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SPIN ESR 4.4: Distributed Acoustic Sensing and Volcano-seismology

Host institution: GFZ Helmholtz Centre Potsdam drawing


main supervisor: Philippe Jousset (GFZ, D)
co-supervisor: Charlotte Krawczyk (GFZ, D)

Application deadline: Position remains open until filled.
Starting date: 1st July – 1st October, 2021

General information

This PhD position is one of the 15 Early Stage Researcher (ESR) positions within the SPIN project. SPIN is an Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action (MSCA).

SPIN will focus on training 15 PhD candidates in emerging measurement technologies in seismology. We will research the design of monitoring systems for precursory changes in material properties, all while optimizing observation strategies. The unique interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral network will enable PhDs to gain international expertise at excellent research institutions, with a meaningful exposure of each PhD to other disciplines and sectors, thus going far beyond the education at a single PhD programme.

Project description

Research in volcanology focuses on the understanding of complex volcanic processes and their relationship with volcanic phenomena and the volcanic structures. Explosive activity at active volcanoes produces acoustic waves in the atmosphere, seismic waves in the subsurface and permanent deformation. In the heterogeneous volcanic edifice the seismo-acoustic frequencies document particularly the complex ground mechanical behaviour. Using a set of multiparametric dataset acquired Etna volcano (Italy), including infrasound, seismic and fibre optic cable Distributed Acoustic Sensing data, we will understand better the structural and dynamic nature of the seismo-acoustic wavefield. Within SPIN, the ESR will analyse and attempt to model the complex behaviour of rock response with this unprecedented dense spatial information. This may possibly lead us towards understanding of non-linear processes in the ground. The results will be aided with laboratory observations and may improve time dependent assessment of natural hazards related to material failure and ground response.

Required skills and experience

We welcome applications from candidates who fulfill the following criteria:

  • A completed research-oriented university degree, such as a Master’s degree or BSc Hons, in a relevant field (e.g. Geophysics, Physics, ..) The PhD enrollment requirements will depend on the hosting institute, please refer to the individual project descriptions and institute webpages.
  • Note that you may apply if you have not completed your degree yet, as long as your degree will be completed by the time of recruitment in the project.
  • An outstanding academic track record
  • A good command of English, both verbal and written
  • Dedication and enthusiasm for research, combined with scientific curiosity, reliability and the capacity to teamwork in an interdisciplinary environment.
  • Background in seismology wave propagation
  • Strong programming ability (python, matlab)
  • Motivation to work in an interdisciplinary and international team
  • Willingness for research visits of several weeks at partner institutions of SPIN

Please ensure that you fulfill the following eligibility criteria for ESR (Early Stage Researcher) positions in H2020 MSCA-ITNs, as ineligible candidates cannot be considered:

What we offer

  • Integration in a versatile European Training network with dedicated workshops, research visits and high level of intellectual exchange with your peers and supervisors
  • Dynamic, interdisciplinary and international research environment at GFZ
  • Close supervision and technical support
    We offer a full time position with 39 working hours per week. Salary depends on family status and will be around 2000€/month net.

Application Procedure

The application deadline is April 5th, 2021. Application evaluations will start immediately, and will continue until all positions are filled. We wish to reflect the diversity of society and we welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background. The selection will be exclusively based on qualification without regard to gender identity, sexual orientation religion, national origin or age.

Applications must include:

  • A cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • A CV including relevant competences, skills and publication list, if applicable
  • Copies of degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records for previous studies (Bachelor and/or Master). Please indicate expected date of graduation if your Master’s degree is not completed
  • Contact information of two references

Applications should be sent in one single pdf file with filename ‘SPIN_YourLastname_YourFirstname.pdf’ to Without the application documents, your application cannot be considered!

In addition, you must complete the SPIN application form:
Please fill in the form only once. If you submit the application form multiple times, we will consider only the first submission. If you want to correct your information, please first send an e-mail to
Please note that you will not immediately receive a confirmation email after completing the form, so please fill it in only once. If you see a message “Thank you for completing the form!”, then your information was received.

If you have any questions about the application procedure, please contact

Data handling

By applying to a PhD position, you agree that all data concerning your application may be stored electronically and distributed among the supervisors involved in the selection procedure within the MSCA ITN SPIN. If you do not agree, your application can not be processed further, due to the project’s centralised recruitment process. The data are used solely for the recruitment process and we do not share information about you with any third party.

A pdf version of the description of this ESR can be found here