Frank joined the UCD School of Geological Sciences in 1993 as a Newman Scholar and was appointed to the full-time lecturing staff in 1999. He was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2002 and Associate Professor in 2006. He served as Head of the School of Geological Sciences from 2007 to 2011, and as the School's postgraduate co-ordinator from 2005-2007 and from 2011 to the present. He has been Head of the UCD School of Earth Sciences since September 2015.
He leads the Palaeoclimate Research Group, focussing on the use of speleothems (cave carbonates) to reconstruct past climate variability. His research within the ESIPP project focuses on reconstructing the timing and character of late Pleistocene interstadials and the role of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and other climate teleconnection patterns as drivers of climatic conditions in western Europe during the past two millennia.
Understanding the spatio-temporal variability in the NAO and other climate system teleconnections such as the East Atlantic pattern are a particular focus of Frank's current research as these are crucial in determining multiannual variations in the power output of windfarms and PV installations in western Europe.
Frank is a member of the Editorial Board for the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.