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Space Weather Application Scientist



Deadline for applications
Job title description

BIRA-IASB is looking for a Space Weather Application Scientist to support space weather research-to-operations and scientific activities through (inter)national projects.

Statute: Contractual (full time)
Deadline for applications: This position will remain open until filled.

Division, context

The Space Weather Group within the Space Physics division aims to study and develop services related to the conditions in the near-Earth space environment (radiation belts, cosmic radiation, magnetosphere, ...) and its effects on both technology (in space and on the ground) and human health related activities.

Within the framework of the Space Safety Programme (S2P) of the European Space Agency (ESA), the Space Weather Group is responsible for coordinating/operating the Space Radiation Expert Service Centre (R-ESC) which has an essential role in the establishment of a network of space weather services targeting a large user community whose operational systems can be severely affected by Space Weather. More information can be found on the website

The Space Weather Group consists of thirteen employees, both scientists and IT specialists, and participates in several other international research projects and collaborations. These range from applied research and service development to outreach activities, such as SPace ENVironment Information System (SPENVIS), Radiation Environment & Effects NOwcasts for the Moon (REENOM) and the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) International Space Weather Action Team (ISWAT) on Solar Energetic Particles (SEP) forecast model validation.


The successful candidate will join the Space Weather Group and contribute to the improvement of the service provision by taking part in R-ESC operational activities as well as associated applied research and development activities, in particular:

  • Coordinate the work of collaborating international partners in transitioning their research into operational applications for integration in the ESA S2P Space Weather Service Network.
  • Develop and maintain space radiation related applications as part of service provision to aviation as well as human and robotic space missions.
  • Assess space weather products and services against customer and system requirements.
  • Support overall R-ESC service and network operational and development activities, including regular reporting and participation in network meetings.
  • Coordinate and contribute to the validation and verification of space weather products.
  • Analyse and interpret the characteristics of SEPs during their propagation through the heliosphere.
  • Improve existing and develop new SEP forecast models
Required competences
  • Holder of a PhD in science or engineering*
  • Knowledge of space physics particularly in space weather.
  • Have a strong interest in programming and scripting languages with knowledge of Python.
  • Able to work accurately, flexibly and take autonomous decisions.
  • Able to write and communicate fluently in English.
  • You can act with integrity, in accordance with the expectations of the organization, respect confidentiality, make commitments and avoid any form of bias.

The following experiences are considered as a plus:

  • Familiarity with the ESA Space Safety Programme – Space Weather.
  • A good knowledge of French and/or Dutch as you will work in a bilingual environment.


(*) In case the master’s degree preceding the PhD was awarded by a body outside the Benelux, the candidate will have to apply for an equivalence to prove this level corresponds to a generic Belgian master’s degree. This should only be done after the candidate has been selected for the job but before taking up the job. The candidate can apply for the equivalence through the French or Dutch speaking community of Belgium. More information can be found at or

Offer and benefits
  • This position concerns a full-time 1-year contract with the option of extension.
  • When recording seniority, every experience (public + private sector) related to the job offered is valorised.
  • The possibility of acquiring a bilingualism bonus.
  • The possibility of participating in training courses (to be followed during working hours).
  • Free commuting with public transport and possibility for a bicycle allowance.
  • Various social and cultural benefits: museum card, hospitalization insurance, discounts via Fed + card, ...
  • Free child care during school holidays (July / August).
  • Flexible working hours in a 38-hour week.
  • Working in a green and pleasant environment.
  • Interesting leave arrangement and various possibilities to balance the work-life balance.

Send a complete CV and your application letter with reference "D14_SPACE_JOB" to:

  • Norma(dot)Crosby(at)aeronomie(dot)be
  • hr-ae(at)aeronomie(dot)be and Mark(dot)Dierckxsens(at)aeronomie(dot)be in copy


More about BIRA-IASB

The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) is a Belgian Federal Scientific Institute.

Since its founding in 1964, BIRA-IASB has been conducting research and providing public services in space aeronomy, i.e. the physics and chemistry of Earth's atmosphere and other planets, and outer space.

Our scientists use instruments on the ground, in the air, on board balloons or in space and computer models.