Last 32 days

General News/UKSP Business:

Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:



General News/UKSP Business:

Nordic Optical Telescope: OPTICON Call for proposals

from Sian Giles [August 14, 2018]

Dear Colleagues,

The OPTICON common call for EU supported access to telescopes in semester 2019A (1 April 2019 – 1 October 2019) is open. It will close on 2 September 2018 at 23.59UT exactly.

The NORDIC OPTICAL TELESCOPE offers a total of 25 nights per semester.

For the details of the announcement, see:

ALL non-Nordic and non-Spanish proposals for the Nordic Optical Telescope MUST be submitted through the OPTICON common proposal and evaluation system.

We would like to *emphasize* that apart from regular visitor mode, the NOT also offers (queue) service mode observing and provides a wide range of options for flexible scheduling through Target-of-Opportunity programs and/or monitoring programs on any time-scale (from hours, to days, to weeks, to months, to years).

*We note that*

– A new fibre bundle, using octagonal fiber, was installed in FIES. This bundle improves the radial-velocity stability. Tests have shown the stability with the high-resolution fiber to be ~2 m/s on time-scales of a day, and below ~4 m/s on longer time-scales. The medium-resolution fiber is now also working, and tests have shown the stability to be similar to that of the high-resolution fiber. More extensive tests are on-going.

– We acquired a holographic diffuser to do high-precision photometry. The diffuser effectively scrambled the incoming light, providing a more constant and optimal (`top-head’) shape, with minimal light loss, significantly reducing any systematic effects in the photometry. The diffuser provides a very stable stellar image with a width (~FWHM) of 5.46 arcsec. A second diffuser, giving a stellar image with a width of 8 arcsec, is expected to arrive soon.

– The SOFIN high-resolution Echelle spectrograph is again available. It only is offered to do circular spectro-polarimetry with the
medium-resolution (R~80,000) camera. SOFIN is not a common-user instrument: only limited support is provided.

For some guidance on the various observing modes see

Kind regards,

Thomas Augusteijn
Director, NOTSA

Living Reviews in Solar Physics – Extended MHD modeling of the steady solar corona and the solar wind

from Richard Morton [August 2, 2018]

A new review article has been published in the open-access journal Living Reviews in Solar Physics on July 30, 2018:

Gombosi, T.I., van der Holst, B., Manchester, W.B., Sokolov, I.V., “Extended MHD modeling of the steady solar corona and the solar wind”, Living Rev Sol Phys (2018) 15: 4.

The history and present state of large-scale magnetohydrodynamic modeling of the solar corona and the solar wind with steady or quasi-steady coronal physics is reviewed. We put the evolution of ideas leading to the recognition of the existence of an expanding solar atmosphere into historical context. The development and main features of the first generation of global corona and solar wind models are described in detail. This historical perspective is also applied to the present suite of global corona and solar wind models. We discuss the evolution of new ideas and their implementation into numerical simulation codes. We point out the scientific and computational challenges facing these models and discuss the ways various groups tried to overcome these challenges. Next, we discuss the latest, state-of-the art models and point to the expected next steps in modeling the corona and the interplanetary medium.

Please, visit frequently our solar physics channel ( at for news.

UK solar missions forum 2019

from Louise Harra [July 30, 2018]

Next year’s UK solar missions forum will be on the 10th January at the RAS.

This is an opportunity to catch up on all the current and new mission and facilities.

Everyone welcome – we particularly encourage students to come along.

Louise & Richard

Promotion of Prof Sarah Matthews

from Richard Morton [July 16, 2018]

The UKSP Council would like to congratulate Sarah Matthews who has recently been promoted to Professor at University College London. Well done Sarah!

Solar Physics – Solicitation of Proposals for Topical Collections

from Richard Morton [July 16, 2018]

The journal Solar Physics publishes one or two Topical Collections (TCs) per year dedicated to a focused topic, frequently with a small number of survey articles introducing regular unsolicited articles, all of which benefit from appearing in a collection together. Not infrequently, these stem from a monothematic conference or conferences, but all articles submitted for consideration for a TC are handled and refereed in the same way as regular research articles, and submissions not associated with the conference are solicited.

Recently completed TCs include Combined Radio and Space-based Solar Observations: From Techniques to New Results (Guest Editors: Eduard Kontar and Alexander Nindos) and Earth-affecting Solar Transients (Guest Editors: Jie Zhang, Xochitl Blanco-Cano, Nariaki Nitta, and Nandita Srivastava). Others on The Sunspot Number Recalibration and The Solar Wind at the Dawn of the Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter Era are underway.

To aid in our planning, we solicit statements of interest from potential Guest Editors of Topical Collections by 17 August 2018.

John Leibacher (, Cristina Mandrini, Lidia van Driel-Gesztelyi, and Michael Wheatland


New UKSP Nugget #92

from Iain Hannah [July 31, 2018]

92. Null collapse & oscillatory reconnection about 3D magnetic null points
by Jonathan Thurgood (Northumbria/Dundee), David Pontin (Dundee) and James McLaughlin (Northumbria).

The nature of inherently time-dependent, wave generating reconnection revealed by MHD simulations.

UKSP Nuggets are published on a monthly basis highlighting solar physics research led from the UK.

Iain Hannah and Lyndsay Fletcher


Announcing four new RHESSI Science Nuggets

from Hugh Hudson [July 30, 2018]

No. 326, “Coronal nanoflares powered by footpoint reconnection,” by Pradeep Chitta, Hardi Peter, and Sami Solanki: coronal nanoflares in active-region cores can be powered by magnetic reconnection in the lower solar atmosphere.

No. 327, “Microwave Imaging Spectroscopy of Flares is Here,” by Dale E. Gary, EOVSA and RHESSI Teams: microwave imaging spectroscopy takes a giant leap forward with SOL2017-09-10.

No. 328, “The true dawn of multimessenger astronomy,” by Hugh Hudson: ever since the Carrington flare.

No. 329, “3D Magnetic Reconnection at a Coronal Null Point,” by Shane Maloney, Aidan O’Flannagain, and Peter Gallagher: large-scale reconnection involved in a type I radio noise storm.

See listing the current series, 2008-present, and for the original series, 2005-2008. We publish these at roughly two-week intervals and welcome contributions, which should be related, at least loosely, to RHESSI science.

Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:

STFC Advanced Summer School – last call for registrations

from Robert Fear [August 13, 2018]

We still have a small number of places available on the STFC Advanced Summer School, including a couple of free places for STFC-funded or self-funded PhD students. The school covers all areas of MIST and UKSP science, and is being held at the University of Southampton from Sunday 9th to Friday 14th September. It is ideally suited to students who are starting, or are in, their 2nd or 3rd year.

Registration closes at the end of next week (Friday 24th August), but if there are any students who are interested but have not yet registered, please can I encourage them to do so as soon as possible (particularly if they are applying for one of the remaining free STFC/self-funded places, which will be allocated first come, first served).

Further information is available at Please send any enquiries to this address (

Many thanks,

Rob Fear

Dundee Numerical Methods in MHD

from Simon Candelaresi [August 13, 2018]

On the 7th of September 2018 the one day workshop “Dundee Numerical Methods in MHD” will be held at the University of Dundee.

The aim of the meeting is to bring together scientists who use numerical methods in their research in MHD and scientists who have developed or analysed numerical methods in MHD. The relatively small scale of the event (five talks) will provide an atmosphere conducive to informal interaction between users, developers and analysts. Ample time for discussions will be included in the schedule.

The workshop is is part of the Scottish Numerical Methods Network (, co-organised by G. Barrenechea (Strathclyde), B. Goddard (Edinburgh) and A. Athanassoulis (Dundee). The Network encompasses the whole spectrum of theory and practice of numerical methods, ranging from theoretical numerical analysis all the way to applications.

Announcement of Recent Advances in Solar Partially Ionised Plasma RAS Discussion Meeting

from Andrew Hillier [August 13, 2018]

We would like to announce the upcoming RAS discussion meeting titled ‘Recent Advances on Solar Partially Ionised Plasma’ to be held at Burlington House on 11th January 2019. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss at current, and future, observations and models used to investigate solar partially ionised plasma, and how they are developing our understanding of the dynamic phenomena that occur in the solar atmosphere. Full details of the meeting can be found at the following website:

The meeting will consist of two invited talks and a collection of contributed talks and posters. We have two excellent invited speakers: Elena Khomenko (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias) and Roberto Soler (Universitat de les Illes Balears). Information on the procedure to submit abstracts for both oral and poster presentations are on the website. The deadline for oral talk submissions is the 16th November.

Many Thanks,
Andrew Hillier (University of Exeter)
Alex Russell (University of Dundee)

Fall AGU – SH025: Space-Weather Research and Forecasting: Building Tomorrow’s Space-Weather Architectures – FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT

from Mario M. Bisi [July 30, 2018]

Dear All.

This is our final call for contributed abstracts to our co-convened SH and SM (and SI, SA, and NH cross-listed) SWIRLS Extreme Events & Hazards session (SH025) “Space-Weather Research and Forecasting: Building Tomorrow’s Space-Weather Architectures” at the upcoming Fall AGU in Washington DC, 10-14 December 2018 ( The FINAL abstract-submission deadline is 01 August 2018 at 11:59 P.M. EDT / 02 August 2018 at 03:59UT (see: for full details on abstract submissions.

To submit your abstract, please go here:

The full session details are below. To submit, the first author must be the submitting author and must be an AGU member. First authors are allowed to submit one contributed abstract, or one contributed abstract and one invited abstract, or two invited abstracts to the science sessions. You can also submit to Public Affairs sessions separately without counting towards this quota. You can also be presenting author on multiple abstracts.

Please note that this session is being organized as one of the alternate-format sessions; please see: for further AGU details on the alternate format sessions – this session will include a panel in addition to talks and posters.

This is further a follow-on from previous years which have included very-active poster sessions, good interactions at talks, and excellent audience participation at the panel session.

Best wishes, and thanks,

Mario (on behalf of all the SH025 Conveners).

Session ID#: 49222

Session Description:
We still find that society is ever-more reliant on technologies/energy supplies susceptible to interruption/damage from space weather (SW) (communications/transport, GNSS-positioning/timing, power, etc.). As a result, several new infrastructures, missions, and models are being developed to improve forecasting capabilities, our understanding of the impacts, and to engineer in better mitigation solutions.

This is fourth incarnation of the session (since 2015) where the focus now specifically turns to new ideas about future space-/ground-based SW architectures. Multiple ongoing international studies are scoping the options for sustained/improved SW observations. New observing locations (e.g. L5) as well as advanced concepts based on small satellites and splitting larger missions into smaller sub-elements (fractionation) are being considered in these studies.

We solicit contributions of: ideas/discussions regarding sustainable SW observations/architectures; how small satellites can be used to supplement SW architectures; whether GOES-SWFO-L5 provides the needed observations/sustainability; and what new technologies challenge the past ways of undertaking SW research/operations.

Primary Convener: Mario Mark Bisi, UKRI STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, RAL Space, Harwell Campus, Didcot, United Kingdom.
Co-Conveners: Antti A Pulkkinen, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States; Mark Gibbs, Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom; and Brent Gordon, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, Boulder, CO, United States.

Co-Organized between:
SPA-Solar and Heliospheric Physics (SH), and SPA-Magnetospheric Physics (SM)

SI – Societal Impacts and Policy Sciences
SA – SPA-Aeronomy
NH – Natural Hazards

SWIRL Themes:
Extreme Events & Hazards

Index Numbers:
4305 – Natural Hazards: Space Weather
7594 – Solar Physics, Astrophysics, and Astronomy: Instruments and techniques
7924 – Space Weather: Forecasting
7999 – Space Weather: General or miscellaneous

Storms and Substorms RAS meeting (08 February 2019)

from Jasmine Sandhu [July 26, 2018]

We would like to draw your attention to an upcoming RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting: “The Global Response of the Terrestrial Magnetosphere During Storms and Substorms” on 08 February 2019 at the RAS, Burlington House. We are also pleased to announce that this meeting will include keynote talks from Mona Kessel (NASA/GSFC) and Elena Kronberg (Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research).

We invite you to submit an abstract via The deadline for abstract submission is 07 December 2018.

For further details please see

Meeting description:
The magnetosphere is a highly variable environment, and the occurrence of storms and substorms result in the dramatic reconfiguration and redistribution of energy within the system. Understanding the conditions under which these events take place, the response of the magnetosphere, and the causes of the high variability observed is an area of active research.

This meeting aims to further our understanding of how internal and external factors combine to shape the global structure of the magnetosphere and the plasma stored therein during active times. We aim to integrate our collective knowledge of global changes in the magnetic field structure and of plasma behaviour across a wide range of energies, from cold plasmaspheric plasma through to the high energy populations in the plasma sheet, ring current, and outer radiation belt. In addition to bringing together observations from throughout the magnetosphere and ionosphere (e.g., Van Allen, Cluster, and the SuperDARN network), new modelling and simulation results will also provide insight into the response of the terrestrial magnetosphere to a wide range of geomagnetic activity.

Many thanks,

Jasmine Sandhu (MSSL, UCL)
Hayley Allison (BAS/University of Cambridge)
Maria-Theresia Walach (Lancaster University)
Clare Watt (University of Reading)

Partially Ionised Plasmas in Astrophsyics (PIPA2019)

from Istvan Ballai [July 24, 2018]

***PIPA2019 Preliminary Announcement***

Dear Colleagues

The forthcoming 3rd meeting on “Partially Ionized Plasmas in Astrophysics” (PIPA2019) will be organised in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) in the period 03-07 June 2019.

The meeting aims to broaden and strengthen the collaboration of scientists working in partially ionised plasmas in space (e.g. solar chromosphere, interstellar medium, protostellar discs, planetary magnetospheres and ionospheres, etc.) and to develop common scientific interests that could enhance cross-collaborations between scientists working in this field.

The meeting will focus on (but not limited to) the following topics:

– Partially ionised plasmas in the solar atmosphere
– Electrodynamics of planetary magnetospheres
– Astrophysical partially ionised plasmas

More information about the conference themes, the program and the venue will be available soon on the conference website.

Looking forward to see you soon in Palma de Mallorca
Ramon Oliver, Elena Khomenko, Istvan Ballai


State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Science, Macau University of Science and Technology is seeking several researchers in planetary sciences

from Richard Morton [August 14, 2018]

A new State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Sciences, supported by both the Macao FDCT and Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, is recently established at Macau University of Science and Technology, Macao.
The new laboratory is seeking several highly motivated researchers at the level of Assistant/Associate/Full Professor, depending on experience, in the broad areas of planetary sciences.

Successful candidates should have a PhD or equivalent in a relevant discipline with an excellent level of experience in that discipline, as well as excellent oral/writing communicative and interpersonal skills in English. The successful applicant should
be able to develop his/her research programmes, lead peer reviewed journal publications, apply for his/her research funding and contribute to the success of the laboratory objectives.

Macau University of Science and Technology is a highly ranked university (ranked 28th among more than 2500 universities  in the region in the year of 2017) while the new Lunar and Planetary Science Laboratory will play a major leading role in the university
and the region. The official languages adopted in State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Sciences are English and Mandarin.

For informal inquiries, please  contact Professor D. Ni, Assistant Director,
at (Tel: +853 88972245),
State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Science, Macau University of Science and Technology,
Avenida Wai Long, Taipa, Macau

Stanford University – Physical Science Research Scientist Position in Solar Magnetic Field Research

from Richard Morton [August 2, 2018]

The Solar Observatories Group at Stanford University invites applications for a Physical Science – Research Scientist position focused on the investigation of the magnetic field in the solar atmosphere and its influence on the corona and heliosphere. The successful candidate will focus on analysis of vector magnetic field data from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) instrument on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) along with data from other solar instruments. The researcher will work with HMI science-team members to investigate the structure and dynamics of the Sun’s magnetic field in support of the goals of the NASA-sponsored SDO/HMI investigation in the Living With a Star Program, in particular the physics of solar eruptive events and magnetic variability related to the solar cycle. Information about the HMI project can be found at

A PhD or equivalent in astrophysics or a related field and experience with solar polarimetry and vector magnetic field data are required. Applicants who have experience with data analysis, can contribute to proposals for new research, have a strong publication record, and who have interest in working with students and in education and public outreach are preferred. Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Stanford also welcomes applications from others who would bring additional dimensions to the University’s research mission.

This is a 2-year fixed-term position with a possibility for extension based on performance and the availability of funding. Review of applications will begin on September 15, 2018. The start date can be as early as October 2018.

To apply, please submit 1) a cover letter describing your qualifications and a brief statement of your research interests, 2) a current C.V., 3) a list of your publications, and 4) contact information for three references. PDF format is preferred.

Submissions should be sent via email to:
Haruko Makitani
Phone: +1 (650) 723-1505

Naval Research Laboratory (Washington, DC) – Solar and Heliospheric Physics Postdoctoral Fellowships

from Richard Morton [August 2, 2018]

The Naval Research Laboratory at Washington, DC seeks qualified applicants for postdoctoral fellowships in the Solar and Heliospheric Physics Branch of the Space Science Division.  Research activities of the Branch include observational, data analysis, and theoretical investigations of a wide range of solar-terrestrial phenomena.

This opportunity emphasizes several research areas: (1) the application of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations to understanding the structure and evolution of solar magnetic fields, (2) observational studies relating the properties of the magnetic field to the heating of the solar atmosphere, and (3) the modeling and analysis of observations of the inner heliosphere from the Parker Solar Probe mission.

Successful applicants will have demonstrated skill in writing scientific papers and giving presentations at scientific meetings. A background in solar physics is preferred, but not required.  The target start date is early 2019.

Interested applicants should email a curriculum vitae to Dr. Mark Linton (mark.linton at ) or Dr. Harry Warren (harry.warren at before September 15, 2018.

The mechanism for this postdoctoral fellowship is the NRC-NRL Research Associateship program. The annual stipend level for this program is currently $79,720.  This program is open to US citizens and US permanent residents who have held a doctorate less than five years at the start of the fellowship.  Students who are nearing completion of their doctorate are also encouraged to apply, but the fellowship cannot begin until the degree has been granted. Selected applicants will work with an advisor from NRL on an application to the NRC program. The deadline for this application is November 1, 2018.

NRL is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Information on the NRC program is available here

National Solar Observatory (NSO) – Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) Astronomery/Scientist

from Richard Morton [August 2, 2018]

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory (NSO), Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

The NSO, within its Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) Program has an immediate opening for an Assistant, Associate or Full Scientist or Astronomer depending on qualifications.  The DKIST, will be the world’s largest most advanced solar telescope and will help resolve the fundamental interactions between solar magnetic fields and the dynamic atmospheric plasma on scales below 0.1 arcsec over entire active regions.  The DKIST is currently under construction in Maui, Hawaii on the summit of Haleakala and scheduled for completion in 2019. This position will be located in Maui; or Boulder is an option. Research areas might include photospheric, chromospheric and coronal magnetomery, connectivity science, instrument development, data mining of large data sets with a clear science objective, comparison of models and observations.  Additional information on the Astronomer/Science Track can be found by visiting the AURA Website and clicking on the Policies and Procedures Link; Section III-Employment and Appointments of Research Scientific Staff;


The incumbent will provide science support and scientific guidance to the ongoing effort to ramp up to DKIST operations. He/She will support community members while planning Critical Science Plan observations and analysis.  The incumbent will pursue a vigorous personal research program preferably using the broad range of DKIST capabilities. Research areas might include photospheric, chromospheric and coronal magnetomery, connectivity science, instrument development, data mining of large data sets with a clear science objective, comparison of models and observations. Engagement of students in research and development is highly encouraged. During the ongoing construction phase of DKIST the successful candidate will support the science verification process and activities. The incumbent will closely interface with the DKIST operations development effort and contribute to planning and support a smooth transition from construction to operations.  With the start of DKIST operations in 2019 he/she will provide support to DKIST users. He/She is expected to be an effective representative and advocate for DKIST science to the community and participate in outreach activities to promote the DKIST science goals to the broader science community and the public.


  •  Support development of analysis tools and procedures.
  • Support science verification of DKIST systems for spectroscopy and polarimetry
  • Interface with DKIST Data Center effort and support definition and implementation of data processing algorithms
  • Support and participate in definition and, during operations, execution of DKIST critical science plans
  • During the available research time perform scientific research in accordance to NSO mission. Publish results.
  • Support community in their efforts to prepare for DKIST observations and DKIST science.



  • Excellent scientific productivity demonstrated by publication record.
  • PhD in Physics, Astronomy or related discipline.
  • Substantial experience in observational solar astronomy.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform independent research.
  • Experience using solar spectrometers and polarimeters, performing spectro-polarimetric observations, analyzing spectro-polarimetric data and producing forefront science results would be desirable.
  • Experience with infrared instrumentation and observations would be a plus.
  • Experience with ground-based solar telescopes and instrumentation
  • Experience with working closely with engineering teams during science commissioning of astronomical instrumentation would be a plus.Excellent communication skillsSelf-motivated and able to work independently.


Please list 3 professional references in your application, attach a Research Interest Statement and CV or resume to your application.  Should you have any questions, please contact

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

NSO will accept and review applications until the position is filled. Please be sure to submit a completed application along with supporting documents by no later than August 15th 2018 to be considered in the first review.

Please apply at: AURA Jobs –

Institute for Solar Physics of Stockholm University – Support Observer

from Richard Morton [August 2, 2018]

The Institute for Solar Physics of Stockholm University operates the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope (SST) on the Canary Island of La Palma.
Observers from Stockholm and international research institutes travel to the telescope and acquire data recorded with a suite of instruments, of which the ones most frequently used are named CRISP and CHROMIS. The goal is to study physical conditions in the solar atmosphere. After transfer to Stockholm, the data are calibrated and undergo computer-intensive image restoration. After this processing, data can be analysed by scientists and archived.

We are opening a full-time position as a support observer whose main responsibilities will be to perform observations at the SST on La Palma, to support other observers (on La Palma or remotely from Stockholm) mainly by reviewing the quality of their data, and to reduce data using existing software pipelines. The position is based at Albanova University Centre in Stockholm with stays on La Palma when required.

To be qualified for the position, you must have at least a Bachelor degree in astronomy, or a similar subject. Experience of scientific solar observations of high spatial resolution and reductions and/or analysis of data from such observations, is required. Experience from the SST and its data products, as well as Linux and IDL, is preferred. Programming skills in C, C++, or Python are desired. Proficiency in English is required for communication with researchers both within and outside the Institute.

The application deadline is August 15, 2018. Full details and application form at

“la Caixa” Foundation postdoctoral fellowships at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía

from David Williams [July 31, 2018]

Dear colleagues,

“La Caixa” Foundation is launching two Junior Leader postdoctoral fellowships programmes for researchers of all nationalities: the “Retaining” fellowship, to carry out research at any university or research centre in Spain, and the “Incoming” fellowship, to conduct a research project only at accredited centres with the Severo Ochoa distinction of excellence.


La Caixa Foundation has confirmed us that the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), as a new accredited Severo Ochoa centre, can also host the “Incoming” postdoctoral fellows, provided that the formal decision from the Ministry is published before the deadline, 26 September 2018 at 2:00 p.m. (Central European Time – CET). Therefore the risk exists that candidates for the “Incoming” fellowships at the IAA may prepare their documentation and finally are not eligible.

Researchers of any nationality are eligible for this Junior Leader programmes. In order to get accepted, candidates should have earned their doctoral degree two to seven years prior to the deadline for applications (the date of the doctoral thesis defence will be understood to be the date when the doctoral degree was obtained). The requirements on geographical mobility are different for the two programs:

1. For the “Incoming” fellowships (Severo Ochoa centres): Geographic mobility: Candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline. Short stays such as holidays will not be taken into account.

2. For the “Retaining” fellowships (any university or research centre in Spain): Geographic mobility: Candidates must have resided or have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than twelve months in the three years immediately prior to the closing date of the call. Short stays, such as holidays, will not be taken into account.

All the details of this fellowships and the application and selection procedures are provided in the attached documents, see respectively


Please, circulate this information among colleagues of yours who may be interested in applying for a “La Caixa” Junior Leader fellowship at the IAA-CSIC and request them to contact me (

Thanks in advance,

Isabel Marquez

Two+ year Research Associate in Space Plasma Physics

from Richard Morton [July 24, 2018]

Two+ year Research Associate in Space Plasma Physics
Mullard Space Science Laboratory/UCL
Salary: £31,604 – £38,833 per annum
Closing Date: 13 Aug 2018

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a researcher to join the Department of Space and Climate Physics (Mullard Space Science Laboratory) and undertake research in the general area of magnetospheric physics but with emphasis on the magnetospheric substorm, auroral physics or radiation belts. This project is expected to utilise state-of-the-art data from the NASA THEMIS, Van Allen Probes and MMS missions, and ESA Cluster auroral acceleration region campaigns.

The Space Plasma Physics group is a growing group within Mullard Space Science Laboratory 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, and we are looking to bring onboard another post-doctoral researcher to participate and contribute to our group. This position also offers the opportunity for travel for the postholder to present their work at relevant national and international conferences and workshops. The post is initially funded for a two-year period, with a potential extension subject to funding availability

For more information, please see:

and for details of how to apply:

Formal or informal inquiries can be directed to Jonathan Rae ( Any queries as to the application process, please contact Suzanne Winter (

Rutherford Fellowships at Aberystwyth University

from Huw Morgan [July 17, 2018]

The Solar System Physics Group at Aberystwyth University welcome suitable applicants for the Ernest Rutherford fellowship scheme (see The applicant’s research interests should align generally with the group’s interest, particularly in solar atmospheric science, development of novel data analysis methods, or development of new instrumentation for space remote or in situ sensing. See for more details. If you are interested in applying, please contact the Head of Group Dr. Huw Morgan for an informal chat (

Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics (Freiburg, Germany) – Mechatronics/Electrical Engineer

from Richard Morton [July 16, 2018]

Dear colleagues,

We would like to draw your attention to the following job offer for a three-year position as Mechatronics/Electrical Engineer at the Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics:

This job advertisement has also been published on our website at

Please transmit this information to people who may be interested.

Thank you very much and best regards,

Bettina Schäfer
Project Assistant

Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik
Schöneckstr. 6-7
D-79104 Freiburg
Tel.: +49-(0)761 / 3198-176
Fax.: +49-(0)761 / 3198-111

KULeuven – PostDoctoral Position with the H2020 Project AIDA

from Richard Morton [July 16, 2018]

The Department of Mathematics of the KULeuven is looking for an expert in solar physics and/or machine learning at the postdoctoral level.

The researcher will have participate in a stimulating research environment within the Mathematics Department of KULeuven and within the network of team forming the Horizon 2002 project AIDA ( funded by the European commission. Partners include: KU Leuven in Belgium; CWI in The Netherlands; University of Calabria, University of Pisa and CINECA in Italy; CNRS in France; IRIDA in Greece and Space Consulting in USA.

The researchers will be employed by KU Leuven, but collaborations with other teams within the project and more generally within the scientific and industrial community focusing on space science and artificial intelligence is highly encouraged.

AIDA aims at bringing the analysis of heliophysics data to a new level. We plan to develop a Python-based tool to retrieve and analyze data from a variety of missions, using the most modern techniques of statistical analysis, machine learning. The project also includes the use of observational data in the mathematical modeling of solar and magnetospheric processes on high performance supercomputers.

KULeuven is aspiring to become a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) as the very recent construction of the Genius supercomputer with a dedicated partition proves. KULeuven has also several groups leaders in AI and we will encourage interdisciplinary collaborations with computer scientist and engineers.

The work place is Leuven, a historic university town (our university is one of the oldest in Europe, founded in 1425) located just 20 minutes from the center of Brussels and 15 minutes from Brussels international airport, making it easily reachable for international travelers.

Leuven is an international city located in the Flemish (Dutch speaking) part of Belgium, where English is spoken routinely in all places (from University and public offices to shops and entertainment venues). The distance from Brussel and from other French speaking parts of the country is so small that it is perfectly possible to commute.

Our division, the Center for mathematical Plasma Astrophysics (CmPA,, is a leading center in the study of space science. Our team is formed of four professors (plus one active emeritus) and about 40 experts, scientists, postdocs and students working on different aspects of simulation and data analysis applied to solar and space science, astrophysics and other plasma processes (nuclear fusion energy, industrial, space propulsion).

Profile – Responsibilities

At least one, preferably more, of the following items should be very familiar to the selected candidate:

  • Machine Learning, Deep Neural Networks, Bayesian Methods,
  • Solar, Magnetospheric and Solar wind data analysis,
  • Expertise on computer programming with Python, C, C++ or Fortran,
  • Plasma physics, astrophysics or space physics,
  • Numerical methods for fluid dynamics, MHD and kinetic physics particle in cell methods.

Context on the AIDA project

AIDA brings a transformational innovation to the analysis of heliophysics data in four steps.

First, AIDA will develop a new open source software called AIDApp written in Python (a free language) and capable of collecting, combining and correlating data from different space missions. AIDApp wants to replace mission-specific tools written for costly languages (such as IDL) that exclude many scientists, students and amateur space enthusiasts from exploring the data, with a much-needed single platform where methods are shared and continuously improved by the whole community.

Second, AIDA will introduce modern data assimilation, statistical methods and machine learning (ML) to heliophysics data processing. Unlike traditional methods based on human expertise, these methods rely on statistics and information theory to extract features that are hidden in the data.

Third, AIDA will combine real data from space missions with synthetic data from simulations developing a virtual satellite component for AIDApp. This feature will be demonstrated in the comparison with existing mission data and in the planning of new missions.

Fourth, AIDA will deploy in AIDApp methods of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyse data flows from heliophysics missions. This task requires bridging together competences in computer science and in heliophysics and pushes well beyond the current state of the art in space data analysis, connecting space researchers with AI, one of the fastest growing trends in modern science and industrial development. AIDA will use the new AIDApp in selecting key heliophysics problems to produce a database (AIDAdb) of new high-level data products that include catalogs of features and events detected by ML and AI algorithms. Moreover, many of the AI methods developed in AIDA will themselves represent higher-level data products, for instance in the form of trained neural networks that can be stored and reused as a database of coefficients.

These tasks will be the collective responsibility of the whole consortium and certainly not of any single person. The selected candidate will work on aspects of the project best suited to her or his abilities and interests. Research freedom will be highly valued, under the guidance of the need to reach some projects goals. Reaching the goals is a task that can be done in many ways and research is finding out how to reach them. The candidate will be supported by a team of experts at KULeuven including both senior and junior research experts. The plan is to have a stimulating collaborative environment that puts all in the position to do best what the research they like the most.


For more information of the conditions of employment of a PostDoc at KULeuven, please go to:

For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Giovanni Lapenta or Dr. Jorge Amaya, by email to:

You can apply for this job no later than August 31, 2018 via the online application tool:

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