PhD position

The potential of Earth Observation for projections and forecasting

Starting date

1 December 2018

Duration of contract

3 years


According to the German TVöD 13

Type of employment


"Cutting-edge research requires excellent minds – particularly more females – at all levels. Launch your mission with us and send in your application now!" Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund - Chair of the DLR Executive Board

Your mission:

The DFD department “Land Surface Dynamics” quantifies global environmental change and analyses the drivers of change processes.
The vacant PhD position sets a methodological focus in the context of future projections of already detected trends. This work has a close interface to modeling. The aim of the PhD project is not only to analyze the state of the last decades, to derive trends and to present the current state (numerous multi-decadal, time series-based global geoinformation products are available in the department), but also to forecast for a few years into the future (e.g. "If settlement growth continues as derived from the World Settlement Footprint since 1985, then the largest cities on the planet will continue to develop along the following vectors in a 360° radius as follows…", "Based on the detected trends of primary deforestation in the last large rainforest areas of the world, the vectors of deforestation will move in the following directions over the next 5 years..."). It is a methodically focused doctoral thesis, which is not about a concrete application case, but about different possibilities of spatial predictions based on EO data.

Research work covers the following areas:

  • development of methods and algorithms for automated forecasting of future development within clearly defined framework scenarios
  • answering socially relevant geoscientific questions in the area of updating and forecasting past developments and existing trends
  • presentation/publication of results at conferences and in scientific journals

Starting date is, the earliest, December 2018 and, the latest, January 2019. Please send your application until 15 October 2018.

Your qualifications:

  • very good Master's degree in a geoscientific, information technology or mathematical-physical field with good statistical knowledge
  • experience in the automated analysis of earth observation data or other extensive image data archives
  • good programming skills in Python
  • optimally, experience with time series of remote sensing data and products
  • practical experience in working with remote sensing and geodata
  • strong team spirit and enjoying work in an international team
  • fluent English (spoken and written)

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy puts great value on a healthy work-life balance as well as equal opportunities for men and women. Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

  • Apply online now
  • You can send this job advertisement via e-mail and complete your application on a personal computer or laptop.

    We need your digital application documents (PDF). The document upload function is not supported by all mobile devices. Please complete your application on a PC/laptop.

    Complete application on PC
  • Apply by post

Technical contact

PD Dr. Claudia Künzer
German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)

Phone: +49 8153 28-3280

Send message

Juliane Huth
German Remote Sensing Data Center

Phone: +49 8153 28-3281

Send message

Vacancy 25854

HR department Oberpfaffenhofen

Send message

DLR site Oberpfaffenhofen

To location

German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)

To institute