PhD Position Microwave Remote Sensing of Vegetation

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 05 May 2024

13 Apr 2024
Job Information

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Research Field

Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

5 May 2024 - 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Changes in sub-daily water content contain the fingerprint of vegetation health. They reveal how well the vegetation can respond to biotic and abiotic stress (e.g. changing temperature and vapor pressure deficit, water, fungi, insects, disease) and disturbances (e.g. fire, human activity) and how resilient it is to climate variability and extremes. This project is motivated by our ambition to develop a sub-daily satellite radar mission to observe vegetation functioning and health, and to improve our ability to predict how it will change due to climate change and human impact.

You will be part of a team of 2 PhD students and 2 Post-docs who will combine ground-based experimental data, satellite data, radiative transfer modeling, vegetation modeling and data science to:

  • Establish an international network of ground-based GNSS sensors to provide continuous microwave observations of vegetated ecosystems.
  • Improve fundamental understanding of microwave interactions with vegetation
  • Address the challenge of disentangling contributions from internal and surface water, geometry and other effects that can become increasingly relevant and inter-connected at sub-daily scales.
  • Inform, and contribute to the design of a sub-daily radar satellite mission
  • Develop modeling and retrieval techniques to capture sub-daily signature of vegetation health.
  • Translate insights gained to the exploitation of current radar satellite missions.

You will be supervised by Professor Susan Steele-Dunne, an expert in microwave remote sensing of vegetation. You will be part of the M-WAVE group at the Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing (TU Delft) and collaborate with academic and industry research partners from across Europe. In addition to an exciting research project and a friendly and stimulating work environment, there are generous funds available to support scientific travel.

Specific Requirements

We are looking for curiosity-driven Earth Observation enthusiasts with strong analytical and quantitative skills who enjoy computational data analysis, scientific discussion and collaboration. You must have a Master’s degree in Earth sciences, physics, applied mathematics, engineering, remote sensing or a closely-related field. You must have demonstrated programming skills (preferably Python or Fortran).

You are expected to work independently as well as part of a diverse team, including international research partners. You are expected to communicate fluently in English (oral and written) and to present your results to the scientific community as peer-reviewed publications and presentations at international conferences and meetings.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements .

Additional Information

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Selection process

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 5 May 2024 via the application button. Your application should include:

  • Motivation letter
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae
  • Complete list of grades/transcripts
  • Contact information for 2 references
  • Abstract of your MSc. thesis (or link to MSc. thesis if already available)

Please note:

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

Additional comments

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Susan Steele-Dunne ([email protected] ).

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Delft University of Technology
Postal Code
2628 CD
Mekelweg 2

Where to apply



Mekelweg 2
Postal Code

2628 CD


Similar Positions