Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

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The Department of Physics is looking for a candidate for a postdoctoral position in magnetospheric physics. This is a full-time (100%) position for two years. Starting date as soon as possible or according to agreement. The postdoctoral project will be conducted in close collaboration with scientists from the University of Leicester UK, Danish Technical University Copenhagen and the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Washington USA. Application deadline is June 2, 2019.

Project description and working tasks
The aim of the project is to accomplish an advanced physical understanding of the temporal behavior of geomagnetic storms, in particular in terms of their short-term variability with respect to solar wind forcing and internal processes in the Earth's magnetosphere and magnetotail.

Magnetic storms are presently intensively studied because of their potential detrimental impact on space and ground-infrastructure in the scientific context of near-Earth space plasma processes, which today is commonly referred to as “Space Weather”. While the general temporal behaviour of a geomagnetic storm and its various long-term phases is today reasonably well understood, there are still a number of open questions about the short-term variations. While some storms (or storm-phases) exhibit smooth temporal variations, even for large amplitudes of disturbances, other storms exhibit rapid and multiple spikes (defined as periods of large dB/dt of over 1000 nT/min), which may cause the so-called “Geomagnetically Induced Currents” (GICs) discussed in Space Weather. It is not known what exactly determines the spiky nature of stormy periods as compared to other smoother periods of equally large amplitude of the total magnetic disturbances. It is therefore of relevance, both for the scientific community and for the predictability of GICs, to clarify what determines such different temporal behaviours at different times.

In the project, we will study what characterises the magnetospheric physics and the main drivers of spiky storms and substorms. The major work tasks of the postdoc are to identify a variety of geomagnetically disturbed periods from ground-based magnetometer data when there is sufficient coverage of supporting satellite data in the upstream solar wind and in the magnetotail, and then to determine the physical drivers for strong or extreme short-term variability in geomagnetic disturbances. Depending on the qualifications of the successful candidate, detailed numerical modelling can also be included in the project.

The postdoctoral project is to largest part financed by the Swedish National Space Agency, with a smaller contribution from the University of Leicester and from Umeå University.

Minor teaching tasks may be included, e.g. master thesis supervision within the research area of the successful postdoc candidate.

The position is a two-year full-time employment. Starting date as soon as possible or according to agreement.

To qualify for the position, you should have a PhD degree, or a foreign degree that is deemed equivalent, in space plasma physics, magnetospheric physics or in another area relevant for the project. To be eligible the degree should have been completed a maximum of three years before the end of the application period unless certain circumstances exist.

Extensive experience in studying space plasma phenomena by analyzing in-situ spacecraft and/ or ground-based datasets such as magnetometer and radar measurements is required. Previous experience from working with numerical simulations is also a merit. Good skills in programming (e.g. C, Matlab and Python) are required. Experience from conducting independent research and publishing articles in renowned scientific journals is a major benefit. Previous experience from university teaching is a merit too. You should be highly motivated and responsible, have good social skills, and you should be passionate about positive development both as an individual scientist and as a space physics research team member. You must therefore have an ability to work both independently and as a team member. Good skills in written and spoken English are a necessary requirement.

The application should include:
1. A cover letter stating your motives for applying and summarizing your qualifications for the position, your previous research and teaching experience as well as your experience in the area mentioned above (maximum 5 pages).
2. A description of how you would approach the project described above and a suggestion of a tentative research plan that fits your expertise (maximum 5 pages),
3. A curriculum vitae (CV) with a publication list,
4. Copies of doctoral degree certificate and other relevant degree certificates,
5. Copies of the PhD thesis and relevant publications,
6. Contact information of three reference persons,
7. Other relevant documents you wish to claim.

Please observe that all material must be in Swedish or English. If material is submitted in other languages, a translation to Swedish or English must be included.

Applications must be submitted via e-recruitment system Varbi no later than June 2, 2019.

For further information, contact

Maria Hamrin, and/or Hermann Opgenoorth,

We look forward to receiving your application!

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Starting date as soon as possible or according to agreement.
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-669-19
  • Maria Hamrin, 090-786 60 36
  • Hermann Opgenoorth, 076-776 76 73
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
Published 23.Apr.2019
Last application date 02.Jun.2019 11:59 PM CET

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