Senior Researcher

United Arab Emirates University (UAEU)

Al Ain, UAE

Ref: RP749-657

Job description / Role

Employment: Full Time

Senior Researcher in Emirates Mars Mission related science

Job Description:

The National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in Al, Ain, UAE invites applications for a Senior Researcher position in planetary science related to the Emirates Mars Mission. EMM will launch in July 2020 to study the influence of Mars' climate and lower atmosphere on the escape of oxygen and hydrogen from its upper atmosphere, what atmospheric processes drive diurnal variations, and how energy is transferred from the lower-middle atmosphere to the upper atmosphere.

We are looking for an experienced researcher to propose, lead, and develop their own research program related to EMM within the existing Planetary Science group at NSSTC. The anticipated start date is as soon as possible but is likely to be sometime during late Fall 2020, for an initial period of three years. Review of applications will begin on 6 September 2020, and the position will remain open until filled.

The research program should be in a scientific field relevant to EMM, and complementary to existing expertise and experience within the Planetary Science group. The group's existing Mars expertise is in planetary climate modelling, data assimilation, the dust cycle, and other physical processes relevant to Mars' lower atmosphere and climate. The Senior Researcher's expertise could be in the upper atmosphere, surface or subsurface, polar science, atmospheric retrievals, ionosphere, atmospheric chemistry, solar-planetary interactions, or anything else that makes use of the data coming from EMM. We are particularly interested in proposals making use of data from the Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS). The proposal should plan to make use of (and describe how it will use) EMM's publicly-available dataset.

The position is comparable with a Research Fellow in the UK or US systems. The researcher will devote all of their time to their proposed research program and to developing the planetary science group at NSSTC. We anticipate the Senior Researcher applying for their own funding to expand their research program, and supervising research assistants, students, and postdoctoral researchers in due course. There may also be the opportunity to teach for UAEU's new MSc in Space Science course, anticipated to begin in Spring 2021.

NSSTC is a research and development institute of some 50 staff located on the UAE University campus in Al Ain, about 90 minutes' drive from Abu Dhabi and Dubai. UAEU is the largest and highest-ranked public university in the UAE. The Center was established jointly by UAEU, the UAE Space Agency, and the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ICT-Fund), motivated by UAEU's desire to strengthen its role in and contribute to the needs of the nation in Space Science and Space Technology, and to become a Space Science and Technology hub for the region. NSSTC focuses on research and development, higher education, and community outreach. It has expertise in spacecraft communications and precision positioning, on-board real-time systems, space situational awareness, global navigation systems, space resource utilization, geospatial information systems, Earth observation, and planetary science.


Minimum Qualification:

Tasks and Responsibilities (not exhaustive, and subject to periodic review):

• Conduct a vigorous, high-level research program making use of observations from the Emirates Mars Mission
• Undertake independent and collaborative research in Mars science
• Develop internal and external collaborations to meet the goals of the research program
• Publish research work in the open scientific literature
• Present research work to a variety of audiences within the University, the UAE, and at international conferences
• Supervise research assistants, postdoctoral researchers, and research students
• Apply for funding to grow the research program
• Contribute to NSSTC capacity building, outreach events, and strategic research planning
• Take part in NSSTC research group and business meetings
• Represent NSSTC and UAE University within the UAE and internationally.

Preferred Qualification:

• Ph.D. degree in physics, planetary science, atmospheric physics, meteorology, or a closely related field.

Expected Skills/Rank/Experience:

Experience - Essential:

• Several years' experience in a relevant area post Ph.D
• Experience in one or more of the following in the planetary science context: data processing, analysis, modelling, interpretation, and the use of remotely sensed data
• A strong track record of published work in a relevant field
• Experience presenting your work at national and international conferences.


• Experience on one or more spacecraft mission science teams
• Proven ability to attract research funding
• Experience supervising research staff or students
• Experience leading research projects.
• Required Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies:
• Expertise in the major software tools used in your field
• A strong desire to contribute to cutting edge research
• Excellent communication skills in English, both verbal and written
• The ability to work independently on a research project
• The ability to lead and work within a team
• Ability to write high-quality research papers and grant proposals
• Willingness to travel overseas when necessary.

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.