PhD fellow in Thermal imaging of groundwater
upwelling in stream valleys

The Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in Multi-scale thermal imaging of groundwater upwelling in stream valleys starting July 1, 2017. The project is funded by the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network "ENIGMA -EU Training Network for In situ imaGing of dynaMic processes in heterogeneous subsurfAce environments" within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission. ENIGMA is a consortium of high profile universities, research institutions and companies located in France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, USA and UK, and will train 15 PhD students in total (Early Stage Researcher, ESR). This particular PhD (ESR PhD 7) will be based at Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen with research stays at UNINE Neuchâtel, and UFZ Leipzig. More information can be found on the ENIGMA web-site

In order to be eligible, each applicant must fulfil the following criteria at the time of recruitment:

  • Mobility: At the time of recruitment, the applicant must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc…) in the country of the host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment.
    Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
  • Qualifications and research experience: The applicant must fulfil the requirements defined for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs): ESRs are researcher who, at the time of recruitment, has NOT yet been awarded the doctorate degree and is in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of his/her research career.

Project description

The ability of stream networks to drain landscapes depends on hydrologic connectivity across spatial scales from streams, riparian zones to the regional catchment. In combination with temporal changes (seasonal rainfall, temperature) this leads to spatial and temporal heterogeneity in groundwater upwelling in stream valleys through stream beds, riparian zones, and near hill slopes. The challenge is to develop a multi-scale thermal imagery method, where airborne and ground-based methods can quantify where, when, and how much groundwater escapes to stream valleys with special attention to how temperature-controlled changes in hydraulic parameters affect water storage/wetness/flooding/upwelling and direct seepage to streams. The ESR student will; (1) exploit current state-of-the art thermal imaging technologies and statistical methods/metrics for analysis of temperature signals to assess the use of temperature as a tracer for regional studies of groundwater upwelling and (2) integrate data in catchment-scale 3D heat-flow models to understand landscape and climate effects on spatio-temporal thermal and flow heterogeneity. HOBE observatory catchment in Denmark ( will be used and the imaging and modelling techniques will be tested at TERENO river Selke and Emme sites in Germany. The innovative aspect is to investigate if thermal imaging is a feasible method for mapping upwelling at the scale of stream networks and linking these to temporal changes in hydraulic parameters, possible hot-spots of reactivity (link to ESRPhD 2) and water storage change observations from absolute quantum gravimeters (link to ESRPhD 8).

Principal supervisor is Professor Peter Engesgaard, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, E-mail: , Ph: +45 23812354 .

Job description

The position is available for a 3-year period and your key tasks as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and carry through your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external research institution for a few months, preferably abroad
  • Work for the department

Formal requirements

Applicants should hold an MSc degree with good results and good English skills. As criteria for the assessment of your qualifications emphasis will also be laid on previous publications (if any) and relevant work experience.

Background of successful candidate

We invite candidates from different scientific fields to apply; hydrology, hydrogeology, water resources engineering, or environmental sciences. The candidate should have a solid background in mathematical analysis, modeling of hydrological processes and handling of large data sets. Furthermore, the candidate must have excellent personal skills and be able to work in a team. Experience with field work is highly desirable.

Terms of Employment

The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently at a minimum DKK 309,109 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 42,699). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

Application Procedure

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below, and must include the following:

  • Cover Letter, stating your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project.
  • CV, including list of publications (journal articles, master's thesis)
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications (if any),
  • References
  • Documentation of English language qualifications, cf. general rules and guidelines, p. 5

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is January 23, 2017. Applications received later than this date will not be considered.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. Afterwards an assessment committee will be appointed to evaluate the selected applications. The applicants will be notified of the composition of the committee and the final selection of a successful candidate will be made by the Head of Department, based on the recommendations of the assessment committee and the interview committee.

The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant and the above mentioned skills. The successful candidate will then be requested to formally apply for enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of Science. You can read more about the recruitment process at


For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor.

General information about PhD programmes at SCIENCE is available at .

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe's top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation - with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture - creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

posted: 23 December 2016     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.