Research Assistant in Planetary Science

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
04 Sep 2020
End of advertisement period
30 Sep 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Job Description

The Department of Physics at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in Al, Ain, UAE invites applications for a Research Assistant (RA) in Planetary Science. We are looking for an enthusiastic Emirati national who has recently graduated from a relevant undergraduate or Master's program to work on one or more research projects related to planetary atmospheres, primarily in support of the project “Mars Atmospheric Data Assimilation”. The RA will work with Dr Roland Young, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics. The position will be physically based at the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC), also on the UAEU campus. The RA will become part of NSSTC’s Planetary Science group, and may also work on research with other members of the group. An overview of Dr Roland’s research can be found at https://rolandyoung.bitbucket.io/.

The anticipated start date is as soon as possible in the new academic year, at the earliest on 23 August 2020. The position is available for an initial period of six months. Applications submitted before 23 July 2020 will receive full consideration. We particularly encourage applications from those who intend to pursue MSc or PhD studies at UAE University afterwards, and wish to gain some research experience.

Possible research topics the Research Assistant might work on include:

  1. Analysing data assimilation products by comparison against data from the Mars Express mission
  2. Investigating systematic differences between two observations of the same quantity at the same time by the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter spacecraft
  3. Analysing data from the NASA Insight lander on Mars to study atmospheric turbulence
  4. Applying techniques for tracking clouds in Mars visible images to retrieve atmospheric winds

Tasks and responsibilities will include (subject to periodic review):

  1. Undertake research in planetary science supporting the group’s existing and future projects
  2. Complete tasks assigned by the group leader contributing to the general life of the group
  3. Write internal reports on their work
  4. Where appropriate, publish research work in the open scientific literature
  5. Present research work to a variety of audiences within the University, the UAE, and, if appropriate, at international conferences
  6. Contribute to NSSTC capacity building and outreach events
  7. Take part in NSSTC research group and business meetings

Minimum Qualification

Undergraduate degree in physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, astronomy, meteorology, or a related subject.

Preferred Qualification

Undergraduate or Master's degree in physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, astronomy, meteorology, or a related subject.

Expected Skills/Rank/Experience


  1. A keen interest in space exploration and/or planetary science.
  2. An aptitude for computing work and programming.
  3. Strong mathematical ability.
  4. Excellent communication skills in English, both verbal and written.


  1. Experience taking part in an undergraduate or Master's research project.
  2. Experience with programming and/or Linux. Python would be particularly good.
  3. Academic courses in atmospheric physics and/or fluid dynamics.

Special Instructions to Applicant

Please submit a Cover Letter, CV (max. 2 pages), and details of two professional referees.

Enquiries should be sent to roland.young@uaeu.ac.ae.

Division College of Science - (COS)

Department Physics - (COS)

Job Close Date 30-09-2020

Job Category Academic - Research Assistant

Salary 5000-6000

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