We are hiring!

The Space Weather Awareness Training Network (SWATNet) is a Marie – Sklodowska – Curie action Innovative Training Network (ITN) project. The project aims at breakthroughs in our physical understanding of the key agents of Space Weather.

We are now in the process of hiring 12 Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) to pursue their PhD degrees. The project is funded by the European Commission under the framework of the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks Programme, Grant Agreement No 955620. The recruitment procedure of SWATNET follows the recommendations outlined by the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers

Concept: SWATNet educates 12 PhD students in the field of heliophysics with training led by experienced supervisors in a  challenging, inherently international and interdisciplinary research environment. The consortium consists of nine Parties from eight European countries, as well as several recognized companies in the field. The PhD projects focus on analysing and forecasting solar activity, solar eruptions and energetic particles  accelerated by these eruptions. Students will use state-of-the-art observations and research techniques, including cutting-edge numerical simulations of the solar corona and the inner heliosphere, as well as machine learning analysis methods.  All students will be introduced to the basics of solar observations at our partner observatory and conduct 1-3 months of industrial training.

Employment:  Employment of each PhD student  adheres to the regulations by each  host university and the rules of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions. The positions are limited to a duration of 36 months and they are full-time. Note that this period includes an obligatory 6-12 month period of project related work (i.e., Secondment) in another SWATET host country. The positions may be extended according to national regulations and depending on the availability of additional funds. Students do not need to defend their thesis during the project, but must be enrolled in a doctoral programme leading to the award of joint/double doctoral degrees. Students are ensured an employment contract, other direct contract or fixed amount fellowship agreement during their training.

Salary and Benefits: The ITN provides a very competitive salary and additional mobility and family allowances.  Salary (‘Living Allowance’) is defined by the Commission with  correction coefficients based on the host country. In addition, students receive EUR ‘Mobility Allowance’ for their personal use. The travel costs related to PhD, training at the observatory and during industrial training will be covered by the project. ESRs with a family are allowed ‘Family Allowance’. Family status is determined at the time of the recruitment and remains fixed during the lifetime of the project. Students in SWATNet will gain a set of versatile transferable skills through day-to-day research work, ITN-wide regular activities and training with our industrial partners. They will be highly competitive both for academic and non-academic careers.

Eligibility: The following requirements have to be met by the applicants

  • Early-Stage Career requirement: You need to be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of your research career.
  • Mobility requirement:  You can apply only  to the projects hosted in countries where you have not lived for more than 12 months in the last 3 years (Compulsory national service and short-time vacations do not count).
  • Degree requirement: You must have a degree which formally entitles you to pursue a doctorate degree. The level of the degree (e.g., MSc/BSc) may depend on the host.
  • Language requirement: You must possess an appropriate level of  English and express yourself fluently both in written and spoken English. Additional language criteria may apply at the host institutions.

Education in space physics, space weather, plasma physics or similar is required. There may also be additional specific requirements for doctoral studies depending on the host institutes (see from the project specific pages). 

Selection Criteria:  The students will be selected based on

  • Scientific excellent, background and potential
  • Scientific potential to carry out successfully the research in the project
  • Success in undergraduate studies (in particular courses relevant to the field/topic, thesis grade)
  • Reference letters
  • Passion about science, motivation to conduct research in the field of heliophysics and work as a part of a big and vibrant international consortium
  • Creativity and level of independence, interest for science communication

The applicants will be ranked and short-listed for the interview. The decision will be made by the Local Selection Committee and the SWATNet Recruitment Committee will oversee the process. 

How to apply

You can apply to a maximum of three (3) projects and in order of preference. Familiarize yourself with our projects and find the information where to send your application from below by following the links to the project specific pages.

The following information needs to be included in the applications:

  • Curriculum Vitae and List of Publications
  • Degree certificates and transcripts of your academic records (list and grades of the courses and BSc/MSc works) 
  • Contact details for 2 referees (name, work address, phone, email) 
  • Motivation letter 
  • Indication of eligibility (read carefully from above).
  • Any additional  documents/requirements requested by specific nodes.

The general deadline of the applications was closed on 7 May 2021 [at 23:59 local time at the host]. Applications are accepted still for some of the projects (see highlighted projects from below)

Lists of Projects

Project 1 Pre-eruption magnetic configuration and eruption forecasting. Host: University of Ioannina/Academy of Athens, Greece. Secondment Host: University of Sheffield, UK. 

Project 2 Assessment of the Near-Sun CME Magnetic Field. Host: University of Ioannina/Academy of Athens, Greece. Secondment Host: Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Poland.  

Project 3 Three-dimensional solar flare forecasting. Host: University of Sheffield, UK Secondment Host: University of Ioannina/Academy of Athens, Greece. Applications accepted as long as the position is filled.

Project 4 Modelling periodic and quasiperiodic variations in solar activity. Host: Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary. Secondment Host: University of Sheffield, UK. 

Project 5 A global MHD coronal model. Host: Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Poland Secondment Host: University of Helsinki, Finland. Applications for this project are accepted

Project 6 CME evolution in the corona. Host: University of Helsinki, Finland. Secondment Host: KU Leuven, Belgium. 

Project 7 Particle acceleration at coronal shocks. Host: University of Turku, Finland. Secondment Host: KU Leuven, Belgium.

Project 8 Particle transport in interplanetary medium. Host: KU Leuven, Belgium. Secondment Host: University of Turku, Finland. 

Project 9 The P-DBM beyond 1 AU: forecasting CME arrival in the whole heliosphere. Host: Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy.  Secondment Host: University of Sheffield, UK. Applications accepted until June 17th.

Project 10 Forecasting Solar Activity with Deep Learning. Host: Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy.  Secondment Host: University of Coimbra, Portugal. Applications accepted until June 17th.

Project 11 CME arrival modelling with Machine Learning. Host: University of Sheffield, UK  Secondment Host: Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy. Applications accepted as long as the position is filled.

Project 12 Development of mathematical morpholgy algorithms to characterize the solar activity. Host. University of Coimbra, Portugal. Secondment Host: University of Sheffield, UK.