Research Associate - (Limited Term) - Physics

Date Posted: 10/13/2021
Req ID:18064
Faculty/Division: Faculty of Arts & Science
Department: Dept of Physics
Campus: St. George (Downtown Toronto)



The Department of Physics at the University of Toronto is an important part of a dynamic academic community offering programs and courses to undergraduate and graduate students. We provide a comprehensive set of fundamental tools that can be brought to bear on many problems across a variety of fields. With world-class laboratories and outstanding faculty, teaching and research foster an in-depth understanding of an extremely diverse array of systems. Situated in the heart of downtown, our department is affiliated with various departments, institutes, and research organizations, providing a broad network for our staff and students.


The Department of Physics at the University of Toronto invites applications for a Research Associate (Limited Term) for a two-year appointment. The anticipated start date is January 1, 2022


The Research Associate will work in Professor James Drummond's research group, conducting research and providing advice on controlling, data processing and validation of the Measurements of Pollution In The Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument which was launched on NASA’s Terra satellite on 18th December 1999 and is still operational. The University of Toronto Is contracted by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to provide support services for MOPITT.  The successful candidate will be expected to participate in the MOPITT project with a high degree of independence, under the direction of Professor James Drummond.  The successful candidate will be responsible for:


  • The day-to-day monitoring of the MOPITT instrument, reviewing command loads and interacting with NASA over issues of scheduling and instrument and spacecraft monitoring.
  • Research and evaluate the short, medium and long-term performance of the instrument through the production of necessary reports, record keeping and analysis.  Instrument performance changes should be brought to the attention of Prof. Drummond and others as necessary.
  • Reacting to events, planned and unplanned for both the MOPITT instrument and spacecraft.  This may involve meetings, teleconferences, data analysis and other activities on a short timescale. Since events may occur at any time, this may involve efforts outside of normal office hours.
  • Participate with the MOPITT science team at Toronto and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to review and provide advice based on finding of the science data process and provide input on instrument performance issues that impact the science data processing.
  • Using MOPITT science data perform analyses and other scientific activities to the performance of the instrument and the validation of the science data.
  • Perform other MOPITT instrument-related activities as directed.


Applicants should apply online at the link below and include a covering letter, curriculum vitae, and three reference names with their contact addresses and phone numbers. Any questions regarding this position should be directed to Prof. James Drummond at james.drummond@utoronto.ca.





  • Ph.D. in Physics, Atmospheric Science, or another relevant field.



  • A minimum of four years of demonstrated experience conducting research in the field of Physics or Atmospheric Science.
  • Demonstrated multi-year experience in the analysis of satellite data, preferably starting with Level 0 data and extending to at least Level 2.  
  • Experience with global atmospheric composition measurements both from satellites and from the ground (or aircraft, balloon, etc) 



  • Strong analytic skills, ability to interpret data and identify trends and anomalies; 
  • Ability to interact effectively with multiple organizations;  
  • Good reporting (writing) and presentation (oral) skills;  
  • Ability to work under time pressure;  
  • Ability to generate research ideas and identify new directions; 
  • Good time management; and 
  • Ability to work independently with general supervision.



  • Programming skills in modern scientific computer languages; 
  • Ability to learn new languages as needed; 
  • General knowledge of computer office software.
  • Ability to work as part of a larger team dispersed geographically and over several time zones. 
  • Self-motivated and able to organize time and work to meet required deadlines.

Closing Date: 11/30/2021,11:59PM ET
Employee Group: Research Associate 
Appointment Type: Grant - Term 
Schedule: Full-Time
Pay Scale Group & Hiring Zone: R01 -- Research Associates (Limited Term): $46,819 - $87,785
Job Category: Research Administration & Teaching

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Diversity Statement
The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

As part of your application, you will be asked to complete a brief Diversity Survey. This survey is voluntary. Any information directly related to you is confidential and cannot be accessed by search committees or human resources staff. Results will be aggregated for institutional planning purposes. For more information, please see http://uoft.me/UP.

Accessibility Statement
The University strives to be an equitable and inclusive community, and proactively seeks to increase diversity among its community members. Our values regarding equity and diversity are linked with our unwavering commitment to excellence in the pursuit of our academic mission.

The University is committed to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). As such, we strive to make our recruitment, assessment and selection processes as accessible as possible and provide accommodations as required for applicants with disabilities.

If you require any accommodations at any point during the application and hiring process, please contact uoft.careers@utoronto.ca.
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Job Segment: Research Associate, Physics, Data Analyst, Research, Science, Data