Postdoctoral Research Associate

Open University
United Kingdom (GB) Milton Keynes
Aug 16, 2019
Sep 15, 2019
Planetary Sciences
Career Level
Education Level
Relocation Cost
Sector Type

Postdoctoral Research Associate: Aeolian landforms and processes at the ExoMars Rover landing site, Planetary Environments Research Group

Unit: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Salary: £33,199 to £39,609
Location: Milton Keynes
Please quote reference: 16464
3 year Fixed Term, Full Time
Closing Date:  10th September

Change your career, change lives

The Open University is the UK’s largest university, a world leader in flexible part-time education combining a mission to widen access to higher education with research excellence, transforming lives through education.

The role

As part of the Open University Planetary Environments research group, you will explore the aeolian environment of the ESA ExoMars Rosalind Franklin Rover’s landing site in Oxia Planum, Mars. You will use orbital remote sensing and surface observations to understand the aeolian environment and erosional history of the Oxia Planum site. You will perform basic research and participate in operations of the ExoMars PanCam camera instrument after the Rover lands in March 2021. 

In the period before landing, you will organize and participate in terrestrial fieldwork with collaborators from Aberystwyth University and the University of Southampton. The aim of the fieldwork is to use the PanCam emulator instrument “AUPE” to explore how PanCam will be used to understand aeolian landscapes on Mars.

You will characterize the landing site using the latest NASA and ESA orbital remote sensing data and help project partners at the Open University and Ulster University to generate high resolution climate/atmospheric models of the landing site. After landing, you will participate in the planning and execution of PanCam surface operations and analyse PanCam data.

You will write papers to be published in peer-reviewed journals and present findings at international conferences and workshops.

You will contribute expertise to research projects, methodologies and teaching areas as appropriate.

Skills and experience

You will have (i) a PhD (or equivalent alternative experience) in planetary physics, geology, geomorphology, planetary science, or other relevant discipline, and (ii) competencies including, but not limited to:

  • Demonstrable experience of research into aeolian processes, landforms and landscapes, as might be applied both on Mars and on the Earth;
  • A track-record of communicating your research through peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.

See the attached Job Description below for further details and desirable qualities.

What you get in return

Benefits include a supportive and friendly working environment, 33 days holiday per annum pro rata plus Bank Holidays and Christmas closure days, and an attractive pension proposition.

How to apply

Complete the application form and send this to us with a copy of your CV and Cover Letter (Cover letters should be ~1000 words, explaining both how you meet the Person Spec, and your motivation for applying for this position) to  Please ensure you quote the vacancy reference number.

If you have any questions regarding the Group or the role please contact the project leader, Matt Balme (

Please note: Shortlisting is expected to take place on week commencing 9th September. If you have not heard from us within 2 weeks of this date, please assume that on this occasion you have not been selected for interview, however we thank you for your interest in The Open University and encourage you to apply for future positions.

Closing date: Noon, 10th September 2019

Interview Dates: TBC

An application form and job-related information are available from the links located below.  Hard copies and access details for disabled applicants are available from the Recruitment Co-ordinator by email - ,quoting the reference number 16464

We promote diversity in employment and welcome applications from all sections of the community

Equal Opportunity is University policy