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Postdoctoral Fellowship in the DIAS Planetary Magnetospheres Group

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) Astronomy & Astrophysics Section working with the Planetary Magnetospheres Group [dias.ie/planetary] on the topic of the space environments and atmospheres of outer planet moons, in particular Ganymede, and their impact on spacecraft measurements. The Astronomy & Astrophysics Section is a vibrant and inclusive community of more than 30 researchers working on planetary science, solar physics, space weather, star formation, and high-energy astrophysics.

The successful applicant will study the space environment and atmosphere of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, a key area of interest for the ESA mission JUICE. Ganymede is the largest moon in our Solar System and the only moon known to have its own magnetic field, which creates a unique space environment around the moon that causes, for example, aurora. The moon also hosts a subsurface ocean that is suspected to be habitable. The applicant will study the auroral particle population of Ganymede using Hubble Space Telescope observations and the latest Ganymede atmosphere models. The focus will be to constrain the characteristics of the auroral population and to simulate its interaction with the JUICE spacecraft, particularly its impact on the future JUICE particle and field measurements. The research will be focused on analysing auroral imaging, atmospheric models, and to run and analyse simulations of particle – surface interaction, using the Spacecraft Plasma Interaction Software (SPIS). Furthermore, the work will include preparatory studies for the future particle and field measurements by the JUICE Langmuir probes and particle analysers. This position also offers opportunities for scientific independence, building on the prior experience and future aspirations of the successful candidate.

The Planetary Magnetospheres group work on a range of topics in the solar system. These include: (i) the exploration of Jupiter’s magnetosphere with NASA Juno, NASA Galileo and ESA JUICE, by modelling moon-magnetosphere interactions and examining  in situ fields, plasma and energetic particles and multi-wavelength auroral emissions from X-ray to radio to UV, (ii) spacecraft charging and its impact on particle and field measurements, in particular in preparation for the JUICE mission (iii) the classification of the field and plasma environment at Mercury with data from NASA MESSENGER and looking toward to future measurements by BepiColombo. At the core of our team’s work are the highest standards in coding and data visualisation, underpinned by our community-facing approach and openness to sharing our software [https://github.com/diasplanetary] and tools/event lists [dias.ie/planetary/#magneto-software].

This position is available for 2 years in the first instance, with scope for extension, starting as soon as possible. Remuneration is based on Science Foundation Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship team member budget scales (available here) and starting salary will depend on experience. The appointee will be subject to the general Irish public sector regulations as regards annual leave, sick leave, pension entitlements etc.

Applicants need to have a PhD in space physics, computer science, or a closely related field. A good command of English is required for international applicants. Advantageous experiences include but are not limited to: spacecraft plasma and fields data analysis, modeling and machine learning in the fields of magnetospheric physics, moon magnetosphere interaction, tenuous atmospheres; as well as programming in Python.

Applications should be submitted through the DIAS online e-recruitment system by 5pm on May 23rd 2024 here

Candidates should upload as one pdf document:

§  A cover letter explaining their motivation and research interests (1 page maximum)

§  A Curriculum Vitae (2 pages maximum)

§  A list of publications

§  The names of up to 3 academic referees who may be contacted.

At DIAS, we are committed to building an inclusive scientific community, distinguished by scientific excellence, gender balance, and diversity. The DIAS Gender Equality and Inclusion Action Plan may be found here and we welcome applications from suitably qualified candidates of all genders and backgrounds. Applicants are welcome to include in their CV (if they wish) a short statement on any impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on their scientific productivity. Proposals for flexible working will be considered.

Please direct any enquiries about the position to: Dr. Mika Holmberg mika.holmberg@dias.ie