Research Fellow in Solar Physics and Space Plasma Physics

February 15, 2019, from Suzanne Winter

We are advertising for a Research Fellow to undertake research in the area of Solar Orbiter science in the Department of Space and Climate Physics (Mullard Space Science Laboratory) at University College London (UCL). The mission is due to be launched in 2020 with new data expected to be available a few months later. This post will bridge the expertise of both the MSSL Solar Physics and Space Plasma Physics groups. Both groups have academic-level involvement in key instruments on the mission. A key question for the Solar Orbiter mission is understanding the source regions of the various states of the solar wind, and determining how the characteristics of those sources influence its evolution through the heliosphere. The post-holder will combine solar remote sensing observations with in-situ data from current missions and combine with modelling to address this question, and initially prepare for, but then deliver some of the science returns of Solar Orbiter.

The Solar Physics group is an established group within UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) at the forefront of solar physics research in the UK. We are the PI group for the EIS instrument on Hinode, and Co-PI on the EUI instrument on the Solar Orbiter mission. We have additional roles in the development of the visible light cameras for DKIST and in the development of the EST and Solar C EUVST projects.
The Space Plasma Physics group is a growing group within UCL/MSSL, undertaking research at the forefront of magnetospheric and solar wind research in the UK. Currently, we have four Academics, two independent research fellows, three post-doctoral research associates and five PhD students. We are the PI group for the PEACE instruments on Cluster and Double Star, and for the Solar Wind Analyzer (SWA) suite on the Solar Orbiter mission. The laboratory is also the PI institute of the SMILE mission and for the Lagrange in-situ instrument package.

The applicant will be expected and encouraged to participate in wider scientific activities of the two research groups, including preparations for future solar and space plasma research missions. This position also offers the opportunity for travel for the post-holder to present their work at relevant national and international conferences and workshops. The post is available from 1 April 2019 for a three-year period, with a possible extension subject to funding availability through the MSSL Consolidated Grant.

The Mullard Space Science Laboratory is located on its own campus in the beautiful Surrey Hills, surrounded by woodland. UCL was one of the first universities in the world to become involved in making scientific observations in space. Since MSSL was established in 1966, we have participated in over 40 satellite missions with the European Space Agency, NASA (US), Japan, Russia, China and India, and flown over 230 rocket experiments.
Informal enquiries should be made to Louise Harra ( or Chris Owen (
Applications should be completed on line However if you are having difficulty accessing the on-line recruitment system please contact Suzanne Winter ( for advice.