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Postdoc position on cosmic dust and heliosphere science in Zürich

Studierende finden an der ETH Zürich ein Umfeld, das eigenständiges Denken fördert, Forschende ein Klima, das zu Spitzenleistungen inspiriert.


100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The at ETH Zürich is seeking a highly motivated candidate to work as a Postdoctoral researcher in the field of planetary science (cosmic dust and heliosphere science), starting from January 2023 or later.
The position is funded by the ERC Starting Grant ASTRODUST: "The heliosphere and the dust: characterization of the local interstellar neighbourhood”, led by Dr Veerle Sterken.

Project background

The goals of the project are to constrain the interstellar dust and (dynamic) heliosphere properties, using in situ data and computer simulations. The project encompasses numerical modelling of interstellar dust in the solar system and/or data analysis of dust impacts on satellites and dust detectors.

Job description

You are expected to research the following:

  • Computer modelling of the dust dynamics in the heliosphere
  • Studying the effect of the heliosphere on the dust trajectories for the various regions in the heliosphere and the heliosphere as a whole
  • Analysing in situ cosmic dust data acquired by cosmic dust and plasma wave detectors on satellites
  • Inferring constraints on the dust and the heliosphere using the data and simulations  
  • Predicting and analysing fluxes of interstellar dust for various spacecraft missions
  • Applying the models for other stars with astrospheres, and for the solar system in its past

In addition, some teaching activities will be performed, as well as public outreach.

Your profile

Skills we are looking for are:

  • Data analysis
  • Parallel processing (GPU), numerical modelling/Monte Carlo simulations
  • Parameter estimation/Bayesian inference
  • Heliosphere/plasma science, cosmic dust science
  • Visualisation skills are an asset

In particular:

  • Experience in programming with Julia is a plus
  • Experience with parallel processing
  • Experience in data analysis, especially working with a small number of statistics

Candidates from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. Also, candidates who do not completely fulfil these skills sought are encouraged to apply.

Your workplace
Your workplace

We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

We value diversity
In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.
Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents (pdf format):

  • Cover letter / Motivation letter (description of your interest in this position, career goals)
  • Research interest
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Publication list
  • Copy of PhD diploma
  • Code sample / other certificates indicating coding or data science skills
  • Proposed starting date
  • Contact information of 2-3 potential references
  • Any additional material you may wish to share

Application deadline: 1st of November 2023

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.
Further information about the Department / Institute /Research Group can be found on our websites: , , .
Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr Veerle Sterken, email vsterken@ethz.ch (no applications).

About ETH Zürich
ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

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