PhD Stipend in Satellite Geodesy Data Assimilation

Aalborg University

Aalborg, Denmark 🇩🇰

At the Technical Faculty of IT and Design, Department of Planning, a PhD stipend is available within the general study programme Planning and Development. The stipend is open for appointment from 1 November 2022 or soon hereafter. The research at the Department of Planning reaches from the social science aspects of development (technological, environmental, international, and administrative aspects) to physical planning, sector planning, land management, and to technical subjects such as surveying and mapping. See more at


The PhD project will focus on improving the understanding of the dynamics of the global water cycle. The scientific activities will be within the research project DANSk-LSM (Developing efficient multi-sensor Data Assimilation frameworks for integrating Earth ObservatioN Satellite data into Land Surface Models) that is supported by the Intendent Research Fund Denmark (DFF).

The main task is to develop and implement efficient data assimilation and calibration frameworks for integrating satellite data with land surface models. The data will include:

  • the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) and its follow-on mission (GRACE-FO);
  • soil moisture remote sensing; and
  • MOIDS and Sentinel derived Land Surface Temperature.

The goal is to increase the spatial resolution of the large-scale hydrological Data Assimilation (DA) system to 1 km or higher and to improve the efficiency of the DA mergers.

Profile: The ideal candidate for this has

  • MSc degree in Geodesy, Civil Engineering, Physics and Meteorology, Applied Mathematics, Computer, or a comparable discipline
  • Profound skills in numerical modelling and programming are essential
  • Experience with hydrological and/or land surface models is desirable
  • Experience with processing of remote sensing products is desirable
  • Strong interest in collaborative work
  • Passionate to present the results in highly-ranked peer reviewed science journals and at international conferences
  • Good English skills (oral and written) are required.

We offer:

  • International, interdisciplinary working environment
  • In-house modelling, data processing and data assimilation expertise, software, and High Performance Computation (HPC) infrastructure
  • Excellent scientific infrastructure
  • Participation in project meetings and international conferences
  • Research stay abroad
  • Flexible working hours and various opportunities to reconcile work and family life.

To apply, please send the following documents (in English unless indicated, pdf format):

  • Motivation letter (max 1 page) outlining your qualifications and motivation to conduct this project
  • Project plan (max 2 pages) addressing your understanding of the project’s problem and expected challenges, as well as your ideas to overcome them
  • CV including a list of scientific outputs (thesis, study projects, papers, etc.) and contact info for two academic references
  • Copy of MSc diploma*
  • Copy of Master thesis (in any language)
  • List of exams with ECTS and grades
  • Recommendations

*If you have not completed your Master studies at time of submission, please substitute the MSc diploma with a written statement by your supervisor specifying the expected completion date and confirming that you are expected to finish on time and send the most recent draft of your thesis.

 You may obtain further information from professor Ehsan Forootan 6196 7182, [email protected] concerning the scientific aspects of the stipend.

PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master’s degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Technical Doctoral School of IT and Design in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed at regular points in time.

Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not.

For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Lisbeth Diinhoff, The Technical Faculty of IT and Design, email: [email protected] , phone: +45 9940 9589.

For more information of The Technical Doctoral School of IT and Design:

The application is only to be submitted online by using the “Apply online” button below.

AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of 28 June 2019 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the current Circular of 11 December 2019 on the employment structure at Danish universities.









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