Date Posted
10 Jan 2024

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PhD Project
University of Szczecin and Centre of Advanced Study in Astrobiology and Related Topics CASA*

The risks of cosmic radiation in human space missions Beyond Low Earth Orbit

10 Jan 2024

NOTE: this position listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Position Description

In recent times there has been an increasing interest in manned space missions Beyond Low Earth Orbit (BLEO), like for instance to Mars or the asteroids. Before this goal will be realized, it is necessary to establish safe career dose limits for astronauts in order to eliminate all possible health hazards related to the exposure to the ionizing radiation of cosmic origin. This requires a precise knowledge of the effects of cosmic radiation of the human body which is still lacking.
A new generation of experiments is needed in order to be able to assess in the laboratory the long-term risks of ionizing radiation in space. This task is particularly difficult because, in humans, the effects of the exposure are not immediate and the insurgence of stochastic effects like cancer may take place after decades.
The present PhD project aims to better understand the hazards posed by cosmic radiation (in particular high energetic heavy nuclei) using an interdisciplinary approach involving physics, space science, biology and medicine. The PhD will be carried on under the supervision of Prof. Franco Ferrari of the University of Szczecin in collaboration with DLR (Institute of Aerospace Medicine), the University of Maynooth in Ireland and the Polish Centre for Advanced Studies in Astrobiology and Related Topics (CASA*), whose headquarters are based at the University of Szczecin. DLR, the Maynooth University and the Member Institutions of CASA* will provide the expertise in space science and medicine that are necessary for the completion of the PhD work.
While the PhD project is highly interdisciplinary and can be listed as an astrobiology project, the PhD title will be in Physics. Sought are candidates with a strong background at the undergraduate level in Physics or related disciplines like Astrophysics, Astronomy. The ideal candidate should also be open to interdisciplinary work especially at the interface between physics, biology and medicine. After the completion of the PhD studies the successful applicant will acquire experience in epidemiologic studies of the effects of radiation, tumorigenesis and radiation physics and chemistry.
The Phd student will have a basic salary of about 1000 EUR (4000PLN). There is also the possibility to apply for additional funds that are assigned every year by the University of Szczecin on the
basis of a selection in which the individual scientific achievements are evaluated. The successful candidate will have also the possibility of participating in schools and conferences and visit
other Institutions. There is the possibility of a cheap accomodation (about 120 EUR/month) at one of the Student’s Residences of the University of Szczecin.

How to Apply

The applications should be sent to: Prof. Franco Ferrari, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics Wielkopolska 15, 70-451 Szczecin, Poland The cover letter should be formally addressed to: Dean, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Wielkopolska 15, 70-451 Szczecin, Poland. Candidates are asked to send: 1) a CV containing additionally a statement about the candidate's research achievements and interests 2) a copy of the Master's diploma (if the language is different from Polish or English please send also an English translation of the abstract of the diploma) 3) 2 recommendation letters or 2 e-mail addresses of suggested referees, 4) A transcript of records, 5) Proof of language proficiency in English. The level of English should be adequate to follow the Phd courses and to discuss science with the supervisor. The deadline for applying is February 10, 2019. For any further information please contact Prof. Franco Ferrari at the following e-mail address:

Position Category: Other. Position Type: PhD Project. Position Tags: physics, astrobiology, and ionizing radiation. Salary: €10'000 - €20'000.