University of Oxford, Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics

1747 19902
Position ID:Oxford-Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics-153339 [#19902, 153339]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Plasma Theory for Fusion Energy
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3PU, United Kingdom [map] sort by distance
Subject Area: Physics / Theoretical Physics
Appl Deadline: finished (2021/10/04, finished 2023/05/06, listed until 2022/11/01)
Position Description:    

*** this position has been closed. ***

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Plasma Theory for Fusion Energy. The post is available for an initial fixed-term duration through September 2023, with the possibility of a further extension dependent on funding availability. The start date is flexible but should be no later than October 2022.

The Universities of Oxford, Strathclyde, Warwick and York, in collaboration with the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, are in the middle of a 5-year, EPSRC-funded programme to understand the fundamentals of turbulence in tokamak plasmas. A main objective of this programme is to identify advanced confinement configurations that will lead to compact fusion reactors. Key elements of the programme are the interaction between turbulence and flows, and the impact of the ratio of thermal pressure to magnetic field pressure (called the plasma beta).

As part of this programme, the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics at the University of Oxford is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Plasma Theory for Fusion Energy. The successful candidate will develop new theory to explain the interaction between turbulence and plasma flow observed in magnetic confinement fusion plasmas. Examples of the phenomena of interest are: the observation of self-generated flows in the absence of momentum input, the observation of regions of reduced turbulence that are correlated with the presence of strong velocity shear, the recent numerical discovery of bistable turbulence and the transition to high transport states at high plasma beta. Explaining these complex observations will require a combination of analytical theory, computational work and physical intuition. The candidate is expected to compare the result of the theoretical work to experiments in JET and/or MAST-U, two experiments located at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, within a short train journey of Oxford. This comparison with experimental observation will be conducted in collaboration with experimentalists that participate in the programme.

The post holder will likely have the opportunity to teach if he/she desires.

Applicants should hold, or be close to completion of, a PhD in physics or a related field. Ideally, applicants would have a strong background in Plasma Theory, and previous experience with numerical methods for fluid dynamics and/or kinetic theory will be an advantage. Candidates are expected to demonstrate the ability to manage their own academic research, the ability to contribute ideas for new research projects, and excellent communication skills.

Please direct enquiries about the role to Prof Michael Barnes ( and/or Prof Alex Schekochihin (

You will be required to upload a CV (including a list of publications) and a brief statement of research interests as part of your application. You will also be asked to provide details of at least two referees. Candidates should ensure that referees submit all references to by the closing date. Documents submitted should be in PDF format and use the naming convention: APPLICANT SURNAME,FORENAME - REFEREE SURNAME,FORENAME".

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Contact: Michelle Jose
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Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics
Beecroft Building
Clarendon Laboratory
Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3PU
United Kingdom
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