Research Fellow in Laboratory Astrophysics

Queen's University Belfast - School of Mathematics and Physics

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship position in Laboratory Astrophysics available until 31 March 2020 in the first instance. The post, funded by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), is a joint appointment between the Astrophysics Research Centre (ARC) and Centre for Plasma Physics (CPP) in the School.

The successful applicant will be based in the CPP, a highly active research group with interests in laser-plasma interactions, warm dense matter, laboratory astrophysics and low temperature plasmas. CPP has its own in-house TARANIS laser system as well as a strong record of access to national and international facilities such as the VULCAN (UK), Titan (USA) and LULI200 (France) laser systems. ARC is also a highly active group, with research interests of relevance to the advertised post that include spectroscopy of photoionised astrophysical plasmas, and their modelling using spectral simulation codes such as Cloudy.

The project will centre around the design, implementation and analysis of laboratory experiments exploring astrophysical-type plasmas dominated by photoionisation, where the ionisation is produced by X-rays from a laser-produced plasma. The successful applicant will work with colleagues in CPP and ARC to model the experiments with a view to benchmarking codes relevant to the understanding of astrophysical plasmas where photoionisation is a dominant process. Of particular interest will be the benchmarking of the Cloudy code, which is used by worldwide astrophysics community.  

Further information about the School can be obtained at

Informal enquires may be directed to Professor David Riley, email: or telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 6048.

Anticipated interview date: week commencing 28 August 2017

Closing date: Monday 21 August 2017

Apply online at For further information or assistance contact the Personnel Department, Queen's University Belfast, BT7 1NN.  Telephone (028) 9097 3044 or email on

The University is committed to equality of opportunity and to selection on merit. It therefore welcomes applications from all sections of society and particularly welcomes applications from people with a disability. 

Fixed term contract posts are available for the stated period in the first instance but in particular circumstances may be renewed or made permanent subject to availability of funding.

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Northern Ireland