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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Space Plasma Physics
Whiteknights Reading UK

Job reference: SRF17835

Location: Whiteknights Reading UK

Closing date: 19/05/2017

Job live date: 19/04/2017

Salary: £29,301 to £32,004 per annum

Employment type: AR-Research

Department: School of Mathematical Physical & Computational Sciences

Division: Meteorology

Hours per week: 1.00 FTE

Employment Basis/Type: Full-time, Fixed term up to 4 years

We seek a post-doctoral researcher to work on a 4-year NERC-funded project investigating the nonlinear plasma physics of wave-particle interactions in Earth’s Radiation Belts. The project forms part of a large UK consortium to study the physics of Earth’s Radiation Belts and improve physics-based modelling of important wave-particle interactions. The consortium is led by the British Antarctic Survey and includes the University of Reading, Mullard Space Science Laboratory (UCL), Imperial College London and the University of Sheffield. We welcome applications from strongly-motivated individuals who wish to be part of this exciting new collaboration.

We seek a space plasma physicist, ideally with expertise in kinetic plasma physics. You will design and carry out numerical experiments to explore the applicability of plasma diffusion theories in Earth’s Outer Radiation Belt. We have access to state-of-the art kinetic plasma simulations, and you will be encouraged and supported to develop further tools necessary to achieve the project goals. You will liaise with scientists in the consortium to apply your new results within the BAS Radiation Belt Model. 

The University aspires to be an “Employer of Choice” and recognises that success is not simply determined by a competitive suite of terms and conditions of service, but by fostering a working environment that protects the physical and mental well-being of its staff. Full details of the University's Health and Well-being policy are available from through the HR website. The University is committed to work-life balance and supportive of flexible working arrangements, and the School’s website gives examples of excellent practices in respect of flexible work as well as for maternity/parental leave within the School. The University supports its staff in many other ways:

its Centre for Quality Support and Development,

its excellent Nursery facilities,

its SportsPark,

its membership of Childcare+.


The School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences was awarded an Athena SWAN Silver award in 2010, renewed in 2014,  in recognition of its good employment practices in relation to women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) .

Please follow the link for more information.

This is a full time, fixed term post initially for a period of four years. There may be opportunities to extend this post contingent upon your satisfactory performance and the acquisition of sufficient research funding. 

You will have:

  • a PhD in Space Plasma Physics or a related discipline
  • research experience in a physical or mathematical science
  • the ability to work successfully in a large team, and to motivate yourself independently
  • strong motivation to learn new techniques relevant to the project
  • the ability to communicate scientific ideas effectively in person, as well as on paper
  • the ability to program in a scientific computing language such as Fortran, C++, Matlab, Python,etc
  • the ability to manage your time effectively


Please see the Person Specification for further details of desirable attributes

Informal contact details

Contact role:

University of Reading Principal Investigator

Contact name:

Dr Clare Watt

Contact phone:

0118 278 6213

Contact email:

Interviews will be held on the 26 May 2017

The University is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce and we welcome applications for job-share, part-time and flexible working arrangements which will be considered in line with business needs.


The closing date for this job has now passed.


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