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Supervisors – project proposals need to be submitted to SENSE by September 18th. See details below.

Applicants – Projects will be advertised on this page from 12th October, for studentships starting in October 2021. Deadline for applications is Sunday 10th January 2021,  and interviews will take in late February 2021.

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Call for project ideas for the 2nd round of NERC SENSE Earth Observation CDT PhD studentships

Deadline: 18th September 2020

We are very happy to announce a call for PhD project proposals, in the second round of the SENSE Earth Observation CDT recruitment, for studentships starting October 2021.

The key facts are:

  • All PhD projects will focus on using Earth Observation data, with many projects also making use of advanced computer techniques
  • 16 PhD students will be funded in this cohort, we will advertise ~32 projects
    • Note, in order to ensure we maintain a good success rate for the advertised projects, not all submitted PhD proposals will be advertised.
  • To encourage collaboration across the SENSE community, all supervisory teams must have co-supervisors from at least 2 institutes (Leeds, Edinburgh, BAS, NOC).
    • We welcome additional co-supervisors from other non-SENSE institutes.
  • All students will be registered at the Universities of Edinburgh or the University of Leeds (50/50 split)
  • All students will benefit from attending a comprehensive EO training programme in their first year
  • All students will undertake a 3-month industry placement
    • We have ~20 CASE partners available for matching with academics, and your own industry connections are welcomed
    • We are running academic & industry virtual mixer events on Mon 17th at 2pm and 25th August at 10am to help connect academics in different departments and institutes, and industrial partners.
    • To attend please register your interest here, so we can send you a link to connect into the meeting.
  • Project proposal submission deadline is the 18th September 2020
  • To submit a PhD proposal for the October 2021 cohort, fill out this form

SENSE’s recruitment committee will select ~32 of the best projects that align with SENSE’s specific remit to advertise. For further advice and top tips about how to submit a good SENSE PhD proposal, and the full recruitment schedule, please see this document: SENSE PhD proposal writing tips

If you have any questions or if you’d like any support with your project proposal please get in touch with Ruth Amey at Leeds ( or Eleanor Graham at Edinburgh ( ).

We really look forward to hearing from you.

The SENSE recruitment committee




  1. Can projects from last year be resubmitted?
    • Yes they can, though there is no guarantee projects previously advertised will be selected this year. Ideally projects will be updated, especially if the project didn’t attract many applicants in the last recruitment round. If a project was not selected for advertising last year then it will need to be improved with the comments from last year.
  2. Does an industry partner need to be specialist EO company?
    • No – as long as they are interested in using remote sensing data
  3. Does the project have to advance satellite techniques, or can it be using existing products?
    • Both are encouraged!