Research Associate in Planetary Atmospheric Science

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Archive Date: 
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Faculty Positions (visiting and non-tenure)
Institution Classification/Type: 
Large Academic
University of Leicester
Department Name: 
Department of Physics & Astronomy
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Job Announcement Text: 

Vacancy terms: Full time contract, open ended subject to fixed term funding. Funding is available from 1 March 2019 to 31 March 2022
Salary details: Grade 7 - £34,189 to £39,609 per annum
Hours per week: 37.5

About the role

You will join the planetary atmospheres team led by Dr. Leigh Fletcher to address the scientific aims of a European Research Council (ERC) grant to explore time-variable processes shaping the atmospheres of the giant planets.

The “GIANTCLIMES” programme seeks to investigate the natural cycles of meteorology, circulation, and chemical processes shaping the environments of the four giant planets over long spans of time. Inversions of planetary spectra, from the ultraviolet to the microwave, will be used to reconstruct these atmospheres in three dimensions to explore their temporal variability and the processes coupling different atmospheric regimes. Potential sub-projects include, but are not limited to: analysis of multi-instrument data from the Juno and Cassini spacecraft; assessments of the chemical distributions and radiative energy budgets of the four giants; numerical simulation of periodic and stochastic meteorological events (including wave phenomena); spectroscopic mapping techniques from Earth-based observatories; and assembly of data analysis pipelines to support “Guaranteed-Time” and “Early-Release” science activities ahead of the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.

You will be expected to carry out independent and collaborative research for this project and disseminate the results to the international scientific community. There will be significant opportunities to collaborate within the Leicester’s Planetary Science team (whose existing research includes planetary magnetospheres, ionospheres, atmospheres and surface science), and with an international team specialising in radiative transfer and spectral inversion for planetary atmospheres.

About you

You will have existing skills in planetary data analysis (e.g., acquisition and modelling of spectroscopic observations from the microwave to the ultraviolet) and/or numerical modelling expertise of relevance to giant planet atmospheres (dynamics, energetics, and/or chemistry of planetary atmospheres). We are therefore particularly interested in candidates with a background in planetary atmospheres and spectroscopic modelling techniques, but all applicants with a strong background in planetary science are encouraged to apply.

Additional information

In addition to the application, please provide: [1] a CV and publication list; [2] two academic references; [3] a one-page cover letter detailing how your prior experience and future research aims are commensurate with the broad aims of the programme outlined above.

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Leigh Fletcher on

We anticipate that interviews will take place during early February 2019.

Leicester is a leading University committed to international excellence, world-changing research and high quality, inspirational teaching. We are strongly committed to inclusivity, promoting equality and celebrating diversity among our staff and students. You will develop your career in a supportive and collaborative academic environment in one of the world’s leading research-intensive universities; elite in the excellence of our research, yet distinctive for the genuine synergy between our research and teaching.

Advert closes midnight on: 14 Jan 2019

Application Deadline: 
Monday, January 14, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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Attention To: 
Dr Leigh Fletcher
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: 
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Dr Leigh Fletcher