FEDtWIN ENERGY job opening in Belgium
Annonce transmise par Pierre Henri (LAGRANGE)
FULL TIME POSITION (50% TENURE TRACK PROFESSORSHIP AND 50% SCIENTIFIC
RESEARCHER SW2 – WORK LEADER): PROFESSOR IN SPACE PHYSICS
_Last modification : Friday, December 18, 2020_
A full-time tenure track academic vacancy as an independent academic
staff (50%) - work leader (50%) is vacant within the framework of the
BIRA-IASB FED-tWIN research programme between the Science, Engineering
and Technology Group, Faculty of Science, Departement of Mathematics,
Division of Plasma-astrophysics and the Federal Scientific Institute
BIRA-IASB is a Belgian Federal Scientific Institute conducting research
and providing services in space aeronomy, i.e. the physics and chemistry
of Earth’s atmosphere and other planets, and outer space. The present
research domain of our department Space Physics concerns the division
“Solar Wind” (D13). BIRA-IASB has strong experience in space weather
and in developing kinetic models of solar wind interactions with the
The KU Leuven team has considerable expertise in space and solar
physics, in using Machine Learning and in the development of simulations
and models of space and solar plasmas to track the development of
energetic particles. The recent collaborative work of the two teams
has illustrated the high relevance of theoretical methods for improving
our understanding of space plasmas. With this joint research profile, we
wish to deepen this collaboration between the two groups and address
critical challenges to our understanding of the solar wind and
magnetospheric plasma conditions that lead to suprathermal particles,
which are the most variable part of energetic particles playing a role
in space weather. With the guidance and support from both groups, the
postdoctoral researcher will pursue innovative and interdisciplinary
research using theoretical and statistical rate methods as well as
numerical modelling and machine learning.
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* You will elaborate test particle simulations embedded within
large-scale MHD models on space plasmas, as well as study particle
distributions using methods of supervised and unsupervised machine
* At BIRA-IASB and in collaboration with the KU Leuven team, you will
address major remaining issues related to energetic particles in space
plasmas using the kinetic approach, and you will implement different
mechanisms in numerical models at different scales.
* You ensure high quality education in the bachelor and master
programme of mathematics at KU Leuven with a clear commitment to the
quality of the entire educational programme. The teaching load will be
in accordance with a 50% employment at KU Leuven. If you do not speak
Dutch at the start of your appointment, your initial teaching duties
will be in English. Later in your career, you will also teach in Dutch
and possibly also teach a basic mathematics course in another KU Leuven
programme. You also contribute to the pedagogical project of the
university through the supervision of master theses. You develop your
teaching in accordance with KU Leuven's vision on activating and
research-based education and make use of the possibilities for the
educational professionalisation offered by the faculty and the
* The official language at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak
Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, KU Leuven
will provide language training to enable you to take part in meetings.
You are required to master the Dutch language at the CERF level B2
within five years of being appointed. To teach a course in Dutch or in
English, you need to master that language at native or CERF level C1.
* You will supervise and support PhD students and contribute to the
preparation and management of new research projects. You will have a
collaborative spirit and liaise with collaborators. You need to be able
to organize and troubleshoot your work independently, document it
thoroughly, communicate results and lead a team in a transparent and
* You will play an important role in society through your research and
teaching, but also through your service to the society. Depending on the
needs and your personal interests, this can consist of participation in
the public debate, science communication, contributions to
policy-supporting research projects for governments from the local to
the European and international level, etc. You will take up an active
role in councils, educational committees, working groups, etc.
We are looking for a highly motivated, well-organized and dynamic
candidate with a high level of independence and creative thinking.
* You hold a PhD in Physics, Engineering or Mathematics obtained at
the earliest 12 years prior to the submission date of the job
application. The 12-year period is extended by one year for each
maternity, parental and adoption leave of the candidate and for each
long-term sick leave of the candidate or his/her immediate family.
* You have a relevant publication track record with several first
* You are eager to learn new techniques and you show a keen interest
and curiosity driven approach to scientific questions
* You have expertise in programming languages, preferably applied to
Machine Learning ML (Python, TensorFlow, Keras, PyTorch), to MHD, fluid,
kinetic theory and/or to particle in cell (PIC) methods (C++, MPI).
* You have demonstrable expertise in space physics, preferentially for
the solar wind and the magnetosphere. Experience in fitting methods is a
* You have experience in writing research proposals, in working with
deadlines and being involved simultaneously in multiple projects.
* You are a team player.
* You are able to guide PhD students and coordinate the projects
between our teams.
* Proficiency in English is required.
* The official language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not
speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, KU
Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in
meetings. Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given
the opportunity to learn Dutch, respectively English, to the required
* Within the FED-tWIN framework, KU Leuven offers a 50% appointment as
a tenure track professor in combination with an appointment of
indefinite duration as a 50% contractual researcher (work leader) at
BIRA-IASB. At KU Leuven, candidates will be recruited as assistant
professor in a tenure track position with evaluation after 5 years. In
case of positive evaluation after 5 years, the candidate will then be
appointed to the rank of associate professor. In Belgium, assistant
professors are allowed to be main supervisor of a PhD and can
autonomously apply as principal investigator for research grants. KU
Leuven is offering financial resources to new professors to start up
their own research lines. They can also apply for own project funding.
* To speed up the research in the first phase, KU Leuven has the
option of applying for a starting grant of 100,000 euros. This
scholarship is for new professors without substantial other funds, and
who are appointed at least 50%.
* The starting date is negotiable (but before the end of November
* Access to state-of-the-art infrastructure at BIRA-IASB in Brussels
and KU Leuven.
* A stimulating, research work environment where quality,
professionalism and team spirit are encouraged.
* Different extra-legal benefits are offered both at KU Leuven and
* Flexible schedule and possibility to work occasionally from home.
* Refund of commuting expenses when using public transportation or
* Access to special advantages arranged for employees of the federal
scientific institutions (e.g. possibility to follow trainings, free
childcare in July/August.
* The opportunity to interact with several world-class investigators
at both institutions, as well as in Europe and abroad (through an
established network and research consortia).
* For the KU Leuven contract a salary in grade 14 is offered.
* At BIRA-IASB, the salary will follow federal regulations for the
scientific career in the SW2 scale, with possibility to acquire a
French-Dutch bilingualism bonus.
* All relevant work experience (public + private sector) will be
considered when determining seniority.
For more information please contact Prof. dr. Viviane Pierrard
(firstname.lastname@example.org) or Prof. dr. ir. Giovanni Lapenta, tel.:
+32 16 32 79 65, mail: giovanni.lapenta@kuleuvenbe. For problems with
online applying, please contact email@example.com.
Applicants are asked to add the following components to their candidacy:
- a bio sketch in which they demonstrate their added value as an
academic researcher for the core tasks of research, education and
services in their past career and for their future activities (maximum 2
- a file about their five most important publications or realizations;
- an extensive CV (including a complete publication list);
- a research plan with attention to the development of a research line
and associated research team with an eye for collaboration with fellow
researchers within the employment entity (maximum 4 pages);
- their vision on academic education and its organization (maximum 2
- their contribution to service activities (internal representation
through membership in councils and administrative bodies, contributions
to society through education and research,outreach and science
communication) (maximum 1 page);
- their vision of leadership (maximum 1 page).
KU Leuven and BIRA-IASB place great importance on research integrity and
ethical conduct and will therefore ask you to sign an integrity
statement upon appointment.
You can apply for this job no later than February 15, 2021 via the
online application tool