Solar Orbiter Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Solar Wind Formation

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Institute of Particle Physics and Astrophysics at ETH Zurich hosts a solar astrophysics group. The lead, Louise Harra, is also the director at PMOD/WRC in Davos. The position is based at PMOD/WRC in Davos Dorf, Switzerland.
Founded in 1907, PMOD/WRC is concerned with the study of solar radiation and its effect on the Earth's climate. PMOD/WRC has been involved in space instrumentation since the 1980s, including the spectrometer SPICE and the EUV Imager EUI onboard the ESA Solar Orbiter mission, and the future Solar Spectral Irradiance Monitor onboard the JAXA Solar-C mission. 

Project background

This position is based on Solar Orbiter mission data in order to understand solar activity and its impact. PMOD/WRC were involved in the design and build of two instruments onboard Solar Orbiter (SPICE and EUI), and are actively engaged in the data analysis focussing on the sources of the solar wind. This position is focused on understanding small-scale structures on the Sun and how they can create plasma that forms part of the solar wind. 

Job description

The main duties are to undertake original research in the area of solar physics. Specifically, the topic will be on understanding sources of the solar wind, such as regions of upflowing plasma in active regions or jets using data from the Solar Orbiter space mission. There are also opportunities to work with data from the new 4m telescope DKIST which had its first light at the end of 2019. It is expected that you will communicate the results through regular publication of high-impact journals and presentations at conferences. You should collaborate actively within the Solar Orbiter team (and other mission teams) to prepare for new scientific opportunities and observing plans. 

Your profile

  • It is expected that you will have a PhD or MSc in a relevant field with a strong background in physics. 
  • Experience in solar space data is desirable.
  • The solar data analysis and calibration software packages are in IDL and python, so experience in one of these is desirable. 

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.

Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

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 Equal Opportunities and Diversity website 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:

  • CV and publication list
  • A research plan (1 page long) that describes your scientific goals using Solar Orbiter

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 PMOD/WRC can be found on our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Louise Harra, email: louise.harra@pmodwrc.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.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • CV and publication list
  • A research plan (1 page long) that describes your scientific goals using Solar Orbiter

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 PMOD/WRC can be found on our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Louise Harra, email: louise.harra@pmodwrc.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.