Community:Email 16jan11

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The Space Physics group at the Physics Department, University of Otago has a funded PhD student position available. The position is funded through the New Zealand Marsden Fund project "Evaluating the Impact of Excess Ionization on the Atmosphere", led by Associate Professor Craig J. Rodger. The project will start from 1 March 2011, and the PhD student position is also intended to start from that date, but will be open until it is filled.

The project will investigate the precipitation of energetic electrons from the Van Allan radiation belts into the atmosphere, detected by the AARDDVARK network. The Space Physics Group has previously developed techniques to extract precipitation fluxes from AARDDVARK observations of subionospheric VLF propagation. The PhD project will refine these techniques, and validate the fluxes by comparison with other satellite- and ground based datasets. The study will be conducted at the University of Otago in collaboration with researchers at the British Antarctic Survey (Cambridge, UK). It is likely that the project will involve a period visiting the British Antarctic Survey, and may involve some instrument maintenance trips to Antarctica and/or the Arctic.

Information on the group can be found at its webpage:

Information on the AARDDVARK network can be found at its webpage:

QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates should have received a master's degree in science or engineering, or a similar degree at an equivalent academic level, at the start of the PhD project. A candidate is sought with good background in physics with experience in computational modelling and electromagnetism. The ideal candidate would be proficient in Matlab and have experience in Space Physics, Ionospheric, Upper Atmospheric and/or Geophysics.

APPROVAL and ENROLMENT: The study will be under the University of Otago PhD programme, and the scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval. For information about the requirements for enrolment and the general planning of PhD study at the University of Otago see

SCHOLARSHIP: The PhD scholarship is NZ$25,000 for each of three years, plus the payment of University of Otago tuition fees for 3-years (excludes sundry fees and insurance). This rate is equivalent to a University of Otago Prestigious Doctoral Scholarship, and candidates for the current position will be expected to be of this standard.

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO: Otago University is the oldest University in New Zealand (established 1869), with roughly twenty one thousand students and its main campus located in Dunedin in the South Island. The University of Otago has an international reputation for research excellence and is New Zealand's top-ranked university for research quality.

FURTHER INFORMATION on the project: Assoc. Prof. Craig J Rodger, (+64 3 479 7749).

Dr Craig J. Rodger Department of Physics Phone: +64 3 479 4120 University of Otago Fax: +64 3 479 0964 PO Box 56, Dunedin 9016 NEW ZEALAND _______________________________________________ Cedar_email mailing list