14 PhD Fellowships in GIONET Project

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14 PhD Fellowships in GIONET Project

14 fully funded PhD (Early Stage Research) Fellows in Earth Observation to the Marie Curie Initial Training Network “GMES Initial Operations – Network for Earth Observation Research Training” (GIONET)

All posts will include an employment contract at a GIONET partner organisation with a country-specific gross annual salary between ca. €34,425 and €46,095 for 3 years, a mobility allowance between ca. €5,628 and €12,057 per year (dependant on criteria being met), an annual travel allowance (dependant on criteria being met) and a career exploratory allowance (social security, health insurance and other contributions will be deducted from these figures). A research training support budget of €21,600 in total will be available for the benefit of the researcher to attend conferences, training events, travel for fieldwork or purchase equipment and consumables.

GIONET will create a European Centre of Excellence for Earth Observation research training. The University of Leicester is coordinating GIONET, which is funded by the European Framework Programme 7 People Programme. It will provide skilled personnel for the emerging GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) land monitoring and emergency monitoring core services during the GMES Initial Operations period (2011-2013) and beyond. The rationale of GIONET is to train a community of early-stage researchers in the areas of optical and radar remote sensing, including (i) modelling fundamental radiative processes determining the satellite signal, (ii) atmospheric correction and calibration, (iii) processing higher-order data products, (iii) developing information products from satellite data to meet user requirements, and (iv) statistical methods for assessing the quality and accuracy of data products. This training will be delivered through individually supervised research, four international summer schools and local training. Communication skills and effective engagement with stakeholders and the public will form an integral part of the training. The full partner institutions in GIONET are the University of Leicester, UK; Infoterra UK Ltd.; Gamma Remote Sensing AG, Switzerland; the Institute of Geodesy and Cartography in Warsaw, Poland; Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany; the Balaton Limnological Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the German Aerospace Center in Oberpfaffenhofen. Two research posts are available at each partner organisation. All researchers will have the opportunity to register for a PhD in a participating University, regardless of their main employer.

Successful candidates will take part in the GIONET research training programme, attend the four network-wide training events as well as local research training activities, and carry out supervised research in the field of Earth Observation for the development of the GMES land monitoring and emergency core services in one of 14 available topics from the following research areas: (i) Forest monitoring, (ii) Land cover and change, (iii) Coastal zone and freshwater monitoring, (iv) Geohazards and emergency response, and (v) Climate adaptation and emergency response. It is expected that the fellows register for a PhD degree at one of the GIONET partner Universities and undertake at least two short secondments to other partner organisations for up to 3 months each.


  • A good honours degree or equivalent in a discipline relevant to Earth Observation science, e.g. Physical Geography, Environmental Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Forest Science, Electrical Engineering or similar.
  • A strong potential to carry out excellent research.
  • A strong motivation to carry out interdisciplinary research and work in an international team.
  • Fluency in English (the language that will be used in the consortium) is required; skills in other languages are desired.
  • Mobility (at the time of selection, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Exceptions apply for international organisations).
  • Being classed as `early-stage researchers`, which means candidates must not hold a PhD degree and at the time of selection must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers, measured from the date when they obtained the degree entitling them to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the research training is provided.

For full information on the mobility requirements and definitions of early-stage researchers see Official Website.

Informal enquiries should be made to:
University of Leicester: GIONET Coordinator,
Professor Heiko Balzter, Tel. +44-(0)116 252 3820; hb91@le.ac.uk

Astrium GEO-Information Services:
Mr. Alistair Lamb, alistair.lamb@infoterra-global.com

Gamma Remote Sensing AG:
Dr. Andreas Wiesmann, wiesmann@gamma-rs.ch

The Institute of Geodesy and Cartography:
Prof. Katarzyna Dabrowska-Zielinska, kasia@igik.edu.pl

Prof. Chris Schmullius, c.schmullius@uni-jena.de

Balaton Limnological Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences:
András Zlinszky, azlinszky@tres.blki.hu

German Aerospace Center:
Dr. Stefan Voigt, stefan.voigt@dlr.de

For further information on each role and to apply on-line, please visit our website: Official Website.

All applicants must complete the online application form and also submit a CV with a complete list of publications.

Reference SEN00154

The closing date for these posts is midnight on Monday 14 March 2011.

Promoting equality of opportunity
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