Recruiting summer trainees for 2022

The UH Space Physics Group is recruiting summer trainees! We are offering several positions which will challenge and inspire new space scientists, with topics ranging from solar eruptions such as coronal mass ejections to the compilated plasma dynamics of near-Earth space. Most projects will use either the world’s most accurate space weather simulation Vlasiator or the leading european space weather simulation EUHFORIA, both developed by members of our groups. Some projects will also include direct analysis of satellite observation datasets. Experience with Python and basics of plasma physics are a plus, but not required. Most positions provide an excellent topic for BSc or MSc theses!

A short overview of some of our offered topics are listed below, some full descriptions and staff members who can answer your questions can be found in our thesis section. Please indicate in your application which projects you are interested in and any preference between modelling, observations/data analysis or theory. Also, please indicate if you would like to do your BSc or MSc work based on your summer trainee work.

Please apply for these positions through the University of Helsinki Department of Physics summer trainee application system! These positions are open only to students enrolled at the University of Helsinki.

  • Turbulence in coronal mass ejection plasmas (BSc/MSc)
    Turbulence, a universal phenomenon found in low-viscosity fluids, plays a fundamental role in transferring energy from large to small length scales in space plasmas.  This energy transfer process has been extensively studied in the solar wind, but is much less well understood for coronal mass ejection (CME) plasma.  In this project, you will investigate the properties of turbulence in CMEs and compare them with the turbulence properties of the solar wind.  Cutting-edge data from the Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter spacecraft, now approaching distances very close to the Sun, will be analysed. For more information:
  • Radio Observations from Coronal Mass Ejections on the Sun (BSc/MSc)
    This project combines radio observations from ground-based facilitates and UH space physics teams advanced coronal models to study emission mechanisms and origins of radio bursts in solar eruptions. The work will be done most in Python. Training will be provided to use the required tools. For more information:
  • Heliospheric modelling of coronal mass ejections and background solar wind (BSc/MSc)
    We are looking for two students for performing heliospheric simulations with EUHFORIA and ENLIL of coronal mass ejections and background solar wind and analysing the simulation results. The work is suited for a BSc/MSc level student. No previous experience with space plasma physics is required, but it is considered an advantage. The analysis requires knowledge of Python. Both projects are part of big international consortiums, on funded by ESA and one by the European Commission. For more information:
  • Parameters of Coronal Mass Ejections (BSc/MSc)
    We are looking for a student to derive parameters for coronal mass ejections (CMEs) using the state-of-the-art observations from the latest satellite missions. CMEs are huge eruptions of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun that are key drivers of intense space weather storms. The work uses Python-based tools. The work is suited for a BSc/MSc level student. No previous experience with space plasma physics is required, but it is considered an advantage.
    For more information:
  • Investigating radiation belt electrons (BSc/MSc)
    Electrons in the radiation belts of the Earth can accelerate to very high energies and be destructive to the spacecraft. Different waves in the inner magnetosphere can disturb the electron population and cause them to precipitate to the atmosphere, where they can disrupt communication and cause ozone depletion. This project will investigate the interaction of the solar wind properties and the electron precipitation. The work can include analysis of both spacecraft and groundbased observations, The work will be done mostly in Python. For more information:
  • Investigating wave activity caused by solar storms in near-Earth space (BSc/MSc)
    Solar storms are the main drivers of disturbed space weather at Earth. They create large disturbances in near-Earth space, including intense wave activity. This project will investigate how large-amplitude disturbances found within solar storms transmit into the Earth’s magnetosphere. The work will be based on the analysis of spacecraft and ground-based measurements to study the response of near-Earth space from multiple viewpoints. For more information:
  • Understanding the impact of the most extreme space weather (BSc/MSc)
    Summer trainee for understanding the impact of the most extreme space weather. Most extreme space weather events are those which occur once in every 100 or 150 years, the largest in measured history being the Carrington storm in 1859. Obviously, the societal infrastructure in 1859 was not nearly as developed as it is now, 162 years after the Carrington storm. This project utilises the world’s most accurate space environment simulation Vlasiator to understand the impact of space weather in modern infrastructure. The goal is to develop scaling from moderate space weather conditions towards the most severe conditions in order to develop preparedness protocols for the societal risk mitigation. For more information:
  • Sudden plasma eruptions in the Earth’s magnetotail (BSc/MSc)
    Summer trainee for understanding sudden plasma eruptions. Many universal plasma systems, such as the Sun, can suddenly erupt large plasma clouds. Many people don’t know that also our planet Earth has a magnetic field that sometimes erupts in the nightside, leading to vivid auroral displays. This process is called the substorm, and it is the only process that can be studied both with accurate modelling and with multiple spacecraft constellations, since the Earth’s vicinity I the only place we can send multiple spacecraft. This project utilises the world’s most accurate space environment simulation Vlasiator to understand these plasma eruptions. The project also involves finding events where multiple spacecraft have been in suitable locations in view of the Vlasiator data. For more information:
  • Energy transfer into the Earth’s magnetic domain from the Sunward direction (BSc/MSc)
    Summer trainee for understanding near-Earth space energy transfer. Earth’s magnetic field forms a magnetosphere that surrounds our planet and creates space weather, the conditions that can endanger technological systems and even human health. One of the most crucial aspects in understanding space weather is to understand how energy enters the magnetospheric domain in the dayside of our planet. Here, a process called reconnection is most crucial. The project is to utilise the world’s most accurate space environment simulation Vlasiator to locate the dayside reconnection line at the outer edge of the magnetospheric domain, the magnetopause. The results will be used in a publication. For more information:

The University of Helsinki Space Physics Group is a leading European space physics team specialised both in observations and modelling of space plasmas. For example, we develop the novel global hybrid-Vlasov simulation Vlasiator and have a strong focus on solar eruptions. We have a dynamic and international research group with currently about 40 members including three professors and several post-docs and PhD students. Our teams lead and participate in the Centre of Excellence in Research of Sustainable Space. For more information, please visit:

2 thoughts on “Recruiting summer trainees for 2022”

  1. Are the thesis projects only for students enrolled at the University of Helsinki? Or the exclusion of external students only for summer projects?

    1. Hi Anhad,
      Thesis and summer projects are indeed only for students enrolled at the University of Helsinki. Thanks for your interest!

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