Research Fellow in Solar Physics

Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
£35,844 - £40,322
05 Jun 2020
End of advertisement period
05 Jul 2020
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Applications are invited for two four and a half -year (53 month) postdoctoral research fellow positions in the area of Solar Physics. The successful candidates will conduct research relevant to understanding how Alfvénic waves transfer energy through the Sun’s atmosphere, with a particular focus on the corona and the connection with the solar wind. These positions are funded by a Future Leader grant from UKRI (the RiPSAW project, MR/T019891/1) and you will work primarily with Dr Richard Morton (PI). RiPSAW focuses on both the observation of the Alfvénic waves and modelling of their turbulent cascade. You will initiate, develop and conduct high-quality research in support of the project.

The first of the available positions will be related to the analysis of EUV data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory and infrared data from the Coronal Multi-Channel Polarimeter, along with data coming from DKIST, PSP and SolO. The position will require experience with data from remote sensing instrumentation, and a good knowledge of standard methodology required for typical data analysis tasks. The ideal candidate will also have a good knowledge of statistical data analysis, with some experience in the analysis of MHD waves and/or machine learning. Competence in IDL, Python or R is essential. Experience in numerical modelling of MHD waves would also be beneficial but not essential. This aspect of the project will involve working closely with collaborators at HAO, NCAR and include the opportunity for extended visits.

The second of the available positions will be related to the analysis of infrared data from the Coronal Multi-Channel Polarimeter and DKIST, along with numerical and forward modelling of MHD waves in the corona. The position will require experience with data analysis and/or numerical simulations of MHD waves. The ideal candidate will have experience in both of these domains, with knowledge of either MHD wave simulations or Alfvénic Turbulence modelling. A working knowledge of IDL, Python or R is also desirable. This aspect of the project will involve working closely with collaborators at Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Harvard, and include the opportunity for extended visits.

The two positions offer the opportunity for regular travel to international conferences and collaborators. There will also be a strong focus on the professional and personal development of the appointed staff, with substantial resources available for training of the successful candidates (including attending workshops, courses, etc).

Both fellows would also be expected to contribute to the general development of the research group, supporting each others’ research and mentoring PhD, Masters, undergraduate and summer students. The positions also require engagement with the project’s public outreach and communication activities.

For informal enquiries about this post please contact Dr Richard Morton, UKRI Future Leader Fellow, at

The successful candidates will also be members of the wider Solar Physics research group. Further details about the research group can be found here:

To apply for this vacancy please click 'Apply Now', and submit a Covering Letter and your CV, including a full list of publications where relevant and any documents specifically requested in the Role Description and Person Specification, such as a sample of written work or journal article.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Please note this vacancy will close on 05/07/2020