Research Assistant in Planetary Science

United Arab Emirates University (UAEU)

Al Ain, UAE

Ref: RP749-651

Job description / Role

Employment: Full Time

Job Description
The Department of Physics at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in Al, Ain, UAE invites applications for a Research Assistant (RA) in Planetary Science. We are looking for an enthusiastic Emirati national who has recently graduated from a relevant undergraduate or Master's program to work on one or more research projects related to planetary atmospheres, primarily in support of the project "Mars Atmospheric Data Assimilation".

The RA will work with Dr Roland Young, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics. The position will be physically based at the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC), also on the UAEU campus. The RA will become part of NSSTC's Planetary Science group, and may also work on research with other members of the group.

The anticipated start date is as soon as possible in the new academic year, at the earliest on 23 August 2020. The position is available for an initial period of six months. Applications submitted before 23 July 2020 will receive full consideration.

We particularly encourage applications from those who intend to pursue MSc or PhD studies at UAE University afterwards, and wish to gain some research experience.

Possible research topics the Research Assistant might work on include:
• Analysing data assimilation products by comparison against data from the Mars Express mission
• Investigating systematic differences between two observations of the same quantity at the same time by the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter spacecraft
• Analysing data from the NASA Insight lander on Mars to study atmospheric turbulence
• Applying techniques for tracking clouds in Mars visible images to retrieve atmospheric winds

Tasks and responsibilities will include (subject to periodic review)
• Undertake research in planetary science supporting the group's existing and future projects
• Complete tasks assigned by the group leader contributing to the general life of the group
• Write internal reports on their work
• Where appropriate, publish research work in the open scientific literature
• Present research work to a variety of audiences within the University, the UAE, and, if appropriate, at international conferences
• Contribute to NSSTC capacity building and outreach events
• Take part in NSSTC research group and business meetings


Minimum Qualification
• Undergraduate degree in physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, astronomy, meteorology, or a related subject.

Preferred Qualification
• Undergraduate or Master's degree in physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, astronomy, meteorology, or a related subject.

Expected Skills/Rank/Experience

• A keen interest in space exploration and/or planetary science.
• An aptitude for computing work and programming.
• Strong mathematical ability.
• Excellent communication skills in English, both verbal and written.

• Experience taking part in an undergraduate or Master's research project.
• Experience with programming and/or Linux. Python would be particularly good.
• Academic courses in atmospheric physics and/or fluid dynamics.

About the Company

Founded in 1976 by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAEU is a comprehensive, research-intensive university enrolling about 14,000 Emirati and international students. As the UAE’s flagship university, UAEU offers a full range of accredited, high-quality graduate and undergraduate programs through nine Colleges: Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Food and Agriculture; Humanities and Social Sciences; IT; Law; Medicine and Health Sciences; and Science. With a distinguished international faculty, state-of-the art new campus, and full range of student support services, UAEU offers a living-learning environment that is unmatched in the UAE.

As a research-intensive university of international stature, UAEU works with its partners in industry to provide research solutions to challenges faced by the nation, the region, and the world. The University has established research centers of strategic importance to the country and the region which are advancing knowledge in critical areas ranging from water resources to cancer treatments. UAEU is currently ranked the number one research university in the GCC, number two in the Arab World, and #370 globally.

UAEU’s academic programs have been developed in partnership with employers, so our graduates are in high demand. UAEU alumni hold key positions in industry, commerce, and government throughout the region. Our continuing investments in facilities, services, and staff ensure that UAEU will continue to serve as a model of innovation and excellence.

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