Internal Research Fellow (PostDoc) in Artificial Intelligence for Earth Observation

Frascati, Italy, ESA [8827]

Field(s) of expertise
Aerospace Engineering Space Systems Engineering
Job type

About this job

ESA is looking for an Internal Research Fellow (PostDoc) in Artificial Intelligence for Earth Observation.

Our Team and Mission

You will be based in the Φ-lab in ESRIN, whose mission is to accelerate the future of Earth Observation (EO), by helping ESA and the European industry, startup and research communities to rapidly adopt disruptive technologies. You will be part of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers and data scientists passionate about innovation, and work within an inspiring and collaborative open-space environment.
You will carry out research in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with a particular emphasis on developing new methods applicable to Earth Observation (EO). The specific area of research is partly chosen by you based on your own expertise and partly chosen by the team as to follow strategic directions of the Agency.


• Perform your own research, while also contributing to the lab current AI4EO use cases (e.g. multi-sensor data fusion, edge computing, automatic change detection, transfer learning, mining of hyperspectral data);
• Support the team rapidly prototype and evaluate AI solutions for application to EO data sets and challenges, particularly those relevant for ESA EO missions;
• Adapt existing AI algorithms and tools to take account of the specific characteristics of EO data sets, physical measurement principles, and apply them to EO data applications with particular interest in hyperspectral imaging and radar imaging;
• Prepare, validate and maintain large-scale, training data sets, to be used for development and evaluation of AI algorithms, by international research and industrial communities;
• Contribute to the development of an interactive environment for rapid prototyping and testing of new ideas;
• Organise and lead AI4EO challenges on proposed topics;
• Collaborate with academia and industrial partners to transfer research results to applications;
• Publish in peer-review literature;
• Promote/share your results and tools through new digital tools, including social media and Jupyter notebooks;
• Perform and participate in assessments on subjects of strategic interest to ESA.


Technical competencies

• Knowledge relevant to the field of research;
• Research/publication record;
• Ability to conduct research autonomously;
• Breadth of exposure coming from past and/or current research/activities;
• General interest in space and space research;
• In depth knowledge of themes of interest, such as EO, AI, analytics, and New Space;
• Proven experience leading research, with international recognition;
• Ability to think outside the box and explore new avenues, with natural curiosity and a passion for new subjects and research areas;
• Ability to work in a multicultural environment as part of a team;
• Experience with one or more general purpose programming languages e.g. Python, and with general purpose deep learning frameworks e.g. Tensorflow, PyTorch;
• Natural curiosity and a passion for new subjects and research areas, including AI, EO, and New Space.


Applicants should have recently completed, or be close to completion of a PhD on AI, Computer Science or Machine Learning, with the subject of the thesis being relevant to the description of the tasks outlined above . Preference will be given to applications submitted by candidates within five years of receiving their PhD.
Applicants must have obtained: A degree in either AI, computer science, mathematics or relevant engineering discipline.

For a complete job description and to apply, click on “apply”.

The closing date for applications is 4 September 2020.


If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email contact.human.resources@esa.int.
Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Nationals from Slovenia, as an Associate Member, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia as European Cooperating States (ECS).

We offer

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an equal opportunities employer that offers competitive salaries exempt from national income tax and excellent employment conditions, such as allowances for expatriates and relocation support.
For more information: http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Careers_at_ESA

About us

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.
Learn more: http://www.esa.int/

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