Postdoc Position in Radio Science at Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory

The University of Oulu in Northern Finland, with approximately 16,000 students and 3,000 employees, is an international, multidisciplinary research university with a rich pool of creative and intellectual talent. The strengths of the University include broad, multidisciplinary research interests, a modern research and study environment, and wide cooperation with international research and educational institutes. The Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (SGO, is a separate institute of the University of Oulu. Established in 1914, SGO carries out continuous, long-term geophysical measurements of Earth’s high-latitude environment. This activity is a National Task and includes measurements of Earth’s geomagnetic field, ionosphere, northern lights, cosmic radiation and seismic activity. SGO employs about 30 staff, two thirds of which have an academic degree. SGO scientists routinely collaborate with more than 100 institutes world-wide.

Postdoc Opportunity in Radio Science at Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory: "Remote sensing of energetic particle precipitation into atmosphere"

The Postdoc position in Radio Science is part of the profiling actions of University of Oulu, where selected spearheads of research are supported in the research strategy of the university. Radio Science at SGO belongs to the thematic focus area "Earth and near-space system and environmental change". At SGO, the position is mainly meant to boost development of Phased-Array Radio techniques, measurement methods and related science applications in preparation to the use of the forthcoming next-generation incoherent scatter radar facility, EISCAT_3D.

There is growing evidence that the energetic particle precipitation (EPP) originating from the Sun can significantly modulate the middle-atmospheric dynamics, and possibly alter the global atmospheric circulation via ionic production of minor species (such as odd hydrogen and odd nitrogen), thus causing subsequent ozone loss in the stratosphere. The Postdoc project investigates both the EPP and the photoionisation taking place in the mesosphere-lower thermosphere (MLT) altitudes (mainly 60-100 km). For the EPP, the altitude of the maximum ionisation is a direct measure of precipitation energy. This energy-height dependence makes it possible to invert the EPP flux density spectrum from any height-dependent electron density measurement. 

The project exploits a comprehensive set of ground-based (and sounding rocket) electron density data obtained by various radio methods, of which the most important ones are the incoherent scatter radars (EISCAT, and the Kilpisjärvi Imaging Receiver Array, KAIRA ( An important tool available at SGO is the in-house developed detailed ion-neutral chemistry model (SIC,

The successful candidate will have a doctoral degree in physics, space physics, atmospheric physics or geophysics. Experience in data analysis using a high-level programming language (e.g. Python, Matlab) is highly beneficial. Excellent command of both spoken and written English is essential.

The position is initially financed for 3 years, starting earliest on 1 November 2018. There is a six months trial period in the beginning of the employment.

The salary will be based on the levels 5 - 6 of the demand level chart for university-level teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 46.3 % of the job-specific component). The salary is thus in practice roughly 3,400 - 4,200 € per month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

Applications must be submitted using the electronic application form by 28 September 2018, 24:00 (Finnish local time), with the following attachments as 5 separate pdf files:

1) Complete CV according to the guidelines of the Finnish Board on Research Integrity (TENK): (max. size limit of the attachment: 5 Mbytes)

2) List of publications in international peer-reviewed journals (max. size limit of the attachment: 5 Mbytes)

3) Motivation letter describing prior knowledge, research interests, merits and career plans (1-2 pages; max. size limit of the attachment: 2 Mbytes).

4) Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned electronic copies of diplomas and transcripts of the records of relevant previous degrees. If the original documents are not in English, Finnish or Swedish, each document must be accompanied by an official certified translation into English or Finnish. (Max. size limit of the attachment: 2 Mbytes)

5) Contact information of two or three (2-3) persons whom may be asked to give a statement of the candidate.

The eligible applicants fitting best in the research profile expected for the position may be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified when the selection process is completed.

Contact: Ass. Prof. Antti Kero, e-mail: antti.kero(at), tel.: +358442894669.

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