Australian National University, Mathematical Sciences Institute

539 21414Position ID: ANU-POSTDOC [#21414, 548264]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Fellow in Hidden Symmetries & Fusion Energy
Position Type: Postdoctoral
Position Location: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601, Australia [map] sort by distance
Application Deadline: 2023/01/08 11:59PMhelp popup* (posted 2022/11/04, listed until 2023/01/09)
Position Description:    

*** the listing date or deadline for this position has passed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

Classification:  Academic Level A
Salary Package: $76,271 – $95,732 per annum plus 17% superannuation
Terms:  Full-time, fixed term appointment (two-years with possible two-year extension subject to funding)          

About the Mathematical Science Institute (MSI)                                                                     

The Mathematical Sciences Institute (MSI), part of the College of Science at the Australian National University (ANU) is one of the leading mathematics departments in Australia.  MSI aims for research and educational outcomes of the highest quality.  The Institute comprises approximately 49 academics and seven professional staff members and is located in a new modern, sustainable, award winning building with state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities.  The MSI has research strengths in a broad range of areas, including algebraic geometry, representation theory, number theory, algebraic and geometric topology, non-linear partial differential equations, harmonic analysis, geometric analysis, mathematical data science, computational mathematics, applied mathematics, mathematical physics, plasma theory and modelling, and probability/stochastics.

The MSI offers a variety of courses and programs catering to undergraduate, Honours and postgraduate students. The ANU also offers two research-focused degrees for undergraduate mathematics students. The recently introduced Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences is expanding student numbers in the mathematics major, and the elite Bachelor of Philosophy degree attracts a significant number of the very best undergraduates. The MSI offers the most comprehensive undergraduate coursework offerings in mathematics in Australia and supports students through scholarships and prizes. For further information about MSI, please see our website

Position overview 

An exciting opportunity exists to appoint a Postdoctoral Fellow to contribute to an international collaboration funded by the Simons Foundation under its Mathematics and Physical Sciences Collaborations program, The aim of the Hidden Symmetries and Fusion Energy, collaboration is to build on modern advances in theory of hot plasmas, mathematical optimization theory and advanced computation to leapfrog the current state of the art in magnetically confined fusion reactor research, as e.g. embodied in the international ITER tokamak,

tokamak plasma is confined by a nominally rotationally symmetric helical magnetic field that requires the drawing of an enormous electric current through the plasma. This current renders the plasma prone to catastrophic symmetry-breaking instabilities, which are avoided in the stellarator design. The stellarator class of fusion reactor strongly breaks the symmetry of the magnetic field by substituting currents in mechanically anchored conductors external to the plasma for the dangerous internal currents in tokamak plasmas. The inherent stability of the stellarator makes it very attractive as a fusion reactor, at the expense of its inherent difficulty to design and fabricate. The Hidden Symmetries optimisation collaboration aims to overcome these difficulties to hasten the day when safe fusion reactors replace dangerous fission reactors as sources of base load electricity for the world.

Applicants should have excellent numerical skills and a firm foundation in applied mathematics, computational science and/or theoretical physics as well as the ability to communicate clearly research results and to work in a collaborative environment.  Knowledge of plasma physics and computational fluid dynamics is desirable, but not essential.  Although this position is research intensive, some teaching may be available to develop the appointee’s career. The school has an active pursuit in the Theory and Modelling of Fusion Plasmas:

The Mathematical Sciences Institute sits within the ANU College of Science. To see what the Science at ANU community is like, we invite you to follow us on social media at Instagram and Facebook.

The Australian National University is a world-leading institution and provides a range of lifestyle, financial and non-financial rewards and programs to support staff in maintaining a healthy work/life balance whilst encouraging success in reaching their full career potential. For more information, please click here.

For more information, please contact Professor Matthew Hole, via email at or Emeritus Professor Robert Dewar via email at

ANU values diversity and inclusion and is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to those of all backgrounds and identities. For more information about staff equity at ANU, click here.

Application information
All application documentation, including three (3) reference letters, can be submitted on

In order to apply for this role please review the position description and selection criteria and ensure that you upload the following documents:

  • A covering letter or statement addressing the selection criteria.
  • A current curriculum vitae (CV), including a publication list.
  • A research and teaching vision statement describing achievements and future career plans.
  • At least three (3) current letters of recommendation. The references should be uploaded by the referee to

The selection committee would like to interview candidates, via skype/zoom, during December and January with an expected commencement date during 2023.

For further information about MSI, please see our website

Applications that do not address the selection criteria may not be considered for the position.

The successful candidate will be required to undergo a background check during the recruitment process. An offer of employment is conditional on satisfactory results.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
All Applications must be submitted online.