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Research Fellow in Space Physics

Southampton, United Kingdom
£34,980 per annum
Closing date
21 Mar 2024

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Astronomy Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £34,980 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term until 31/03/2027
Closing Date:  Thursday 21 March 2024
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  2611924WF

You will join our collaborative team in the area of magnetospheric/auroral physics, in the Space Environment Physics group at the University of Southampton. You will work on a project studying geomagnetic substorms and magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling using a combination of space-based observations of auroral kilometric radiation and ground-based observations of the aurora. We anticipate that this combination will reveal new insights into the substorm triggering process and current-carrying electron flow between the magnetosphere and ionosphere. The project includes an exciting public engagement collaboration with the Music department at Southampton, which you will have the opportunity to be part of. The position is funded by a recently-awarded STFC grant led by the University of Southampton and involving collaborators at Mullard Space Science Laboratory (UCL), Laboratoire d’astrophysique de Marseille, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. It is a 3-year fixed-term position until 31st March 2027 due to funding requirements.

The Space Environment Physics group forms part of the Astronomy group at Southampton. The two groups have wide-ranging international collaborations involving large ground-based facilities (e.g. EISCAT, SuperDARN, LSST) and space missions (MMS, Cluster, THEMIS, INTEGRAL, NuStar). The Space Environment Physics group has state-of-the-art optical instruments situated in the Arctic, which are used in conjunction with both radar and satellite observations to study magnetosphere-ionosphere interactions from the global scale down to the physics of small-scale auroral processes. We are part of the School of Physics & Astronomy; 100% of the school’s research was rated world leading or internationally excellent for its impact on society in the last Research Assessment Framework, and the University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world universities and the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive universities.

To be successful you will have a PhD* or equivalent professional qualifications in Space Plasma Physics or a related field and demonstrate the ability to conduct original research as evidenced by peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.

As a school, we are committed to all of our staff achieving a healthy work-life balance, with flexible working hours and onsite childcare facilities. Committed to tackling gender inequality, we are Athena SWAN silver award recognised. We are particularly determined to address the under-representation of women in Physics and Astronomy, so we are delighted to have been awarded Project Juno Champion status. With a generous benefits package that includes a contributory pension scheme, competitive holiday allowance, subsidised health and fitness facilities, a cycle-to-work scheme and a range of discounts, this is a place where you are sure to excel.

Informal enquires are very welcome and should be directed to Dr Daniel Whiter (

*Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards and nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

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