Assistant Researcher in Heliophysics and Planetary Science

University of California Berkeley

Assistant Researcher- Heliophysics and Planetary Science- Space Sciences Laboratory

Job #JPF03113
  • Space Sciences Laboratory / VC Res Organized Rsearch Units / UC Berkeley

Position overview

Salary range: Commensurate with experience
Percent time: 100
Anticipated start: Fall 2021
Position duration: Two years

Application Window

Open date: November 4th, 2021

Next review date: Saturday, Dec 4, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Saturday, Dec 4, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

Built six decades ago, UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) was the realization of NASA’s vision to gather many of the most innovative and dedicated science minds in one place at Berkeley. In the hill above Berkeley, physicists, researchers, biologists, engineers and technicians worked in unison: interacting, learning from one another, leading, challenging and inspiring one another in creating cutting-edge space science instrumentation and conducting top research. Through sixty years of NASA-funded support, their efforts, and those of hundreds of dedicated students and staff, have brought about myriad highlights, such as the space science missions of S3-3, ISEE, Polar, Van Allen Probes, Cluster, IMAGE, THEMIS and MAVEN. All have contributed to new discoveries about the physics of space, and initiated marked new advances in engineering technology.

Position Description: We seek a creative, energetic, and independent early career scientist with expertise in solar and heliospheric plasma physics to join the team at UC Berkeley working on the currently operating and in-development planetary and heliophysics missions at SSL, including NASA’s Parker Solar Probe (PSP) mission, NASA’s Heliophysics Environmental and Radiation Measurement Experiment Suite (HERMES) lunar and space weather mission, and NOAA’s Space Weather Follow On-L1 (SWFO-L1) mission. Applicants with hardware or instrumentation backgrounds in addition to experience publishing science results using observations from heliophysics or planetary projects are especially encouraged to apply.

The PSP mission was launched in late 2018 and has made eight solar encounters, producing a world-class set of measurements of the solar wind in the inner heliosphere. The HERMES and SWFO-L1 projects in development focus on space weather and space plasma science, including both plasma particle detectors and energetic particle instrumentation in near-Earth space and at the moon. The UC Berkeley team plays a lead role on the PSP science and instrumentation team and the successful candidate will also be encouraged to participate in PSP science operations (i.e. helping define instrument operation modes, selecting burst data, organizing observing campaigns, and participating in subsequent science results). Multiple opportunities to participate in detector development exist via the HERMES and SWFO-L1 projects, both on thermal plasma and energetic particle instrumentation.

As SSL is a university laboratory, the successful candidate will be encouraged to mentor younger scientists and students. The position offers considerable independence, and the incumbent will be encouraged to develop their own research interests, including potential instrumentation development and data analysis efforts, and internal and external collaborations.



Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

PhD or equivalent international degree.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

2 years post-degree research experience
Publication record

Preferred qualifications
    • Minimum of two years of postdoctoral experience with space-based or space-observing instrumentation and data analysis.
    • PhD in Physics, Astronomy, or Space Science (or equivalent)
    • Experience with space plasma or energetic particle instrumentation design, operation, calibration, and data analysis
    • Interest or experience developing new and novel sensor or instrumentation for heliophysics or planetary observations.
    • Interest or demonstrated experience in obtaining external funding to pursue independent research

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter (Optional)
  • Statement of Research
  • Statement on Contributions to Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Statement on your contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including information about your understanding of these topics, your record of activities to date, and your specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion if hired at Berkeley (for additional information go to
  • Publications List
Reference requirements
  • 3 letters of reference required
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Campus Information

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values at UC Berkeley. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and academic and non-academic staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for our academic positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, and belonging.

The University of California, Berkeley is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

In searches when letters of reference are required all letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letter.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is eight weeks after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.)

Job location

Berkeley, CA