Research Associate for SoW (Sentinels of Wheat) Project

University College London - UCL Geography

The Research Associate will be working on the Sentinels of Wheat (SoW) project is an extension of the existing “Regional Crop Monitoring and Assessment with Quantitative Remote Sensing and Data Assimilation” project jointly funded by STFC and NSFC. It aims to leverage existing tools, data and expertise to demonstrate how streams of operational satellite data (the ESA Sentinels in particular) can provide a robust monitoring system for winter wheat to enhance the existing CHARMS system that reports on crop status and yield estimates to the Chinese government. The main focus of the Research Associate (RA) at UCL will be in the ingestion of Sentinel-1 SAR and optical data into the DA system. This includes the development of suitable radiative transfer models (observation operators) to integrate SAR data into the EO-LDAS system, the harmonization of the microwave models with the optical models and the development of efficient strategies for preprocessing of optical and SAR data. Particular skills in parameter estimation, as well as familiarity with using and modifying radiative transfer models are sought.

The post is initially funded until 31st March 2019.

It is essential that the successful candidate has an MSc or PhD in remote sensing or another relevant discipline. As well as excellent scientific computing skills, including experience in Unix/Linux and a high level of expertise in the UNIX shell, Python. They will also have a sound understanding of Mathematics, in particular probability theory, Bayesian statistics and optimization theory.

Appointment at Grade 7 is dependent upon having been awarded a PhD; if this is not the case, initial appointment will be at research assistant Grade 6B (salary £30,316 - £31,967 per annum inclusive of London Allowance) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis.  

UCL vacancy reference: 1729358.

Applicants should apply online. To access further details about the position and how to apply please click on the ‘apply’ button below.

For further details please contact Dr. Qingling Wu ( and Dr. Mat Disney (

Latest time for the submission of applications: 23:59.

Interview date: TBC.

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