Job advertisement PhD Position in Computational Heliophysics

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European Geosciences Union

PhD Position in Computational Heliophysics

PhD Position in Computational Heliophysics

Institute of Astronomy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences logo

Institute of Astronomy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

  • The Institute of Astronomy is a leader in astrophysical research in Bulgaria and Southeast Europe. It hosts over 40 researchers working in several areas of astrophysics, namely solar activity and solar system small bodies, stars and stellar systems, galaxies and cosmology. Additionally, IANAO staff have strong expertise in operating and maintaining the National Observatory Rozhen – a dedicated facility in the Rhodopi mountains with a flagship 2-meter reflective optical telescope, as well as a number of smaller research-grade telescopes.
  • Recently, the Institute of Astronomy has installed a new 192-core server cluster, and is adding a multi-GPU server node for advanced computations dedicated to the MOSAIICS project. Supercomputer time on BAS-owned and operated systems is also available.


Sofia, Bulgaria


Relevant division
Solar-Terrestrial Sciences (ST)


Student / Graduate / Internship


Required education

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

10 February 2020

Job description
  • This PhD position at the Institute of Astronomy and National Astronomical Observatory, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences will focus on development and application of data processing techniques and machine/deep learning models for the characterization and understanding of the nature of solar eruptive transients. Specifically, you will analyze and model extreme UV (EUV) imaging of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and shock waves (SDO/AIA, STEREO/EUVI, Proba-2/SWAP instruments), as well as advanced low-frequency radio interferometric observations of thermal and non-thermal CME emission (MWA and LOFAR telescopes).
  • The 3-year position is open until filled, with a preferable starting date in July 2020; working language is English;
  • PhD position is part of 5-year project ”Modeling and ObServAtional Integrated Investigations of Coronal Solar Eruptions” (MOSAIICS) starting in May 2020, funded by the National Science Fund of Bulgaria; Project PI is Assoc. Prof. Kamen Kozarev.
  • PhD fees fully covered and a very competitive stipend of approximately €920/month (tax-free) provided for EU citizens (Average salary in Bulgaria is €600/month, pre-tax). Separate travel funding will be provided as well. Representative numbers for the cost of living can be found here.
  • The overall goal of the MOSAIICS project is to adopt an integrated approach providing a deeper understanding of the plasma processes leading to charged particle acceleration by CMEs near the Sun. The project’s high level objectives are to (i) develop and integrate novel image processing and machine learning techniques to reliably analyze radio and EUV remote imaging observations of CMEs and their shocks; (ii) investigate the origins and evolution of radio emission from energetic electron beams in CMEs, comparing with in situ measurements; (iii) develop and apply advanced global data-driven models of particle acceleration and transport to test and improve our theoretical understanding of SEP production and transport. This position will focus on the first goal of the project.

How to apply
  • Requirements: Master’s degree in Physics/Astrophysics/Data Science or related discipline; demonstrated interest in computational astrophysics/heliophysics, space weather, and machine/deep learning; great writing and communication skills in English;
  • Previous experience and publications in scientific programming and visualization, especially with Python (SunPy, Pandas, Numpy, Matplotlib, etc.), Linux/Unix environments, version control, machine/deep learning (Torch, Keras, Tensorflow), high-performance computing, and/or data science will be considered an advantage.
  • Interested candidates should contact Dr. Kamen Kozarev (, arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to him, and provide a curriculum vitae, a cover letter describing their experience and interests, and a list of publications (where available). Qualifying applicants will be interviewed and sit an entrance exam (written and oral), which can be taken remotely.