Postdoctoral Research Associate in Heliospheric Physics

University of Reading - Meteorology

We seek a post-doctoral researcher to join the Space and Atmospheric Electricity Group (SPATE) and work on a 3-year project investigating the heliospheric magnetic field evolution over the solar cycle. The project forms part of the University of Reading “Solar System Science” Consolidated Grant. The post-holder will analyse in-situ spacecraft data to determine how different heliospheric magnetic field topologies and are created and destroyed close to the Sun. Models of solar and coronal phenomena will be used to relate these small-scale processes to solar magnetic cycles. There will be the opportunity towards the end of the project for the post-holder to contribute towards the next 3-year STFC Consolidated Grant application.

SPATE is part of 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 Physics or related discipline;
  • Knowledge of space physics, more specifically of the solar wind and/or solar magnetic field;
  • 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: Mathew Owens
Contact phone: 0118 378 5282
Contact email:

Interviews will take place on the 12 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