The inorganic geochemistry team provides training in laboratory systems (e.g. quality assurance) and techniques, from sampling strategy to sample preparation, dissolution, sample analyses to interpretation and data management, all with an overarching need to provide an audit trail to maintain confidence in data outputs.

PhD students

We regularly host PhD students undertaking experimental work or for laboratory training in systems of work (e.g. health and safety, quality assurance) and the wide range of techniques and procedures available. The students have access to the range of laboratory and applied scientific expertise of the inorganic geochemistry team and the wider BGS.

Overseas trainees

In recent years we have hosted overseas trainees from India, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe through international development projects, exchange secondments or on a commercial basis. We have also provided training packages in Jamaica and Israel, as well as major capacity strengthening programmes in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Liberia.

Industrial placements

We provide 12-month rolling programmes for research projects and on-the-job training for applied analytical chemistry placements.

Examples of previous sandwich research projects include:

  • development of elemental speciation for field and laboratory techniques (SPE, HPLC-ICP-MS)
  • validation of a Mercury analyser
  • specialised method development for analysis of heavy minerals
  • set up of radiochemistry analytical equipment
  • application of bioaccessibility methodology to soil risk assessment and geogenic dust analyses.


Professor Neil Ward, University of Surrey

Michael Watts at BGS provide an excellent laboratory for students undertaking work-based learning (or Professional Training). This long standing link with the University of Surrey is highly recognised for the professional level of training the students get, with specific on-the-job experience of quality control systems, project specific analysis of other staff at BGS and the day-to-day experience of working with experts from a variety of professions at BGS. All of the students learn about research in a world where it is important to not just analyse samples, but the results are very important in relation to natural environmental and geochemical problems'.


Please contact Michael Watts, Charles Gowing or Simon Chenery for further information.