Two PhD positions in ERC project on Subduction Zone Seismology

In the framework of the recently funded ERC project MILESTONE, the Institute of Geophysics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, offers two PhD positions in the field of subduction zone seismology.

The project, led by Christian Sippl, is focused on the use of microseismicity, many thousands of constantly occurring low-magnitude earthquakes, to characterize the structure and ongoing processes in four different subduction zones (Chile, Central America, Alaska, Indonesia). Such microevents will be harvested from existing large seismic datasets using an automatized approach that combines conventional processing tools with modern, machine learning based methods. Their large-scale analysis will lead to improved models of processes occurring on the plate interface as well as inside the downgoing oceanic plates.

Necessary qualifications or skills:

  • completed M.Sc. (or equivalent degree) in Geophysics, Geosciences, Physics or related field
  • good written and spoken English
  • proficiency with Unix-based OS, existing programming experience (ideally in Python)

Desirable qualifications and interests:

  • basic knowledge of earthquake seismology and seismic data processing
  • experience with or interest in algorithms and coding problems
  • interest in tectonic processes and the interior workings of the Earth


  • developing and testing automatized approaches for seismic waveform picking, phase identification and association
  • applying these algorithms to large amounts of seismic waveform data
  • evaluating, understanding and comparing microseismicity patterns from different subduction zones
  • interaction with scientists from different disciplines (collaborators within the project), communication and dissemination of obtained results

The PhD students will be enrolled in the dissertation program of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the Charles University (, but will conduct most of their research work at the Institute of Geophysics ( English is the working language at both of these institutes, command of Czech language is an advantage but not a necessity.

The position is funded for 4 years with a gross salary of about 54,000 CZK/month (exact number depends on exchange rate between CZK and Euro). Note that deductions (tax and social security) in the Czech Republic amount to 20-25%, and that the cost of living in Prague is still somewhat lower than in many other parts of Europe.

Applications (comprising a CV and a 1-page motivation letter) should be sent to until November 30, 2020. Any questions about the positions or the application process can be directed to the same email address. The positions are planned to start in January or February 2021, but this is subject to modification depending on the development of the pandemic situation.

posted: 06 October 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.