Radiation Belt Research Associate

Job reference:
BAS 89/18
Contract type:
Full Time
Fixed Term Appointment (1 year)
Starting from £30,357 per annum.
We offer generous benefits
British Antarctic Survey
Closing date:
11 November, 2018 11:59 pm


The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has an opening for a research scientist to work on an NERC funded project: Modelling the acceleration, transport and loss of radiation belt electrons to protect satellites from space weather (Rad-Sat). Rad-Sat is led by Professor Richard Horne at BAS and brings together scientists from BAS and 4 UK universities with representatives from space insurance and satellite operators to deepen our understanding of the electron radiation belts and improve our forecasting capability.
The successful post holder will use the BAS radiation belt model and spacecraft and ground-based data to study electron precipitation into the atmosphere and will also contribute to the development of a new MLT-dependent radiation belt model.
You will need to have 2-3 years relevant postgraduate experience in space physics (including Astronomy) with a background in plasma physics and experience working with large computer codes. A working knowledge of the radiation belts, wave-particle interactions and plasma physics would be an advantage, as would experience of working with large data sets, numerical modelling and high performance computing.
The post is based in Cambridge and does not involve Antarctic duties. It is a fixed term appointment for up to 1 year, starting as soon as possible.


To contribute to research into the acceleration, transport and loss of high-energy electrons due to wave-particle interactions in the Earth’s radiation belts, as part of the Rad-Sat project team at BAS.


1st or 2.1 degree with substantial Mathematics and Physics content.
3 years research experience in space or plasma physics.


To conduct research as part of the Rad-Sat team, under the guidance of the PI, Professor Richard Horne. In particular:
 To use the BAS 3-d Radiation Belt Model to model case events, to investigate the roles of the different waves and other processes in radiation belt dynamics.
 To contribute to the development and testing of the new 4d radiation belt model that will be developed during the project and to write new visualisation software for the output as required.
 To disseminate results by writing scientific papers for peer review publications, and by giving presentations at conferences and meetings in the UK and abroad.
 Any other task, within the remit of the role, as required by the Director

On-line application forms and further information are available on our website at www.bas.ac.uk/vacancies.

These are also available from the Human Resources Section, British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET. Tel: (01223) 221508.

Please quote reference: BAS 89/18

Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 11th November 2018
Interview date: 22nd November 2018
Proposed start date: flexible

BAS is an Equal Opportunity employer. As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome. We operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for the job.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills - a) oral skills b) written skills

  • Fluent in written and spoken English language - Essential
  • Published research papers in peer reviewed Journals - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Experience writing a substantial amount of computer code in a high level compiled language such as FORTRAN or C. - Essential
  • Use of command line Unix-type operating system. - Essential
  • Experience working with large computer codes and high-performance computing clusters. - Desirable [1]
  • Experience analysing large data sets. - Desirable [1]
  • Good working knowledge of IDL, FORTRAN and Unix scripting. - Desirable [1]

Interpersonal skills

  • Ability to work collaboratively within a team - Essential

Numerical ability

  • Experience of applying computational methods to solve physical problems. - Desirable [2]


  • 1st or 2.1 degree with substantial Mathematics and Physics content. - Essential
  • 3 years research experience in space or plasma physics - Essential
  • Ph.D. in space or plasma physics. - Desirable [1]

Skills / Experience

  • Relevant background in space (including Astronomy) or plasma physics. - Essential
  • Working knowledge of the magnetosphere, radiation belts, wave-particle interactions and plasma physics. - Desirable [1]

You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.

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    Human Resources Team
    British Antarctic Survey
    High Cross, Madingley Road
    CB3 0ET
    United Kingdom

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