PhD centre will nurture new leaders in Earth observation

A new Centre for Satellite Data in Environmental Science (SENSE) will combine industry engagement and world-leading research facilities to train a new cohort of Earth observation leaders with the expertise and knowledge to address Earth System challenges, such as changes in global temperature and the growing strain on natural resources.

The SENSE PhD researchers will be based in sector-leading UK research institutions: the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), the University of Leeds, the University of Edinburgh, and the British Antarctic Survey.

Professor Christine Gommenginger from the NOC said: “International space agencies such as the European Space Agency (ESA) have collected the best satellite data in the world for decades now, providing long term climate data records through which we can study how the planet is changing.

“SENSE PhD students will have a brilliant opportunity to pursue a meaningful career in science that discovers new information about the way the world works.”

Through a £2.2m investment from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), support from the UK Space Agency, and a further £3.4m of matched funding, SENSE will create 50 new PhD studentships over the next three years.

At the core of the centre are integral partnerships with world-renowned research institutes such as the Met Office and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, industry leaders and international space agencies including European Space Agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and NASA.

Each student will have the opportunity to collaborate closely with the space and environmental science industry, through CASE partnerships and three-month funded industry placements, where they will obtain first-hand experience of research careers outside the academic environment.