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Postdoc (M/F/X)



Start date
Deadline for applications
Job title description

Meteor research in the frame of the SORBET (Services and OpeRability of the BRAMS nETwork) project (radio forward scatter observations).

Division, context

The Space Physics Division of the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) has been active in meteor research for more than 12 years. We have developed the BRAMS (Belgian Radio Meteor Stations) network for radio forward scatter observations of meteors with a dedicated transmitter and about 50 receiving stations in Belgium and neighboring countries.

The network is constantly growing and improving. At the same time, the team is actively participating to optical camera networks (CAMS-Benelux, GMN, FRIPON, All-Sky7) to study meteors and fireballs. To further strengthen our activities in this field, we are looking for a postdoc in the frame of the SORBET (Services and OpeRability of the BRAMS nETwork) project funded by BELSPO.


The aim is to use the large amount of meteor echoes generated daily by the BRAMS network to sample properties of the MLT (Mesosphere Lower Thermosphere) in the altitude range between roughly 80 and 110 km.

More specifically, temperature and neutral wind speeds will be computed from respectively the decay times and Doppler effects of underdense meteor echoes. This is routinely done for classical meteor radars but has never been done for a forward scatter system such as BRAMS for which the geometry is more complex.

The candidate will use existing algorithms providing trajectory and speed of individual meteoroids and develop new ones to compute MLT temperatures and wind speeds. This work will be done in close collaboration with members of the BRAMS team and with support from specialists in the follow-up committee.

Required competences
  • The ideal candidate holds a PhD in Science or Engineering (*)
  • Experience with meteors and/or ionospheric physics and/or space plasma physics and/or radio waves is an advantage.

Technical skills

  • Creative and pragmatic problem-solving approach;
  • Knowledge about meteor science, upper atmosphere physics, plasma physics, or radio instrumentation is a plus;
  • Experience in programming (Python, Matlab, …) is a plus.


Generic skills

  • Good in written and spoken English;
  • Knowledge of French and/or Dutch is a plus;
  • Scientific curiosity;
  • Quick learner;
  • Team-oriented;
  • Capacity to interact with partners in a multi-lingual environment.


(*) In the situation where the Master or PhD degree was awarded by a body outside the Benelux, the candidate will have to apply for an equivalence of the level of studies preceding the PhD in order to prove that this level corresponds to a generic Belgian Master degree. This should only be done after the candidate has been selected for the job and before he/she takes up the job.

To obtain the equivalence, you can choose to apply for it at the French or Dutch speaking community of Belgium. You can find more information on this at National Academic Recognition Information Centre / Vlaanderen or Reconnaissance diplômes étrangers / Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles.

Offer and benefits
  • The position is on a contractual basis for 2 years. The starting date should be as close as possible to 1st October 2024.
  • Salary is according to the federal regulations for scientific contractual personnel on scale SW1.
  • Dynamic working atmosphere with national and international contacts.


  • Pleasant work environment in a scientific institution located in a green setting in Uccle, Brussels.
  • Flexible schedule within the 38 hours week
  • Attractive annual leave policy (minimum 26 days by year)


  • Full refund of commuting expenses when using public transportation, compensation when using the bicycle.
  • Possibility to acquire a bonus for bilinguals (Dutch/French)
  • Possibility of training (to be followed during working hours)
  • Possibility to work from home 2 days per week


  • Access to special advantages arranged for the employees of the federal scientific institutions : museum card, hospitalization insurance, reductions via the Fed+ card, etc.
  • Meal vouchers.
  • On-site childcare during school holidays in July and August.

Send your CV and motivation letter and if possible two or three references (all in PDF-format) to: with in copy
with the following reference: “D12_SORBET”.

BRAMS spectrogramme
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.