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Principal Scientist/Senior Scientist

Principal Scientist/Senior Scientist (4867) Gracefield, Lower Hutt, New Zealand

  • A unique opportunity for a high-achieving scientist.
  • Contribute to a range of cutting-edge research projects.


Mō Te Herenga Waka - About Our University 

Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington is a global-civic university with our marae at our heart.  This iho draws off our heritage and is further defined by our tūrangawaewae, in particular Wellington, Aotearoa, and the Asia-Pacific, all of which are expressed in our position as Aotearoa New Zealand's globally ranked capital city university. 

Our core ethical values are respect, responsibility, fairness, integrity, and empathy.  These core ethical values are demonstrated in our commitment to sustainability, wellbeing, inclusivity, equity, diversity, collegiality, and openness.  With, and as, tangata whenua, we value Te Tiriti o Waitangi, rangatiratanga, manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga, whai mātauranga, whanaungatanga, and akoranga. 


Kōrero mō te tūranga - About the role 

We are seeking a Principal Scientist / Senior Scientist with ambition to develop their research career within an academic R&D environment and the ability to conceptualise and originate new ideas that are outside industry norms. 

Initially, you will take a senior role in our magneto-plasmadynamic thruster developments, which may include an emphasis on plasma physics, associated high-temperature superconducting magnets, or micro-satellite integration. Over time, you will be expected to develop novel variations leading to publications and patents. 

You will have the opportunity to be involved  in & lead in a wide range of research projects within the Paihau-Robinson Research Institute, develop your own interests, lead small research teams, supervise graduate students, continue building a publication portfolio, engage with academic or industrial collaborators worldwide, and participate in commercialisation of successful ideas. 

Key responsibilities 

  • Work within a team to develop an applied-field magneto-plasmadynamic thruster. 
  • Write and edit academic papers, as well as invention disclosures (for new IP). 
  • Engage with external partners with interests in commercialising this technology. 


Ō pūmanawa - About you 

Preferred candidate will have some or all of: 

  • A post graduate degree (MEng or PhD) in Engineering, or extensive post-graduate engineering experience or post graduate Science degree (typically a PhD).  
  • Extensive experience in experimental plasma physics, applied superconductivity or cryogenic devices. 
  • Has a proven record as a highly skilled, experienced, and productive Scientist/Researcher over a significant period of time as well as a demonstrated track record of success.
  • Several years’ experience as a research leader as well as extensive work experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise and mentor junior researchers and students.
  • Demonstrated experience as a research leader as well as extensive work experience.
  • Strong written communication skills, and an academic publication record appropriate to career opportunities and stage. 
  • Proven experience with performing difficult or pivotal projects requiring new and innovative approach.
  • Proven experience with making significant contribution to strategic plans.
  • Strong team player able to work closely with colleagues and collaborators from multiple partner organisations. 
  • Flexible thinker with the drive and imagination to develop novel devices from concept to realisation. 


Ētahi kōrero hai āwhina i a Koe - Why you should join our team 

The Robinson Research Institute has an international reputation for superconducting engineering, materials physics and manufacturing engineering. We offer a unique opportunity for a high-achieving scientist to work alongside some of NZ’s top research scientists and engineers and contribute to a range of cutting-edge research projects that involve the development of new concepts in materials and manufacturing - from discovery science through to commercial implementation. 

Principal Scientist Role Description

Senior Scientist Role Description

Contact Details for Vacancy: Jeannie Redman, 

But applicants should follow all steps listed below. 


Important - Application Steps and information

Download and complete the University Application Form.

Then, please combine your cover letter, CV and the University Application Form into a single file (preferably in pdf format). 

Click Apply Now Button at the base of the advert. Follow the process to enter your contact details and attach your combined file (CV, cover letter and the University application form) using the “CV/Resume” button. 

If you have any issues uploading your application, please email the completed application form, cover letter and CV to stating the reference number and position title from the advert in the subject line.