Postdoctoral Researcher and Doctoral Student for “Ionospheric Situational Awareness” (ISaw)

Updated: 22 days ago
Deadline: 01 Nov 2020

The North changes the world – more sustainable, more intelligent, more humane. We, at the University of Oulu, work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. Our university's several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields.

Kvantum Institute is one of the four strategic focus institutes supporting high-quality research, coordinating multidisciplinary research activities and doctoral training. Kvantum’s science-based expertise meets global challenges in the focus areas Sustainable materials and systems  and Changing climate and northern environment . The Institute promotes interdisciplinary networking of research groups as well as co-operation between groups and national and international partners.

We are now looking for

A Postdoctoral Researcher and a Doctoral Students

for the project “Ionospheric Situational Awareness” (ISaw).

The project will combine ionospheric physics and machine learning/machine vision methods to create a catalogue of ionograms, images of the ionospheric structure produced by so-called ionosondes, or vertical ionospheric sounders. The catalogue will facilitate studies of past space-weather events and serve as a basis for rapid analysis of new measurement. The results will be validated against ionospheric measurements of the EISCAT incoherent scatter radars and other ionospheric measurements.

Description of the positions

  • The Postdoctoral Researcher will familiarise themselves with the operations and data analysis of the Sodankylä ionosonde. They will investigate ways to characterise and describe ionograms for cataloguing. They will compare the data of the EISCAT radars at Tromsø with those of the EISCAT ionosonde. They will apply the catalogue to study climatology of the ionosphere and use it to develop new data analysis techniques. The postdoctoral researcher will participate in the further development of the instrument. They are expected to participate in the supervision of the doctoral student. Mobility visits to Norway and Sweden are planned.
  • The Doctoral Student will work on the above topics jointly with the postdoctoral researcher. They will familiarise themselves with the operations and data analysis of the Sodankylä Ionosonde, supervise and manage the digitisation of SGO’s archive of ionograms, assist in the processing of the images for cataloguing, compare the data from the EISCAT radars to Tromsø ionograms, and use the newly created database for statistical and climatological studies of the ionospheric structure. The student is planned to take part in the Geophysics courses offered by UNIS (Svalbard), and mobility visits to Norway and Sweden are planned.


Description of the research group

Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (www.sgo.fi ), established in 1913,  carries out continuous, long-term, geophysical measurements of Earth’s high-latitude space environment. The observation programme is a National Task and includes, among others, a number of ionospheric measurements using optical as well as active and passive radio methods including the high-power incoherent scatter radars of the EISCAT Scientific Association. Together with the Arctic Space Centre of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, SGO forms the Sodankylä Space Campus, a highly international and inspiring science environment in the Finnish sub-Arctic. Our scientists routinely collaborate with more than 100 institutes world-wide.

Qualification requirements

Postdoctoral researcher position: The successful candidate will have a doctoral degree in degree in physics, space physics, atmospheric physics, geophysics or mathematics. The doctoral degree can´t be more than 10 years old. A background in ionospheric physics and/or machine vision are desirable. Experience of developing working code in a high-level programming language (e.g., Python, Matlab) and use of data bases is highly beneficial. We will provide the opportunity to participate in courses of further education in topics required to fulfil the tasks of the project. Excellent command of both spoken and written English is essential. The post-doc is expected to take part in the supervision of the associated student. The position is located in Sodankylä.

Doctoral student position: The successful candidate will have a M.Sc. degree in physics, space physics, atmospheric physics, geophysics or mathematics (machine learning). Previous studies in ionospheric physics or plasma physics and/or machine vision are desirable. Experience in using a high-level programming language (e.g., Python, Matlab) and/or data bases is highly beneficial. We will provide the opportunity to participate in courses of further education in topics required to fulfil the tasks of the project. Excellent command of both spoken and written English is essential. The position in located in Sodankylä.

The selected candidate will carry out her/his doctoral studies within the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) and must meet the requirements to receive doctoral study rights as defined in: http://www.oulu.fi/uniogs/requirements_for_admission .

What we offer

  • You will become a part of a highly talented research group, that is working on strategically and globally significant research area
  • You will receive support from your team and supervisor, so that you can excel in your studies and research
  • In addition to modern research facilities, we offer you personnel benefits such as occupational healthcare and affordable sport services
  • 4-year position, beginning on January 1, 2021 (or as soon as possible thereafter)
  • A salary in accordance with the Finnish universities salary system (for teaching and research personnel): A Postdoctoral Researcher will be based on demand level 5 – 6 and a Doctoral Student level 2 – 4. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50% of the job-specific component). Typical starting salary for a Postdoctoral Researcher is approx. 3400€ per month (before taxes) and for a Doctoral Student approx. 2350€ per month (before taxes). A trial period of six months will be applied.

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by November 1st, 2020 at 23:59 (Finnish local time). The application should be written in English and include the following:

1)     A motivation letter (max. 2 pages) summarizing applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why applicant is interested in this position. Also, information on personal research interests, experience and career plans are valuable to provide here

2)     Curriculum vitae (max. 4 pages) in accordance with the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity http://www.tenk.fi/en/template-researchers-curriculum-vitae

3)     List of publications based on the guidelines of the Academy of Finland https://www.aka.fi/en/funding/apply-for-funding/az-index-of-application-guidelines/list-of-publications/

4)     A research plan, max. 3 pages (Postdoctoral Researcher position only)

5)     Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned copy of the original doctoral degree certificate (Postdoctoral Researcher position) or of the original Master's degree certificate (Doctoral Student position) and transcript of records and, when necessary, official translations to Finnish or English

6)     Contact information of two senior/experienced researchers who may be asked to give a statement on the candidate

Only applications containing all relevant appendices and submitted through portal will be considered.
Top candidates will be invited to an on-site or remote interview.

Further information

Contact person: Dr Thomas Ulich, adj. prof., Head of Observations, Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, thomas.ulich@sgo.fi , +358-40-5490403.

City of Oulu

The Oulu region is home to over 200 000 people making it the largest urban centre in northern Scandinavia and one of the fastest growing regions in Finland. Oulu is a combination of beautiful, northern nature, vivid cultural life and modern technology. Oulu is also known for its highly-educated people and friendly, easy-going atmosphere. Find out more about Oulu: https://www.oulu.fi/university/living-in-oulu
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