Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

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The Department of Science and Mathematics Education is hiring a postdoctoral fellow in a research project on visualization and learning in the field of atmospheric and space physics (VisA). The employment is full-time for two years with entry on 1 September 2023, or as agreed.

Project description and work tasks
The position is at the Department of Science and Mathematics Education (NMD) at Umeå University. The research will be conducted largely at the Curiosum science center  at Umeå University. As a research environment, in addition to NMD and Curiosum, the Department of Physics and EISCAT's headquarters in Kiruna (located at the Institute for Space Physics) will also contribute. Together they form a stimulating and international research environment. At the NMD, teaching and research is conducted around learning in natural sciences, technology and mathematics (UmSER). Curiosum is a public science center where a dome theater provides excellent opportunities for visualization of scientific data, and also houses other infrastructure for exploring and discovering science and technology in interactive forms. Curiosum is part of a national project on scientific visualization in immersive environments, Wisdome. At the Department of Physics, the space physics group studies naturally occurring plasmas in the solar system, especially the interaction between the sun and the Earth's magnetic field. EISCAT's headquarters are at the Institute for Space Physics in Kiruna, which conducts research in solar and space science.

In the research project VisA (Visualisation of the Atmosphere) data from several sources are used in order to visualize the space in the near-earth region. EISCAT3D, is a radar infrastructure that is currently being built at three locations in northern Sweden, Finland and Norway. EISCAT uses radar technology to collect data from the atmosphere and ionosphere. Other data sources are observations from satellites or from Earth. The data sets provide information about the complex systems in the atmosphere and the interaction between the sun and the earth, e.g. northern lights (aurora), space weather, meteor incidents and climate issues. In the project, this information will be made available through interactive visualization methods, giving both researchers and the public the opportunity to explore the phenomena and processes that characterize the interaction between the Sun and the Earth. The goal of the project is to develop new ways of visualizing space physics, especially the aurora borealis, that stimulate interest and learning in science and technology, especially for young people. Visitors of all ages come to a science center like Curiosum to explore to science and technology. The public often visits a science center where adults and children together, for example a family, can explore and discover scientific phenomena and processes. School classes visit the science center together with teachers, where the visit often takes place through teacher-led activities that can illuminate different topics. 

The postdoctoral project is about researching how scientific visualization of the processes in the interaction between the sun and the earth in an immersive environment can create interest and learning in science and technology. 

The specific assignments within the project partly depend on the applicant's competence and interest, but some examples of research and work tasks within the project are, in collaboration with other researchers, e.g within space physics, to develop relevant activities for immersive visualization for dome theater around the aurora borealis and space physics, identify scientific narratives for research and carry out studies of user experiences around learning and interest (cognitive and affective aspects) in aurora borealis and space physics and present results at scientific conferences and in journals. 

To be appointed under the postdoctoral agreement, the postdoctoral fellow is required to have completed a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree. This qualification requirements must be fulfilled no later than at the time of the appointment decision.

To be appointed under the postdoctoral agreement, priority should be given to candidates who completed their doctoral degree, according to what is stipulated in the paragraph above, no later than three years prior. If there are special reasons, candidates who completed their doctoral degree prior to that may also be eligible. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, appointments of trust in trade union organisations, military service, or similar circumstances, as well as clinical practice or other forms of appointment/assignment relevant to the subject area. Postdoctoral fellows who are to teach or supervise must have taken relevant courses in teaching and learning in higher education.

We are looking for you with a PhD that includes educational science, behavioral science or another relevant field that involves data collection from people, both quantitative and qualitative data. You also have relevant education and knowledge in science that include the subject area of ​​the project, e.g. space physics or geophysics. Furthermore, you have the ability to work independently as well as part of an interdisciplinary team of junior and senior researchers and have very good collaboration skills. Your knowledge of spoken and written English is very good. You have a genuine interest in interdisciplinary research and making scientific results available to the public. Great importance is placed on personal competence and suitability.
Experience in teaching and developing teaching materials in natural sciences, experience in visualization and learning, preferably in immersive environments, and experience in building networks and working with researchers in several different subject areas are meritorious.
A full application should include: 

  • Personal letter that describes qualifications, research interest and motivation for application (maximum one A4 page),
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with publication list,
  • Certified copy of doctoral degree certificate,
  • Certified copies of other diplomas, list of completed academic courses and grades, Copy of or link to doctoral thesis and up to five relevant scientific articles,
  • Contact information for at least two reference persons,
  • Other documents that the applicant wishes to claim. 

The application must be written in English or Swedish. The application is made through our electronic recruitment system Varbi. Documents sent electronically must be in Word or PDF format. Log in to the system and apply via the button at the end of this page. The closing date is April 30, 2023. 

Further details are provided by principal investigator Madelen Bodin phone: +46 90 7869618 or e-mail: 


Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Enligt överenskommelse
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-265-23
  • Madelen Bodin, 0907869592
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-7865365
  • SEKO, 090-7865296
  • ST, 090-7865431
Published 16.Feb.2023
Last application date 30.Apr.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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