PhD candidate in Space Physics

The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)

PhD 4 years Svalbard, Norway

Uploaded 8 Apr 2019

Job Description

The department of Geophysics at UNIS is seeking candidates for a full time, 4 year position as a PhD candidate in Space Physics. Currently the department constitutes 4 professors, 4 associate professors, 3 post-doctoral research fellows, 6 PhD students, 10 Adjunct Professors (20% position) and 2 head-engineers. The research within the department focuses on Space Physics and Air-Cryosphere-Sea Interactions. The announced position is within the Space Physics group.

Description of the vacant position

The vacant position will be part of the Space Physics group within the Geophysics Department at UNIS. The Space Physics Group is part of a Norwegian Centre of Excellence, the Birkeland Centre for Space Science ( The space physics group now seeks a PhD candidate to work within ionospheric – magnetospheric physics. The candidate is expected to be a part of the Birkeland Centre of Space Science and to take an active part in the appropriate research topics connected to the Dynamics of the Asymmetric Geospace group at the centre.   

The Space Physics Group at UNIS owns and operates two world class research facilities.  The Kjell Henriksen Observatory (KHO) is an optical observatory for middle and upper atmospheric studies. The Svalbard SuperDARN radar is part of a global network of radars used primarily to study global plasma convection in the ionosphere. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to capitalize and potentially expand on these unique facilities. The candidate is expected to contribute to the operation of the Kjell Henriksen Observatory and is expected to have knowledge of ground-based observations and physics of the upper atmosphere.

The planned PhD project will focus on optical and radar observations of polar cap patches, both entry on the dayside, and exit on the nightside. Some patches are seen to diminish quite rapidly, while other can be seen to travel across the entire polar cap. What are the physical properties that govern whether or not the patches are depleted by recombination before they can travel across the polar cap? 

Person Specification

Applicants for the position must hold a MSc degree in an appropriate field (space physics or upper atmospheric physics) and satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD program at the University of Bergen. 

Field work experience as well as earlier experience from Svalbard and / or other polar areas will be an advantage. A successful candidate will have good data analysis skills, positive attitude, speak and write fluent English and have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. The candidate is also expected to hold a valid driving license.

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