University of Bergen

Department of Physics and Technology

The University of Bergen (UiB) is an internationally recognised research university with more than 14,000 students and close to 3,500 employees at six faculties. The university is located in the heart of Bergen. Our main contribution to society is excellent basic research and education across a wide range of disciplines.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow position in space physics at the Birkeland Centre of Space Science (BCSS)

The Department of Physics and Technology has a vacant position for a postdoctoral fellow within space physics with focus on ionospheric dynamics as it is driven by solar wind-magnetospheric interaction as well as by internal processes. The main emphasis of the position is on the interpretation of ground-based and spacecraft observations in the context of testing and developing current physical understanding. The position is for a period of 3 years and will be part of the Birkeland Centre for Space Science (BCSS).


Project/work tasks

BCSS is organized in two instrumentation groups, one education and public outreach group and four research groups that will address the following questions:


1) When and why is the aurora in the two hemispheres asymmetric?
2) How do we get beyond the static large-scale picture of the ionosphere?
3) What are the effects of particle precipitation on the atmospheric system?
4) What is the role of energetic particles from thunderstorms in geospace?


The postdoctoral fellow will be part of the research group focusing on question 2. A major objective of this group is to understand the processes responsible for ionospheric dynamics. These range from external driving effects, e.g., related to the direction of the interplanetary magnetic field and inner magnetospheric processes, to internal effects, such as small-scale structuring as observed, for example, in polar patches, flow channels, aurora structures, and conductance variations. Birkeland currents play a crucial role in the electrodynamic coupling between the magnetosphere and ionosphere and are of particular interest here. The project will focus on the combined analysis and interpretation of complementary ground-based and space-based observations of ionospheric dynamics. The main data sets to be used include: AMPERE, SWARM, CHAMP, DMSP, SuperDARN, SuperMAG, EISCAT, GNSS receivers, solar wind data, magnetosphere measurements, and other supplementary ground-based instruments in the polar ionosphere. For context and aiding in the physical interpretations, the use of concurrent, modern, space environment models and simulations is also anticipated. Special emphasis will be on developing the comprehensive physical understanding that relates these various ionospheric effects and determines their consequences for magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling.


Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • Applicants must hold a Norwegian PhD or equivalent degree in space physics, or a related field, or must have submitted his/her doctoral thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the PhD has been awarded.
  • Applicants must have good programming and analytical skills
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, and to demonstrate good collaboration skills.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Research experience, ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.


For this position, we especially look for a candidate having the following skills:

  • A detailed understanding of ionospheric physics

  • Evidence of understanding the theoretical concepts of magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling as it applies to the Earth’s space environment

  • Demonstrated experience in the analysis of a variety of ionospheric ground-based and space-based observations

  • Demonstrated experience in interpreting ionospheric observations in the context of ionospheric dynamics and magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling

  • Demonstrated experience in researching ionospheric dynamics in response to solar wind interaction with the magnetosphere

  • Demonstrated experience in analyzing large scientific datasets

The successful candidate should be familiar with data analysis and have a good theoretical understanding of several of these fields. Specific, documented experience with some of the data sources listed above is highly desirable.


About the position of postdoctoral research fellow:

The position of postdoctoral research fellow is a fixed-term appointment with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. The fixed-term period for this position is 3 years. If the appointee lack teaching experience, the employment period may be increased to up to 3 years and 3 months, where the three extra months are funded by the department. Teaching and other duties of the department, will in that case be added as duties of the position.  Individuals may not be hired for more than one fixed-term period as a postdoctoral research fellow at the same institution.


For postdoctoral research fellow positions associated with externally financed projects, the completion of the project proposal for the qualifying work will take place in consultation with the project/centre manager.


It is a requirement that the project is completed in the course of the period of employment.


We can offer:

  • A good and professionally challenging working environment
  • Salary at pay grade 57 (code 1352 / pay range 24, alternative 1) according to the state salary scale upon appointment. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 486,100 – 490,900. For particularly highly qualified applicants, a higher salary may be considered. Further promotions are made according to length of service.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • A position in an inclusive workplace (IW)
  • Good welfare benefits 

Your application must include:

  • A brief account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position.

  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these should be the main advisor from the PhD programme.

  • CV

  • Transcripts and diplomas and official confirmation that the doctoral thesis has been submitted

  • Relevant certificates/references

  • List of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)

  • Publications (as applicable)

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at JobbNorge.


General information:


For further details about the position, please contact: Senior Advisor Therese Moretto Jørgensen, Department of Physics and Technology, e-mail:


The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

We encourage women to apply. If multiple applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, the rules pertaining to moderate gender quotas shall apply.


The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.


Further information about our employment process can be found here.



Apply for this job

About this job

  • Deadline
    Monday, January 15, 2018
  • Employer
    University of Bergen
  • Website
  • Municipality
  • Jobbnorge ID
  • Internal ID
  • Scope
  • Duration
    Fixed Term

About applications

  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Academic CV
  • Please refer to where you first saw this job advertised!

See more

Find more jobs