Research Fellow - Supercooling measurements
under ice shelves

Our Department

The Department of Physics at the University of Otago has a vibrant research environment, with strength in sea ice physics and geoscience research as well pure and applied physics, electronics and energy studies.

The University of Otago is located in Dunedin, the wildlife capital of New Zealand, with sandy beaches 10 minutes drive from campus, and penguin, sea lion, and albatross viewing an hour's drive from campus. Dunedin is the largest city in the scenic Otago province.

The Role

This position is an exciting opportunity for an early career Sea Ice Physicist or Polar Oceanographer to join one of the world's leading sea ice research groups to collaborate on the Marsden Fund project 'Supercooling measurements under ice shelves'. The aim of the project is to construct a new, novel instrument for making high precision supercooling measurements in frazil-laden ocean waters.

As a Research Fellow, you will be joining a multidisciplinary, international research team of physicists, oceanographers, engineers and planetary scientists working at the cutting edge of instrument and platform development for the Southern Ocean. Antarctic fieldwork is planned for late 2020. This is an engineering and interdisciplinary sciences project led by Dr Inga Smith (University of Otago) in collaboration with Professor Lars H. Smedsrud (University of Bergen, Norway), Dr Britney Schmidt (Georgia Tech, USA), and Dr Greg Leonard (University of Otago).

Your Skills and Experience

The successful applicant must have:

  • Minimum qualification of a PhD or equivalent, with the thesis and/or international peer-reviewed publications in a physical sciences discipline such as sea ice physics, physical oceanography, electrical engineering, or planetary sciences.
  • The ability to engage with and work with a wide variety of researchers across disciplines.
  • The ability to work without direct supervision, set priorities and manage their own time effectively in order to achieve the goals of the project whilst maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
  • A willingness to engage in two-way discussions related to the Vision M?tauranga through participation in hui/discussions organised by The University of Otago's Te Koronga: Indigenous Science Research Theme. Taiao (environmental sustainability) is a core part of Vision M?tauranga. Participation in training sessions run by the University of Otago Office of M?ori Development is also expected.
  • A willingness and the ability to co-supervise PhD and MSc students involved with the project.

Preferred qualities for the successful applicant are:

  • Familiarity with Southern Ocean and high latitude sea ice and ocean observational measurements.
  • Experience of high latitude sea-ice based fieldwork.
  • Excellent electronic design and computing skills.
  • Ability to undertake Antarctic fieldwork.

Further Details

This position is funded as a full-time fixed term appointment for 2.5 years, starting 1 September 2019. Applications for the position as a job share arrangement are also welcome.

Appointment will be on the Research Fellow scale (currently NZD $78,445 per annum). Some additional funding is available to assist with visa costs if the successful applicant does not have New Zealand residency or citizenship. Relocation costs assistance may also be available if the successful applicant currently lives in a location other than Dunedin, New Zealand.

There are no restrictions on applicants with regards to the number of years since completing their PhD.


To submit your application please click the apply button below and include:

  • A copy of your full CV including a list of publications and the names and contact details of two referees.
  • A one-page cover letter detailing how your skills and experience match those required for the position and why you are interested in the position.

Additional material may be requested for short-listed applicants, but should not be submitted at the initial application stage.

Applications quoting reference number 1802470 will close on Thursday, 28 February 2019.


To view all current vacancies and to apply online go to:

Equal opportunity in employment is University policy.
E tautoko ana Te Whare Wananga o Otago i te kaupapa whakaorite whiwhinga mahi.

posted: 14 January 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.