Postdoctoral Research Fellow (3 years) in Space Physics

Deadline: November 28, 2018

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT The Arctic University of Norway with its main campus located in Tromsø is the northernmost university in the world. Its focus on climate and environment is clearly dictated by the geographical location at the edge of the Arctic. The main task of the Faculty of Science and Technology is to conduct research and teaching at high national and international level. Prioritized research areas include energy, climate, environment, maritime, marine, nano-, space-, and information technology; addressing both general topics and topics relevant for the High North.

The Department of Physics and Technology announces a vacant position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the area of space physics at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Faculty of Science and Technology. The appointment is for a period of three years with the possibility of up to one year’s extension.

The position is part of the project “Mesospheric Dust in the Small Size Limit: Radar Studies, Model Calculations and Supporting Observations” granted by the Research Council of Norway. In addition to the announced position, this project also involves a PhD fellow, two senior scientists from the department, and cooperation with the University of Oslo and research groups from Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The Department of Physics and Technology consists of five research groups: (1) Earth Observation, (2) Energy and Climate, (3) Machine Learning, (4) Space Physics, and (5) Ultrasound, Microwaves and Optics. The department provides education at the Bachelor, Master, and PhD levels, and comprises 21 permanent scientific employees, and a technical/administrative staff of 12 persons.

This position will be associated with the Space Physics group at the Department of Physics and Technology. The group has at present 5 permanent staff and 7 PhD students. The group carries out research related to the Earth's upper atmosphere, the ionosphere and the magnetosphere and related plasma physics; small solar system objects, mesospheric and cosmic dust and dusty plasma phenomena. The project has potential links to meteorology, atmospheric and climate science research carried out at the same department.

Further information about the position, UiT and project details is available by contacting:

The position’s field of research

The ionosphere at 75 to 110 km altitude, the mesosphere, contains nanoparticles ranging from dust to a few 100 amu. The polar mesosphere cools down to 120 K or lower during summer and nanoparticles that contain ice lead to the formation of the visible Noctilucent Clouds (NLC) and to Polar Mesospheric Summer Echoes (PMSE) observed with radar. Size and charge of nanoparticles influence chemical processes and the growth of the ice particles which are linked to long-term temperature trends. The charged dust gives rise to dusty plasma phenomena.

The candidate will work within a project to address the fundamental question how particles of nanometer size form and interact in the partially ionized medium of Earth’s upper atmosphere, i.e. the ionosphere. The candidate will investigate the formation, growth and charging of nanoparticles, study the influence of the charged nanoparticles on radar and lidar observations, participate in defining a programme for future radar studies with the new EISCAT_3D and prepare an analysis plan for collected mesospheric dust samples. The upper atmosphere modelling involves working with numerical climate system models.

Qualification requirements

This position requires a Norwegian doctoral degree within either atmospheric sciences or meteorology, oceanography, physics or similar, or a corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognised as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree.

The suitable candidate must have a background within space physics, atmospheric physics or a related field and should have excellent skills in programming and English. Knowledge in numerical modelling is an advantage. Other required qualification skills include:

  • Excellence in previous work and good track records
  • Independence and self-motivation
  • Creativity and ability to think outside the box
  • Excellent work ethic and commitment to the job

International experience is an advantage. Emphasis is also given to personal suitability.


Your application must include:

  • Application and motivation letter (max 1 page)
  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • Description of your past research project and its relevance to the advertised position (max 1 page)
  • Description of your academic production (track record) including highlights of three most important works for the advertised position (max 1 page)
  • Academic works, up to ten. The doctoral thesis is regarded as one work
  • Diplomas and transcripts
  • Three references, preferably including the PhD supervisor

Having a PhD degree is required before commencement in the position. If you are in the process of completing your PhD, you must document that you have submitted your PhD thesis by the application deadline and attach a statement from your supervisor concerning termination of your PhD studies.

All documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language. The application must be submitted electronically through Jobbnorge.

We offer

We offer an interesting project funded by the Research Council of Norway, opportunities to travel and meet other leading scientists within the field, independence in work, a fantastic work environment with nice colleagues, good remuneration, and a cosy hometown of Tromsø surrounded by the stunning landscape of Northern Scandinavia.

UiT also has good welfare arrangements for employees including beneficial arrangements for pension and insurances.

Remuneration of Postdoctoral Fellow positions are in salary code 1352. There is a 2 % deduction for contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. In addition, UiT pays 12 % directly to the pension fund on top of the salary.

The objective of the appointment as a Postdoctoral Fellow is to qualify for work in senior academic positions, and no one may be appointed to more than one fixed term period at the same institution.

More information about moving to Norway:


We make the appointment in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway has HR policy objectives that emphasize diversity, and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of their age, gender, functional ability and national or ethnic background. The university is an IW (Inclusive Workplace) enterprise, and we will emphasize making the necessary adaptations to the working conditions for employees with reduced functional ability.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act. You may request to not be registered on the public list of applicants, but the University may decide that your name will be made public. You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication.

We look forward to receiving your application!

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