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Job ID: 166649

Doctoral Candidate in Remote Sensing of Peatlands
Aalto University

Date Posted Sep. 7, 2021
Title Doctoral Candidate in Remote Sensing of Peatlands
University Aalto University
, Finland
Department T213 Built Environment
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Graduate Student
  • Geology - GIS
    Geology/Geosciences - General
    Environmental Sciences/Ecology/Forestry
Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Built Environment invites applications for a

Project description
Aalto Remote Sensing Research Team (, led by prof. Miina Rautiainen, has a vacancy for a doctoral candidate (“PhD student”) to work in a research project related to remote sensing of boreal peatlands. Peatlands spark heated environmental and economic discussions in Finland, and they play a major role in climate change mitigation. The goal of the project is to create a fundamental understanding of how novel satellite remote sensing techniques and in situ spectral measurements can be used to characterize properties of vegetation in different types of boreal peatlands.

The candidate must have high motivation and aptitude for research and must enjoy working as part of a team. Applicants should have a master’s degree in remote sensing, geoinformatics, geography, forest sciences, environmental science or a related subject. For this position, applicants are expected to have experience in working with remote sensing and GIS data, and a motivation to conduct field work in peatlands during summer months. Fluent written and verbal communication skills in English are essential. A driver’s license (valid in Finland) is needed during the field campaigns. Knowledge of peatland and/or vegetation ecology or plant systematics are an advantage. Applicants must also fulfil the formal eligibility and admission criteria for Aalto’s Doctoral Programme in Engineering as specified at

Research environment
The successful applicant will join a young and dynamic team of world-class researchers at Aalto University’s School of Engineering funded by the Academy of Finland and European Research Council. Aalto University is a public research university which was established in 2010 after a merger of three major Finnish universities. It is consistently highly ranked in the areas of science, art, technology and business. The University’s main campus is located in Espoo, approximately 15 minutes by metro from the center of Helsinki. Helsinki is a safe, clean, green capital city with a very high quality of life. Most Finns speak English fluently. More information about living and working in Finland can be found at

Salary, terms and conditions
First, the doctoral student will be granted a one- or two-year contract, followed by a formal midterm evaluation. If the midterm evaluation is successful, an extension to the work contract will be made so that the total time for the doctoral studies is four years. The expected starting date is in the first months of 2022.
Completing a doctoral degree at Aalto University is expected to take four years. The doctoral degree is granted after successfully completing a set of advanced courses (40 ECTS), writing a doctoral thesis (based on peer-reviewed journal publications) and defending the thesis in a public examination. For this specific position, the doctoral candidate will be expected to conduct field work in (remote) peatland locations in Finland and Estonia, to analyze spectral in situ and satellite data, to present at high-level scientific conferences, to publish in leading academic journals, to participate in the activities of Aalto Remote Sensing Research Team, and to assist prof. Rautiainen in teaching activities (max 5% of working hours).
The salary range, terms and conditions are based on a collective bargaining agreement among Finnish universities. The starting salary for doctoral students at Aalto University is currently around 2,600€ per month (gross) which is gradually increased over time depending on performance.

How to apply
All applications must include the following materials:
  • Motivation letter with the applicant’s contact information and an indication of the preferred starting date (max 1 page)
  • CV including details of all academic merits (including publications, if applicable), and contact information for 2 persons who may be contacted to provide a character reference (max 3 pages)
  • An outline of the field work experience of the applicant (max 1 page)
  • Summary of the applicant’s master’s thesis (max 1 page)
  • Copy of the applicant’s master’s degree certificate
  • Copy of the applicant’s master’s degree certificate and a transcript of studies (with a clear explanation of the grading scale)

All materials should be submitted in English in a single pdf-file (compiled in the order specified above). The application should be submitted through our online eRecruitment system (‘Apply’) before 30 September 2021. Please note: Aalto University’s employees and visitors should apply for the position via our internal system Workday -> find jobs (not external webpage on open positions) by using their existing Workday user account.
Applications submitted by email will not be accepted. Aalto University reserves the right to leave the position open, extend the application period and consider candidates who have not applied during the application period.

Further information
Further information about working at Aalto University can be found at Content-related questions about the vacancy may be directed via email to Miina Rautiainen (professor, while recruitment-related questions may be directed to Kirsi Kärkkäinen (HR Coordinator, using the email format

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