Doctoral student in space physics

KTH Royal Institute of Technology

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Electrical Engineering, Plasma physics track 

The project has a goal to advance our understanding of electron heating and energetic electron generation at collisionless shocks. The Earth bow shock observations in multi-spacecraft NASA MMS data are used.  Shocks forming at the interfaces of fast moving plasmas in the Universe are among the most efficient plasma heating and energetic particle generation sites. Examples are shocks in front of planetary magnetospheres, termination shocks of stellar winds, supernovae shocks and others. The project focuses on electrons at shocks because with the launch of MMS spacecraft in 2015 we finally have sufficient quality electron distribution function and electric/magnetic field measurements at scales where electron heating and energetic electron generation is occuring. MMS allows to observe shocks with Mach numbers up to 20. The specific scientific objective of the project is, for the first, to resolve the spatial scales and mechanisms at which electron heating is occuring, particularly focusing on the non-adiabatic processes, and secondly, to address the energetic electron generation mechanisms, trying to distinguish relative contribution of shock drift/surfing and drift shock acceleration mechanisms. Further studies can include analysis of turbulent shocks. The results of the project are of high importance not only for the space physics but also for solar, astrophysical and laboratory plasma communities.

What we offer


To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39 § Swedish Higher Education Ordinance), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a degree at advanced level,
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at advanced level, or
  • in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge.


In order to succeed as an doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. In the selection of the applicants, the following will be assessed:

  • ability to independently pursue his or hers work,
  • ability to collaborate with others,
  • have a professional approach and
  • analyse and work with complex issues.

courses in space and plasma physics is a plus.

Great emphasis will be places on personal qualities and personal suitability.

Target degree: Doctoral degree

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle studies may be employed as a doctoral student. The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year and may thereafter be extended. Doctoral students may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Union representatives

You will find contact information for union representatives on KTH’s website.

Doctoral section (Students’ union on KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

You will find contact information for doctoral section on the section’s website.


Apply for the position and admission through KTH’s recruitment system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/entral European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:

  • CV including your relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Application letter with a brief description of why you want to pursue research studies, about what your academic interests are and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. (Maximum 2 pages long)
  • Copy of the degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records from your previously attended university-level institutions. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents are not issued in one of these languages.
  • Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.

Other information

Gender equality, diversity and zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment are important aspects of KTH’s work with quality as well as core values in our organization.

For information about processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes

Read the job description at the university homepage

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Type of employmentTemporary position longer than 6 months
Contract typeFull time
First day of employmentAccording to agreement
SalaryMonthly salary according to KTH’s doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions1
Working hours100%
CountyStockholms län
Reference numberJ-2019-0881
ContactTysse Norlindh Falk,
Last application date17.May.2019 11:59 PM CET

Post expires on Friday May 17th, 2019