Postdoctoral Research Associate or Fellow

University of Exeter
February 28, 2024
Offerd Salary:£32,982
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
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The starting salary for an Associate will be from £32,982 on Grade E, and for a Fellow it will be from £41,732 on Grade F (pro rata for part-time) depending on qualifications and experience.


Generous holiday allowances, flexible working, pension scheme and relocation package (if applicable).

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Postdoctoral Research Associate or Fellow

Job description

Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy

The above STFC-funded full-time post is available, on a fixed term basis, from 1st April 2024 for up to three years. Starting dates later in 2024 are possible. We welcome applications from candidates interested in working part-time hours or job-sharing arrangements.

The post

The Faculty wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Associate or Postdoctoral Research Fellow to conduct research into the formation and evolution of Jupiter's polar vortex crystals, working alongside Dr Stephen Thomson, Dr William Seviour and Dr Jemma Shipton.

The successful applicant will advance our understanding of the crystalline arrangements of polar cyclones at both of Jupiter's poles using a hierarchy of atmospheric models. The idea of the project is to investigate the mechanisms that may be responsible for both the formation of the polar vortex crystals and their maintenance against dissipation. The project will make use of a hierarchy of numerical models, beginning with quasi-geostrophic dynamics on a polar gamma plane through the moist shallow-water equations, and finally up to a state-of-the-art Jupiter General Circulation Model. The moist shallow water equation code will be based on the ‘Gusto' finite-element modelling framework (developed by co-I Shipton), which has the ability to do adaptive mesh refinement, allowing for high resolution simulations of the vortex crystals. The GCM is based on the Jupiter configuration of the ‘Isca' modelling framework (developed by the PI). The simulations using this model hierarchy will investigate key driving processes such as moist convection, beta-drift of polar cyclones, the role of vortex ‘shielding', mixing of Potential Vorticity, the role of jets beneath Jupiter's weather layer, and the interaction of forcing with dissipative processes such as radiative damping. The results will be compared with observations from NASA's Juno spacecraft, involving collaboration with international partners. The project will also include an investigation of why the polar vortex crystals on Jupiter appear to be unique within the solar system.

The post will include regular meetings with local and international collaborators, presenting at national and international conferences and preparing results for publications. The post holder will have the opportunity to supervise undergraduate and postgraduate research projects and be involved in the wider activities of the research group and department.

About you

The successful applicant will be able to develop research objectives, projects and proposals; identify sources of research funding and contribute to the process of securing funds and make presentations at conferences and other events.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD (or nearing completion for PDRA) or equivalent qualification/experience in the field of atmospheric or climate dynamics, whether this be on Earth, solar system planets or exoplanets. The successful applicant will be a recognised authority in atmospheric fluid dynamics and possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop research programmes and methodologies. The successful applicant will also be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required. Applicants will be able to contribute to large collaborative codebases, manage numerical simulations using high performance computing architectures, and interpret and process large amounts of model data. General knowledge of atmospheric fluid dynamics is essential, but Jupiter-specific knowledge is not required – we welcome applications from experts in Earth's atmospheric dynamics, the atmospheric dynamics of solar system planets or exoplanets.

Please ensure you read the Job Description and Person Specification for full details of this role by clicking on the attachment.

What we can offer you

  • Freedom (and the support) to pursue your intellectual interests and to work creatively across disciplines to produce internationally exciting research;
  • Support teams that understand the University wide research and teaching goals and partner with our academics accordingly
  • An Innovation, Impact and Business directorate that works closely with our academics providing specialist support for external engagement and development
  • Our Exeter Academic initiative supporting high performing academics to achieve their potential and develop their career

  • A multitude of staff benefits including sector leading benefits around maternity, adoption and shared parental leave (up to 26 weeks full pay), Paternity leave (up to 6 weeks full pay), and a Fertility Treatment Policy

  • A beautiful campus set in the heart of stunning Devon

  • The University of Exeter

    We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities and in the top 200 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024 and QS World University Ranking 2024). We combine world-class teaching with world-class research, achieving a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework Award 2023, underpinned by Gold ratings for Student Experience and Student Outcomes.

    Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

    We are committed to ensuring reasonable adjustments are available for interviews and workplaces.

    Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented within our working community.

    With over 30,000 students and 7,000 staff from 150 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment where our diversity is celebrated and valued as a major strength. We are committed to creating an inclusive culture where all members of our community are supported to thrive; where diverse voices are heard through our engagement with evidence-based charter frameworks for gender (Athena SWAN and Project Juno for Physics), race equality (Race Equality Charter Mark), LGBTQ+ inclusion (Stonewall Diversity Champion) and as a Disability Confident employer.

    For further information please contact Dr Stephen Thomson, e-mail [email protected].

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