Postdoctoral scholarship in modelling plasma interaction with planetary bodies

Feb 10, 2023 21:59:00 GMT+00:00
Apply Now
eMail Application
Save 0

The Department of Physics at Umeå University is offering a postdoctoral scholarship in modelling plasma interaction with planetary bodies. The scholarship is full-time for two years and the start date is 1 April 2023 or by agreement.

Project Description

How does the solar wind plasma interacts with magnetized and unmagnetized bodies and what are the kinetic aspects of this interaction? How much do the planets lose their atmosphere when a body is magnetized compared to an unmagnetized body? Through the knowledge gained by studying the solar wind interaction with our solar system bodies (like Earth, Venus, and Mars), we know that planetary atmospheres are often at the front line of a harsh battle with space weather activities. Depending on the characteristics of a planetary atmosphere and the intensity of solar activities, an atmosphere gets eroded over geological time scales and it can be substantially stripped away like that of Mars. Depending on the planets’ magnetizations, space weather can impact planetary atmospheric escape in various ways.

The aim of our project is to advance our current understanding on the plasma interaction with planetary bodies of different sizes and characteristics (magnetized and unmagnetized, with and without a substantial atmosphere and ionosphere). Our focus will be on the kinetic processes that govern the interaction with these bodies and our primary focus will be on the atmospheric evolution using kinetic plasma simulations. The project is for two years and the stipend is financed by the Kempe Foundation for 312,000 SEK per year (the stipend is tax-free).


To qualify as a post doctoral scholarship holder, the postdoctoral fellow is required to have completed a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree. This qualification requirements must be fulfilled no later than at the time of the decision about scholarship recipient.

Priority should be given to candidates who completed their doctoral degree, according to what is stipulated in the paragraph above, no later than three years prior. If there are special reasons, candidates who completed their doctoral degree prior to that may also be eligible. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, appointments of trust in trade union organizations, military service, or similar circumstances, as well as clinical practice or other forms of appointment/assignment relevant to the subject area.

Fluency in English and good skills in data analysis are required.  The candidate is expected to have at least a basic understanding on plasma interactions with planetary bodies. Experience from conducting independent research and publishing articles in renowned scientific journals is a strong merit, as is experience in computer programming (e.g., Python and/or Matlab). The candidate should be highly motivated and responsible, have good social skills, and should be passionate about positive development both as an individual scientist and within the space physics research team.


A full application should include:

  • Cover letter stating your motivations for applying and summarizing your qualifications for the position, your previous research experience as well as your experience in the area mentioned above (max. one page),
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with publication list,
  • Tentative project plan and research objectives for this project (max. one page)
  • Verified copy of doctoral degree certificate or documentation that clarifies when the degree of doctor is expected to be obtained,
  • Verified copies of other diplomas, list of completed academic courses and grades,
  • Copy of doctoral thesis and up to three relevant articles,
  • Other documents that the applicant wishes to claim,
  • Contact information to two persons willing to act as references.

Submit your application as a PDF marked with the reference number FS 2.1.7-1639-22, both in the file name and in the subject field of the email, to The application can be written in English (preferably) or Swedish. Application deadline is 10 February 2023.

Further information

For more information, please contact Dr. Shahab Fatemi,