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Postdoctoral Researcher (2 years) in Visualization and Learning

Department of Science and Mathematics Education

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2024-03-07

  • Type of employment Temporary position
  • Extent 100 %
  • Place Umeå

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.

Are you interested in learning more? Read about Umeå university as a workplace

The Department of Science and Mathematics Education is seeking a postdoctoral researcher for a research project on visualization and learning within the field of atmospheric and space physics. We offer a varied work environment with many skilled and friendly colleagues.

The deadline for applications is 2024-03-07. We hope you want to join us!


About NMD and Curiosum:

The position is located at the Department of Science and Mathematics Education (NMD) at Umeå University. The work will largely take place at the Curiosum Science Center at Umeå University. The Department of Science and Mathematics Education conducts teaching and research on learning in natural sciences, technology, and mathematics (UmSER, Umeå Science Education Research). Curiosum is a public science center featuring a dome theater that provides unique opportunities for visualizing scientific data for immersive experiences. Curiosum also houses other environments for both school and public use, allowing exploration and discovery of science and technology through interactive means, such as chemistry labs and makerspaces. Visitors of all ages come to a science center like Curiosum to explore science and technology. The general public often visits a science center where adults and children, such as families, can explore and discover scientific phenomena and processes together. School classes visit science centers with teachers, with visits involve pedagogically guided activities that cover various subject areas. Curiosum is part of a national project on scientific visualization in immersive environments at science centers, Wisdome, which also includes the Visualisation Center in Norrköping, the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, Universeum in Gothenburg, and Malmö Museum.


Project Description:

In the research project VisA (Visualisation of the Atmosphere), the goal is to develop new ways to visualize space and to stimulate interest and learning in natural sciences and technology, especially among young people. It particularly focuses on space near Earth where phenomena arise from the interaction between solar particles and the Earth's magnetic field, such as the Northern Lights.

The project utilizes data from multiple sources to visualize space near Earth. EISCAT3D, a radar facility currently being finalized at three locations in northern Sweden, Finland, and Norway, is one of the primary sources. EISCAT uses radar technology to gather data on processes occurring in the atmosphere and ionosphere. Other data sources include observations from satellites or from Earth. These datasets provide information on the complex systems in the atmosphere and the interaction between solar particles and the Earth's magnetic field, such as the Northern Lights and space weather, as well as meteor incidents and climate issues. In the VisA project, this information will be made accessible through interactive visualization, allowing both researchers and the general public to discover and explore the phenomena and processes occurring in Earth's nearby space.

The postdoctoral project aims to investigate how to create interest and learning in science and technology by visualizing what happens in space near Earth, such as the interaction between the sun and Earth.

The project is funded by the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation and is led by Madelen Bodin, conducted in an international context.


Work responsibilities:

The specific tasks within the project depend partly on the applicant's skills and interests, but some examples of research and tasks within the project include:

  • Developing relevant activities, using a design-based approach, for experiential learning in space physics, such as the northern lights, space weather, and the Earth's magnetic field, in collaboration with other researchers, such as in science education and space physics.
  • Identifying scientific narratives for visualization in immersive environments (dome theaters) and conducting studies on user experiences regarding learning and interest (cognitive and affective aspects) of visualization in space physics, presenting results at scientific conferences and in journals.
  • Depending on the skill profile and interest, research may be supplemented, up to 20%, with other tasks, such as teaching.


Qualifications:

Essential Requirements:

To be employed under the postdoctoral agreement, a doctoral degree or a foreign degree equivalent to a doctoral degree is required. This eligibility requirement must be met by the time the employment decision is made.

To be employed under the postdoctoral agreement, preference will primarily be given to those who obtained their degree within the last three years. If there are special reasons, those who obtained a doctoral degree earlier may also be considered. Special reasons include leave due to illness, parental leave, union trust assignments, service in the total defense, or other similar circumstances, as well as clinical service or service relevant to the field. Postdoctoral researchers involved in teaching or supervision must have relevant higher education pedagogical training.

We are looking for candidates with an educational background that includes a combination of educational science and education in a relevant science/technical field (eg. physics, space physics, geophysics). This means you have, for example:

  • A doctoral degree in a science/technical subject and a teaching degree, or
  • A doctoral degree in an educational science field combined with undergraduate education in a relevant science/technical subject.
  • Or equivalent as determined by the employer.

We also expect you to:

  • Have excellent oral and written English skills.
  • Have experience working with digital environments and tools.
  • Have experience handling both quantitative and qualitative datasets.
  • Have experience in research spanning multiple disciplines.

We expect you to be able to work independently as well as part of an interdisciplinary team of junior and senior researchers. Therefore, you must have excellent collaboration skills. You are also skilled at creating new contacts and maintaining relationships. Personal suitability is highly valued.


Desirable Requirements:

  • Experience in networking with researchers across different fields.
  • Experience in developing teaching materials in natural sciences/technology.
  • Experience in using visualization as a tool in learning.
  • Experience in making science and technology accessible to the public.
  • Excellent oral and written Swedish skills.


Conditions:

  • Type of employment: Fixed-term employment for 2 years according to the terms of the postdoctoral employment agreement.
  • Employment percentage: 100%
  • Starting date: 2024-04-01, or by agreement.
  • Location: Umeå, with travel required for the position.

Umeå University offers several staff benefits that promote a good balance between work and personal life, as well as excellent development opportunities. Read more about benefits here.

 

Other Information:

For further information, please contact research leader Madelen Bodin, telephone: +46 90 7869618 or email: madelen.bodin@umu.se.


Application:

The application must be written in English or Swedish and submitted via the university's e-recruitment system Varbi, and must be received no later than 2024-03-07. Log in and apply via the button at the bottom of the page.

The application should include the following documents submitted electronically (in PDF format):

  • CV/resume, i.e., a list of education, employment, and relevant assignments with a publication list.
  • Certified copy of doctoral degree certificate.
  • Certified copies of other degree certificates, academic transcripts, and/or grades.
  • Other merits relevant to the position.
  • Copy of, or link to, doctoral thesis and up to five relevant articles.
  • Contact information for two referees (can also be provided at the interview).

The application should not include a cover letter. Instead, as part of the application process in Varbi, you will be asked to answer questions about why you are applying for the advertised position and provide information about your knowledge and experience linked to the skill requirements described in the advertisement. Your answers may require some preparation.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Information box

Admission

2024-04-01 or by agreement.

Salary

Monthly salary

Application deadline

2024-03-07

Registration number

AN 2.2.1-191-24

Contact

Madelen Bodin (madelen.bodin@umu.se)

0907869592

Union representative

SACO

090-7865365

SEKO

090-7865296

ST

090-7865431

Umeå University wants to offer an equal environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. We welcome people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for the current employment. We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.