University of Luxembourg

PhD candidate in Spaceborne Global Navigation Satellite System Reflectometry

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The Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine (FSTM) contributes multidisciplinary expertise in the fields of MathematicsPhysicsEngineeringComputer ScienceLife Sciences and Medicine. Through its dual mission of teaching and research, the FSTM seeks to generate and disseminate knowledge and train new generations of responsible citizens, in order to better understand, explain and advance society and environment we live in.

The Geophysics Laboratory (GL) focuses on climate, sea level variability and geodynamics. The primary goals include satellite geodesy of new remote sensing applications and obtaining reliable geodetic measurements of environmental change and assessing the influence of human and natural factors in those changes. To do so, the group has developed a patented differential free-fall gradiometer as part of our activities in scientific metrology, advanced high-accuracy Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) techniques, provided interpretation of time variable gravity from space and improved the modelling of environmental effects on geodetic observations. In particular, the team investigates changes in the water cycle, the mass changes in the polar ice sheets, the dynamics of the Yellowstone Caldera. Additionally, the team focuses on space-borne GNSS-R for soil moisture and grazing angle GNSS-R for sea-ice studies over sea-ice covered regions.

The University of Luxembourg is seeking to hire a highly motivated and outstanding researcher in the area of space-borne GNSS-R within the Geophysics Laboratory, led by Prof. Olivier Francis.

We’re looking for people driven by excellence, excited about innovation, and looking to make a difference. If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place!

Your Role...

GNSS Reflectometry (GNSS-R) is an innovative remote sensing method exploiting signals of GNSS after reflection from the Earth's surface. The doctor candidate will investigate spaceborne GNSS-R for soil moisture using coherent and incoherent observations. In this context, the successful candidate will develop algorithms that will allow us to better understand present day soil moisture variability for more accurately modelling the water cycle from a constellation of Earth-observing nanosatellites. In this project, the multi-constellation space-borne GNSS-R data will be used to understand the sensitivity of the GNSS-R forward-scattering to surface roughness, vegetation, and other parameters such as incidence angle. The PhD candidate will be a member of the Geophysics Laboratory working on the development and implementation of innovative deep learning techniques for the space-borne GNSS-R studies. In summary, the successful candidate is expected to perform the following tasks:

  • Contribute actively to the different GL research projects, either coordinating technical contribution and/or preparing project deliverables
  • Carrying out research in the predefined areas
  • Disseminating results through scientific publications and conferences

What we expect from you…


  • The candidate should possess a master degree or equivalent in geodesy, geophysics, remote sensing, applied mathematics or physics, Computer Science, telecommunication engineering with a focus on remote sensing and EO, or similar


  • Knowledge of remote sensing techniques preferably radar techniques; ideally experience in analyzing GNSS or satellite Earth Observation data
  • Machine Learning
  • Programming skills in MATLAB, Python or C++

You should have the following aptitudes:

  • Highly committed, excellent team-worker, and strong critical thinking
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English

In Short...

  • Contract Type: Befristeter Vertrag 36 Monat (extendable up to 48 months if required)
  • Work Hours: Full Time 40.0 Stunden pro Woche
  • Employee and student status
  • Job Reference: UOL05509

The yearly gross salary for every PhD at the UL is EUR 38028 full time

How to apply...

Applications should be submitted in English and include:

  • Full CV, including list of publications and name (and email address, etc.) of three referees (names and contact information sufficient)
  • Transcript of all modules and results from university-level courses taken
  • Cover letter including topics of particular interest to the candidate

Early application is highly encouraged, as the applications will be processed upon reception. Please apply ONLINE formally through the HR system. Applications by email will not be considered.

The University of Luxembourg embraces inclusion and diversity as key values. We are fully committed to removing any discriminatory barrier related to gender, and not only, in recruitment and career progression of our staff.

In return you will get…

  • Multilingual and international character. Modern institution with a personal atmosphere. Staff coming from 90 countries. Member of the “University of the Greater Region” (UniGR). 
  • A modern and dynamic university. High-quality equipment. Close ties to the business world and to the Luxembourg labour market. A unique urban site with excellent infrastructure.
  • A partner for society and industry. Cooperation with European institutions, innovative companies, the Financial Centre and with numerous non-academic partners such as ministries, local governments, associations, NGOs …
  • Find out more about the University
  • Addresses, maps & routes to the various sites of the University

About the University of Luxembourg...

The University of Luxembourg is an international research university with a distinctly multilingual and interdisciplinary character. The University was founded in 2003 and counts more than 6,700 students and more than 2,000 employees from around the world. The University’s faculties and interdisciplinary centres focus on research in the areas of Computer Science and ICT Security, Materials Science, European and International Law, Finance and Financial Innovation, Education, Contemporary and Digital History. In addition, the University focuses on cross-disciplinary research in the areas of Data Modelling and Simulation as well as Health and System Biomedicine. Times Higher Education ranks the University of Luxembourg #3 worldwide for its “international outlook,” #20 in the Young University Ranking 2021 and among the top 250 universities worldwide.

Further information...

Please direct further questions to Dr. Sajad Tabibi (


PhD candidate in Spaceborne Global Navigation Satellite System Reflectometry
2, avenue de I'Universite Beles, Luxemburg
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The University of Luxembourg, a small-sized institution with an international reach, aims at excellence in research and education.

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