Postdoctoral Research Associate in Radiation Belt Physics

University of Reading - Meteorology

We seek a post-doctoral researcher to work on a 3-year STFC-funded project investigating the physics of Earth’s Outer Radiation Belt. The project forms part of the University of Reading “Solar System Science” Consolidated Grant. The project would benefit most from the skills of a space plasma physicist with research interests in the generation and propagation of electromagnetic waves, wave-particle interactions and energetic particle dynamics. We welcome applications from strongly-motivated individuals who would like to join the Radiation Belt group here at Reading. Our group uses data analysis, empirical modelling and physics-based modelling to understand the variability of Earth’s Outer Radiation Belt and we seek a post-doctoral researcher to complement and extend these activities.

The Radiation Belt group is part of the Space and Atmospheric Electricity Group (SPATE) in the internationally-renowned Department of Meteorology. The department hosts over 60 academic staff, 15 fellowship holders, 54 senior research staff, 70 postdoctoral research assistants, and around 90 PhD students, and has consistently received top ratings in all UK Research Assessment Exercises. Across the Department, 86% of our research was rated World Class or Internationally Excellent. Within Meteorology, SPATE undertakes research in the physics of Space Weather and Planetary Science, with a strong emphasis on cross-disciplinary work that links the Sun through the heliosphere to Earth and other planets.

The University aspires to be an “Employer of Choice” and recognises that success is not simply determined by a competitive suite of terms and conditions of service, but by fostering a working environment that protects the physical and mental well-being of its staff. Full details of the University's Health and Well-being policy are available from through the HR website. The University is committed to work-life balance and supportive of flexible working arrangements, and the School’s website gives examples of excellent practices in respect of flexible work as well as for maternity/parental leave within the School. The University supports its staff in many other ways: its Centre for Quality Support and Development, its excellent Nursery Facilities, its SportsPark, its membership of Childcare+.

The School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences was awarded an Athena SWAN Silver award in 2010, renewed in 2014 and 2017, in recognition of its good employment practices in relation to women working in science, engineering and technology (SET).

You will have:

  • a PhD in Space Plasma Physics or related discipline;
  • knowledge of space plasma physics, more specifically of kinetic plasma physics and wave-particle interactions;
  • research experience in a physical or mathematical science;
  • the ability to communicate scientific ideas effectively in person as well as on paper;
  • the ability to program in a scientific computing language such as Fortran, C++, Matlab, Python etc.;
  • the ability to manage your time effectively;
  • the ability to work successfully in a team;
  • the motivation to work independently;
  • strong motivation to learn new techniques relevant to the project.

Informal Contact Details
Contact role: Project PI
Contact name: Clare Watt
Contact phone: 0118 378 6213
Contact email:

Interviews will take place on the 2 March 2018.

The University is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce, is a Stonewall Diversity and Global Diversity Champion, and supports the principles of the Race Equality Charter and Athena SWAN. Applications for job-share, part-time and flexible working arrangements are welcomed and will be considered in line with business needs.

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South East England