9 January, 2020

A new centre will enable 50 fully-funded PhD researchers to harness satellite data to tackle global environmental challenges.

The Centre for Satellite Data in Environmental Science (SENSE) will bring together expertise in satellite remote sensing, climate change, and advanced data science to nurture the next generation of Earth observation researchers.

Satellite data provides a unique view of the polar regions for monitoring environmental change

Through a £2.2m investment from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), support from the UK Space Agency, and a further £3.4m of matched funding, SENSE will create 50 new PhD studentships over the next 3-years.

This new centre combines industry engagement and world-leading research facilities to train a new cohort of Earth observation leaders with the expertise and knowledge to address Earth System challenges, such as changes in global temperature and the growing strain on natural resources.

Professor Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair of NERC, says:

“The researchers will support cutting-edge scientific discovery, new data-based products and new Earth observation technologies that will provide benefits to society. Working with the UK Space Agency gives students unique opportunities to engage with the wider community.”

SENSE students will be based in sector-leading UK research institutions: the University of Leeds, The University of Edinburgh, National Oceanography Centre, or British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

 The comprehensive training programme will provide all first year PhD students with advanced skills training in Earth observation systems and techniques, and advanced data science methods such as artificial intelligence.

At the core of the centre are integral partnerships with world-renowned research institutes such as the Met Office and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, industry leaders and international space agencies including European Space Agency (ESA), The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and NASA.

BAS and the National Oceanography Centre, a leader in marine science research, will host SENSE PhD students and provide key training.

Each student will have the opportunity to collaborate closely with the space and environmental science industry, through CASE partnerships and 3-month funded industry placements, where they will obtain first-hand experience of research careers outside the academic environment.

Recruitment is now open for the first cohort for The Centre for Satellite Data in Environmental Science (SENSE). Application deadline is 19 January 2020.