applicants must have received their Ph.D. in a relevant field by the start date and preferably within the last three years. Effective oral and written English skills and the ability to publish high-level scientific articles are required. Candidates should be willing to travel domestically and internationally as needed. Applicants must submit a curriculum vitae with a publications list, a three-to-five page research proposal and at least two letters of reference.

Applicants are encouraged to discuss possible research topics with an advisor from GIA research. Contact one of our research advisors:
Wuyi Wang
Mike Breeding
Ulrika F.S. D’Haenens-Johansson
Sally Magaña
James Shigley

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Primarily conduct focused research into fundamental scientific problems related to mineralogy, crystallography, geochemistry and gemology of diamonds; various type of colored gem stones (corundum, beryl, spinel, garnet, quartz); pearls; and possibly related gem-instrument development. Diamond research includes fundamental scientific problems in diamond geology, diamond physics and synthetic diamond growth mechanisms, and other scientific problems related to gemology.

  • The specific focus of the research will depend on the applicant’s interests, expertise, and the needs of GIA research and the laboratory
  • Performs analysis utilizing spectrometers, chemical analysis, X-ray imaging systems, and other research tools
  • Presentation and publication of research results in international conference and academic journals, internally and externally
  • Additional daily activities may involve assisting with data collection and interpretation
  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned or required

Technical Competencies (Knowledge, Skills & Abilities):

  • Ability to communicate with scientific staff and prepare written scientific articles for publication in English
  • Willingness to travel domestically or internationally as needed are strongly desired

Education and Experience:

  • Ph.D. in scientific field from accredited college or university, preferably within the last 3 years
  • Relevant proposal for research work
  • Effective communication in English with scientific and production staff
  • The ability to prepare written scientific articles for publication, and a willingness to travel domestically or internationally as needed are strongly desired

Find out how to apply for a research fellowship. For more information about the program and its requirements, please email: researchcareers@gia.edu

Current and Former Research Fellows

Tingting Gu (2016-Present)
Anatoly Muchnikov (2016-2017)
Evan Smith (2015-2017)
Elena Sorokina (2015-2016)
Aaron Palke (2014-2016)
Karen Smit (2014-2016)

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Pursue full-time academic research in mineralogy, geology, physics, materials science and other fields related to gemology.

Apply Now

Research Internship Program

Get hands on experience performing analysis of gem materials and receive ongoing coaching and mentoring with GIA's paid research internship.

Apply Now

Rare Research Projects for Scientists

Evan Smith studies images of diamond inclusions on a computer.
GIA’s postdoctoral program gives researchers access to gemological data and rare gems in its labs.
 
Read More

Research that Informs and Inspires

Why GIA Research?

Research not only deepens the world’s understanding of gems, but also protects those who buy or sell them.
 
Learn More

Research Instruments

Researchers use powerful analytical tools to determine the distinctive characteristics of natural, synthetic and treated gem materials.
 
Read More

GIA Gem Project

GIA has studied more than 400 important gemstones in the Edward J. Gübelin Gem Collection and is committed to sharing this repository of gemological information.

Go to Index

Build Your Research Career at GIA

GIA offers a unique environment for scientists and researchers to further their investigations in the world of gems.
Learn More

Visit G&G Online

Fall 2017 Gems & Gemology
Get all the content featured in the most recent issue of Gems & Gemology, as well as access to every issue of the quarterly journal since 1934.

Read More

You Might Also Like

Find a Retailer
learn more
Shop the Campus Store
Learn More
Quality Assurance Benchmarks
Learn More
Gems & Gemology
G&G Fall 2017 Edition
Learn more