PhD Scholarship in Gravimetry from Aircraft and Drones

DTU Space

A three-year PhD study in measurements of the Earth’s gravity field for geodetic, geophysical and cryosphere applications is open for start on September 1st, 2022 or shortly thereafter. The PhD study will be part of an EU/EIT project “DroneSOM”, planning drone gravimetry demonstration activities in Europe and Greenland. Additionally, a central component will be international airborne gravity surveys carried out by DTU Space in African and Asian countries along with polar regions (Greenland and Antarctica). The aim of the PhD project is the further development of methods and algorithms for measuring gravity on moving platforms, which is rooted in satellite and inertial positioning. These developments are carried out in close cooperation with DTU Space researchers and our international partners. If you want to see the world, and be part of a cutting-edge international team, this is the right position for you.   

Responsibilities and qualifications
Your overall focus of the PhD study will be to contribute to the development of methodologies for gravity mapping, participate in field demonstrations and campaigns, and present/publish results of your evolving research as part of the DTU Space and international partner teams. These include both academic, government and commercial partners in Finland, Germany, UK and the US. You must be mobile and ready to participate in several campaigns as part of your PhD project. We are looking for an M.Sc. or M.Eng. candidate with a solid mathematical background, ideally related to geophysics or geodesy. Ideal qualifications include:

  • Experience with geophysics and/or geodesy
  • A good mathematical and programming background (Matlab, Python or similar)
  • Wish to participate in field campaigns (timed with personal/family needs)
  • Some experience with GNSS satellite and inertial positioning

You will also as part of your PhD study be involved to a limited degree in teaching activities and supervision of students.

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 programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education.

The assessment of the applications will be done by a committee under the DTU Space GEO (Geodesy and Earth Observation) department.

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 Rene Forsberg ( or Dr. Tim Jensen (

You can read more about DTU Space at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 7 July 2022 (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 (in English) including official description of grading scale

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

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

DTU Space has now more than 200 employees, and is located at the Lyngby Campus of the Technical University of Denmark, about 12 km north of Copenhagen. 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. The DTU Space GEO department has ca. 32 employees, including ph.d. students, and focus on space science and geodesy applied to broad range of earth applications, and organized in groups for cryosphere, hydrosphere, satellite positioning, geodynamics, and gravity field science.

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 13,400 students and 5,800 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.