Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC249452
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £30782 - £33459
Date Posted 23 May 2019
Grade UKRI-Band D
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 27 June 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £30,782 - £33,459 per annum (depending on skills and experience)             
Band: D
Contract Type: Fixed Term (2 years)
Hours: Full time
Closing Date: 27th June 2019


About the role

We are seeking to fill a two year fixed term position within the RAL Space Department (Space Physics and Operations Division).

You will undertake research into the behaviour of currents and other forms of magnetopheric/ionospheric behaviour, particularly in response to extreme conditions arising from the influence of the solar wind. The work primarily involves the post-processing and analysing of measurements of the geomagnetic field, both in space and on the Earth’s surface.

This post will support the scientific NERC project: Space Weather Impacts on Grounded Systems (SWIGS) and it is expected that a number of team meetings would be attended during the post. SWIGS, is a UK wide consortium involving ten institutes, together with a number of international project partners.

Severe space weather impacts the behaviour of electrical currents and electromagnetic fields in the near-Earth and upper atmosphere environments; a consequence of the out-flowing magnetised plasma from the Sun (Solar Wind) and is known to pose a significant hazard to ground based technologies particularly from Geomagnetically Induced Currents (GICs).

The consortium will cover a range of aspects covering both external and internal electromagnetic effects (and plasma response) and the PDRA will be expected to focus on research relating to coupling of Ground-Ionosphere-Magnetosphere (GIM) processes. It is expected that you will contribute and initiate original research in the form of event-based analysis, surveys and statistical studies, where the outputs of this research will include; scientific publications, presentations and outreach activities.

About us

The Space Department of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL Space) consists of around 200 qualified scientists and engineers organised into six technical divisions and a finance/admin division. RAL Space has well over 40 years of experience in space missions and flight hardware development, with involvement in 200+ missions.

About you

You should ideally have a PhD in physics (focussed on Space Physics and/or Geomagnetism) and would benefit from prior experience in the analysis of spacecraft or ground based data.


Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.


Shortlisting (S) and Interview (I) Criteria


  • PhD training (S)
  • experience with either or both spacecraft and ground based data (S&I)
  • knowledge of magnetospheric and ionospheric physics (S&I)
  • good science communication skills both verbal and written. (S&I)


  • a good understanding of the effects of space weather on the Earth’s environment (S&I)
  • a good understanding of the nature of the responses of the Earth’s environment such as sub-storms, ring current, magnetopause. (S&I)

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

Employee Benefits

UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.

Developing Talent

We are committed to developing employees in their roles throughout their career. Learning and development plans enable employees to continue their professional development through training and development opportunities such as e-learning, classroom training and on-the-job experiences. We encourage our employees to share their learning across teams and organisations.

Equal Opportunities

We strive to make decisions based on individual merit and ability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. As holders of Disability Confident Employer status, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

Online applications only. Please submit a covering letter and CV ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Please note that failure to address the above criteria or submitted without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.

If you would like to receive this advert in an alternative format (e.g. large print, Braille, audio or hard copy), are unable to apply online or do not wish to create an account but would still like to apply for a specific role, please contact us by telephone on 01793 867000.

Interested applicants should provide a cover letter by email, attaching a CV, which includes a short statement of their past experience. For more information, please contact Professor Malcolm Dunlop []. The closing date for applications is 23rd June 2019, with interviews expected at the end of June or early July.

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