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PhD Studentship: Planetary Magnetospheres

A PhD studentship is available at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Section. This studentship will be part of a Space Science and Planetary Magnetospheres team led by Dr Caitriona Jackman and funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

DIAS Astrophysics comprises more than 40 researchers working on a range of topics including Space Weather, Magnetospheric Science, and Solar Physics, with innovative analysis approaches including the latest in data analytics and machine learning. DIAS researchers use data from spacecraft including Cassini at Saturn, Juno at Jupiter, WIND at Earth, and from telescopes including the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory. The group operate a number of instruments at the Rosse Observatory in Birr Castle, Ireland, and lead the I-LOFAR radio telescope project.

The theme for the PhD project is planetary magnetospheres, with specific focus on the explosive physical process of magnetic reconnection which can occur at a planetary magnetopause and in a planetary magnetotail. We can track this process in situ with orbiting spacecraft (including Cassini at Saturn, Juno at Jupiter, and MESSENGER at Mercury). We can model this process using machine learning and sophisticated Magnetohydrodynamic codes to explore when field lines become unstable and snap. And thirdly we can observe the consequences of this process through examination of emissions from the auroral zone in wavelengths including radio, ultraviolet and infrared. The candidate will join a vibrant Planetary Magnetospheres team at DIAS.

Candidates are required to have an honours degree (Bachelors or Masters) together with evidence of capacity for original research. A background in physics and/or mathematics is desired, and computational ability (including programming in languages such as Python) would be considered an advantage. DIAS is an Equal Opportunities Employer and welcomes applications from suitably qualified talented candidates of all genders and backgrounds.

The deadline for applications is Sunday January 31st 2021. Suggested start date: September 2021.

Please email your application to Dr Caitriona Jackman (cjackman@cp.dias.ie) and copy Dr Sophie Murray (sophie.murray@dias.ie). The application should include: a covering letter, a CV, a transcript of university grades, and a maximum of three names to act as references. Detailed enquiries regarding the project can be made to Dr Jackman.

PhD Studentship duration: 4 years. Stipend: €18,500 per year, tax free.