PhD scholarship in Glacial isostatic adjustment and sea level change

Updated: 3 months ago

If you want to pursue a career as a scientist and you are looking for the best possible foundation for fulfilling your dreams and ambitions, it is right here in front of you. At DTU Space we seek candidates with a strong interest in geodesy for a PhD position in “Glacial isostatic adjustment and sea-level change”.

Start date: 1st of October, 2021 (or as soon as possible).

You will break new ground at the absolute forefront of observing (using GNSS) and modeling glacial isostatic adjustment. You will use data from Greenland GNSS Network (GNET), which senses mass changes by measuring the solid earth’s response to changing surface loads. The entire network is uplifting in response to glacial isostatic adjustment, that is, the solid earth’s delayed, viscoelastic response to past changes in ice loads, and instantaneous, elastic adjustment to contemporary changes in ice mass. As a result of ice mass changes and solid earth deformation also the sea level is changing, these effects will be included in your models and analysis.

Responsibilities and qualifications
Your overall focus will be to strengthen the department’s competencies within modeling glacial isostatic adjustment and use surface deformation from GNSS to assess models, which is central to DTU Space’s strategic effort in the area of geodesy. You will be attached to the division of geodesy and earth observations, which is one of the five divisions comprising DTU Space.

You will work in close collaboration with colleagues at both DTU, and with academic partners in both Denmark, as well as abroad. To follow the DTU program you will be granted a unique study environment, together with several PhDs and Post Docs in related fields.

The candidate is expected to perform original research that aims at improving our understanding of 3D surface displacements of the solid earth due to past and present-day ice variability. The candidate is expected to

  • Model elastic displacements due to present-day ice loss.
  • Model glacial isostatic adjustment in Greenland
  • Model relative sea-level change along coastal Greenland.
  • Analyze data from permanent GNSS stations located in Greenland.
  • Analyze 3D surface displacements of the solid earth due to present-day ice loss.
  • Publish the new findings in the international peer-reviewed literature
  • Present your research at international conferences and participate in relevant project meetings
  • Communicate effectively with colleagues and be able to work as part of a team to achieve ambitious goals
  • Teach and co-supervise BSc and MSc student projects
  • Potentially participate in Arctic field campaigns

We expect the candidate to have:

  • Experience in working with large data sets and development of algorithms.
  • At least basic knowledge of GNSS and glacial isostatic adjustment.
  • Good expertise in programming, e.g. in Python, MATLAB, or other high-level programming languages.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programs at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study program, please see the DTU Ph.D. Guide .

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation, and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Shfaqat Abbas Khan ( and Senior Scientist Valentina Barletta (

You can read more about Geodesy and Earth Observations at and at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark .

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 11 October 2021(Danish time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here )
  • Letter of recommendations are encouraged

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Space has about 190 employees, an annual turn-over of about 140 MDKK and it is located at the Lyngby Campus of the Technical University of Denmark together with 19 other institutes within the technical sciences. As the National Space Institute, DTU Space is the leading institution of public space activities in Denmark. The mission of the Institute is to conduct research, development, public sector consultancy, education, and innovation at the highest international level within the following areas: Space Technology & Instrumentation, Earth Observation & Geoscience and Space- & Astrophysics.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

View or Apply

Similar Positions