The Cobalt Institute (CI) represents the voice of the cobalt industry on all cobalt-related issues and challenges including environmental concerns. The environmental properties of metals and metal compounds are subject to continuing evaluation by regulators and legislators, and consequently the CI needs to ensure it has the appropriate resources in place long term to support and represent the members, and the wider cobalt industry.
Over the past 10+ years the CI has developed the empirical data needed to address concerns associated with cobalt in the environment. Many of the key questions associated with the acute and chronic toxicity of Co to aquatic and terrestrial species have been addressed, an understanding of Co bioavailability and the effects of environmental properties on Co toxicity has been developed, and an evaluation of Co sensitivity to a range of organisms completed. Future needs are anticipated to centre around Co-specific environmental regulatory concerns and metals-related developments.
This role constitutes an important element of the CI science team going forward, by developing an in-house resource in environmental toxicology, while working closely with the current senior ecotoxicology contractor. The role will also broaden CI’s networks and capabilities, allowing the implementation of a more proactive environmental programme, and give a suitable succession path moving forward. Over time, the job holder will build their own knowledge and networks with a view to gradually becoming the acknowledged industry expert and “go to” contact point for environmental science relating to cobalt.
The role provides considerable scope for personal growth and development.
Responsibilities and Duties
The main responsibilities and duties of this job are as follows:
- Build a productive relationship and reputation with a range of stakeholders:
- Other metals institutes and associations
- Umbrella industry groups, e.g. Eurometaux, ICMM, ETAP, MERA
- Institute members and their environmental toxicologists
- Consultants and testing laboratories
- Academia including publishers of well-respected journals, SETAC
- Regulators around the globe
- Develop relevant subject matter expertise by learning from the industry expert and by self-driven learning
- Contribute to the design and execution of the cobalt environmental science research programme, and to the development of publications
- Support a proactive environmental work programme, such as the advancement of use of industry data in global regulatory evaluations, the development of industry positions, and the development of multi-metal guidance
- Take over responsibility for development and update of environmental sections of registration dossiers (e.g. EU REACH), as well as some aspects of human health sections
- Provide support on the incorporation of ecotoxicity information in life-cycle assessment models
- Participate actively in internal meetings of the CI and its EU subsidiary Cobalt REACH Consortium (CI Chemicals Management Committee, Consortium Working Group) including minutes, and external meetings (e.g. Ecotoxicology Technical Advisory Panel [ETAP])
- Work with the CI Government Affairs team to provide input into advocacy activities and technical information for the website
Knowledge and Skills
Strong organisational, administrative and communication skills are required, as is attention to detail and thoroughness with record keeping. Good networking skills are also useful. IT literacy, and numeracy are essential.
An ability to explain complex science in simple terms will be important. Approachability and the ability to work effectively with many different types of stakeholder will also be needed.
Qualifications and Experience
Minimum MSc degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. Minimum 3 years’ relevant experience (e.g. industry, association) and/or research experience would be appropriate.