Postdoctoral Research Associate in Solar and Stellar Flare Statistics

Sydney, Australia
$97,043 p.a. - $107,516 p.a. + 17% superannuation
19 Sep 2022
End of advertisement period
19 Oct 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Women Only

  • Full time 2 years fixed term employment, located on the Camperdown Campus at the School of Physics
  • Research opportunity in solar astrophysics
  • Base Salary Level A $97,043 p.a. - $107,516 p.a. + 17% superannuation

This position is exempt under section 126 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977, to conduct targeted recruitment programs for women.

About the opportunity

The Postdoctoral Research Associate in Solar and Stellar Flare Statistics will use theory, data analysis, and computation to improve our ability to predict solar and stellar flares. Solar flares are the most energetic events in the solar system, and can create hazardous conditions in our local space environment. This project involves: producing an improved solar flare catalogue, suitable for investigating spatio-temporal correlations in flare statistics; developing a theoretical “stress-relax” model for flare occurrence, and combining it with the data, to probe the flare mechanism; applying the model to develop new approaches to prediction. The work will be done in collaboration with established research groups at the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne. 

Your key responsibilities will be to:

  • report to Professor Michael Wheatland (University of Sydney) and work closely with Professor Andrew Melatos (University of Melbourne) on all aspects of the project
  • undertake domestic and international travel to meet the goals of the project, including extended visits to the University of Melbourne
  • perform data analysis of solar and stellar flare events, develop theoretical and numerical models for the occurrence of the events, and apply them to enable improved flare prediction
  • collaborate with other members of the research groups at the University of Sydney and University of Melbourne, and assist students in research projects
  • publish results in high-impact refereed journals
  • communicate results at national and international conferences

The School of Physics at the University of Sydney is the leading Physics department in the country, with outstanding staff and students undertaking world-leading teaching and research. Our 114 academic staff and 157 postgraduate students conduct research across a vast range of interests from nanoparticles to clusters of galaxies and from theoretical modelling to laboratory experiments. With the support of 20+ professional, technical and administrative staff, the School of Physics teaches to a cohort of approximately 274 equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) undergraduate students. With access to supercomputers, modern laboratory facilities and observatories, locally, nationally and internationally, the School of Physics is the premier environment for physics education and research. The School of Physics is committed to creating a diverse workplace by improving equity, access and opportunity. We want to create an environment where individuality is welcomed and celebrated. We are continuously working to identify and remove biases and barriers in an effort to make our workplace open, supportive and safe for everyone.

To learn more about the School of Physics, click here.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Solar and Stellar Flare Statistics who has:

  • a PhD (or one to be completed before starting) in physics or applied mathematics
  • excellent computational skills, including the ability to write codes, in Python or other languages
  • demonstrated skills in data analysis, and the visualization and interpretation of data
  • demonstrated ability to conduct research/scholarly activities under limited supervision
  • demonstrated ability to work as a member of a team
  • excellent communication (written and verbal), organisational and problem-solving skills with attention to detail
  • experience in data analysis and theoretical/computational modelling in astrophysics, or a relevant area
  • experience in handling astrophysical, or other relevant datasets
  • experience in working with, and ideally developing, theoretical models
  • experience in interpreting data and the results of theoretical/computational models
  • a history of publication in refereed journals as a sole author or in collaboration
  • experience in research record-keeping and preparation of research papers and seminars.

To keep our community safe, please be aware of our COVID safety precautions which form our conditions of entry for all staff, students and visitors coming to campus.

Pre-employment checks

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

How to apply

Applications (including a cover letter, CV, and any additional supporting documentation) can be submitted via the Apply button at the top of the page.  

If you are a current employee of the University or a contingent worker with access to Workday, please login into your Workday account and navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard.  Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.

For a confidential discussion about the role, or if you require reasonable adjustment or support filling out this application, please contact Rebecca Astar or Linden Joseph by email to

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The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

Applications Close
Wednesday 19 October 2022 11:59 PM


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