Postdoctoral position at University of Saint Andrews Print

General Statement and Description  

Specific job description

Duration and starting date

Nature of appointment and salary

Who can apply

Application procedure

Information and queries


General Statement and Description

The Solar and Magnetospheric Theory Group is based in the Division of Applied Mathematics within the School of Mathematics and Statistics.  The Group has a vacancy for a Research Fellow, funded by the European Commission through the  Solaire Marie Curie Research Training Network.   

Specific Job Description

We are looking for a Research Fellow to work on magnetic reconnection and coronal heating.

Applicants should hold a PhD in solar magnetohydrodynamics, solar plasma physics or astrophysical plasma theory. Research experience in analytical or numerical modelling of magnetic fields and/or magnetic reconnection are preferable.

The Group is concerned with the investigation of a variety of areas mainly in solar and magnetospheric magnetohydrodynamics. Current topics of particular interest include: 3D magnetic reconnection theory; coronal heating; solar flare MHD; coronal particle acceleration; MHD waves in inhomogeneous media; coronal seismology; non-linear MHD instabilities; emergence of magnetic flux; magnetospheric physics; computational MHD and supercomputing.

Both analytical and computational techniques are used, and close links with observations are maintained. The Group has a dedicated network of high-powered workstations and leads an MHD Supercomputing Consortium of UK users.

The Group has eight staff members (Professors Hood, Priest and Roberts, Drs De Moortel, Mackay, Neukirch, Parnell and Wright) including a Royal Society University Research Fellow and an STFC Advanced Fellow, a Senior Scientific Officer, 7 Research Fellows and 16 PhD research students.

The Group is funded by an STFC Rolling Grant and has additional support from the Solaire EU Network Grant. It has a lively atmosphere and many visitors. Its research fellows have enjoyed considerable success over many years in gaining tenured university positions. Additionally, the research of the appointee will benefit from the networking activities within Solaire, including network-wide research and research training, postgraduate schools, network meetings and complementary-skills courses. The Solaire network  ( is a joint initiative of 12 European Universities and Research Institutes and a private R&TD company.

Duration and Starting Date

The post will be for 15 months, starting on 1 September 2009, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Nature of the Appointment and Salary

The selected candidate will be appointed with a full-time, fixed-term contract with their salary plus extras being paid through the Solaire EU network grant. Salary and social benefits are based on the applicable EU regulations, as well as the local regulations of the University of St Andrews. The actual salary is fixed at 52,875 Euros per annum, but your exact salary in pounds will depend on the exchange rate during your employment. Following the European Commission rules, in addition to the salary the selected candidate  will receive a mobility allowance which is dependent on  marital status. From these amounts, UK taxes and the employee's contribution to national insurance will be deducted. Appointed candidate will also receive travel, and career exploratory allowances in accordance with the European Commission's rules for Marie Curie Networks. Details about salary and benefits can be obtained through the contacts given below. 

Who Can Apply?

The position is open to nationals of any EU or associated country other than the UK (although UK nationals may apply if they have spent at least 4 of the last 5 years in a country which is not an EU Member or associated country). Additionally, at the start of his/her appointment, the successful candidate must not have resided or carried out your main activity in the UK for more than 12 months in the previous 3 years.
Application Procedure

Please quote ref: JC110/09     Closing date:   22 May 2009

Application forms and further particulars are available from Human Resources, University of St Andrews, College Gate, North Street, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ, (tel: 01334 462571, by fax 01334 462570 or by e-mail  The advertisement, further particulars and a downloadable application form can be found at  

Completed application forms together with a CV and covering letter should be returned either to or by post or fax to Human Resources not later than 5 pm on Friday 22 May 2009.  Please note - that applications received after this time will not be processed.   We regret there are no mail box facilities after office hours (Mon – Fri - 9 am - 5 pm) for receipt of applications.

Interviews are scheduled for 9 June 2009.

If you are shortlisted for interview for this post, and have provided an email address, you will be notified by email (the email address used on your application form).  Otherwise, you will be notified by post.

The University is committed to equality of opportunity.

Successful candidates will be shortlisted within six weeks of the closing date.  If you have not been contacted within this period your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion. 

The University of St Andrews is a charity registered in Scotland (No SC013532)

Information and queries

Informal enquiries about the position are welcome and should be made to
Dr Clare Parnell, tel: +44 (0)1334 463706, email:,
or Prof Eric Priest, tel: +44 (0)1334 463709, email:

For general information about the Solaire Network please contact
Prof Fernando Moreno Insertis,

The Solar & Magnetospheric Groups website address is