International PhD Fellowship at University of Copenhagen in Denmark 2020


International PhD Fellowship application process at University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Learn the best way to apply for the International PhD Fellowship for the academic year  2020/2021, via University of Copenhagen Scholarship Portal.

If you are reading this, it means you have heard about the International PhD Fellowship 2020.

In this article, we are going to systematically outline the right way to apply for the International PhD Fellowship for interested and qualified applicants.

Scholarship Description

The Faculty of Science, specifically the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark invites applications for assessing tree cover in African drylands in a Doctoral position make use of very high resolution satellite imagery as well as deep learning.

Project Description

Drylands cover large parts of the African land surface but their tree cover and carbon stocks are largely unknown. This is because a large proportion of dryland trees grow isolated without canopy closure and most scientific and non-scientific interest is devoted to forests, while the density and size of trees outside of forests is not well documented. However, these non-forest trees play a vital part for biodiversity and gives ecosystem services like food resources, livelihoods, carbon storage and shelter for humans as well as animals. The narrow attention given to the quantification of dryland trees results in a low representation of non-forest trees in development strategies as well as climate or vegetation models, and the economic and ecological significance of non-forest trees is greatly unknown at large scale.

The program seeks to embark on a wall-to-wall identification of trees in African drylands, and then study their carbon stocks as well as social and environmental determinants. Trees are not only evaluated as canopy fraction of an area, but as stand-alone, giving them a chance to identify their crown size, density, and key ecological services and not only their coverage. We will apply very high resolution satellite data in conjunction with fully convolutional neural networks and field surveys.

Job description

The position is open for a 3-year duration and your key objectives as a PhD student at SCIENCE are:

  • To manage and conduct your research project
  • Attend PhD courses
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Teach and disseminate your research
  • To stay at an external/other research institution for few months, preferably international/in diaspora
  • Work for the department

Role of the PhD: The PhD candidate will be part of a team and involved in data preparation, processing and analyses. While the scope of the project aims at the entire African continent. The PhD topic’s main focus will be on the Sahel, but the study area can be well extended. More specifically, the candidate will:

  • Use RapidEye, PlanetScope and DigitalGlobe satellite imagery to derive dynamic high resolution maps on tree cover, carbon density, and other related variables.
  • Study tree characteristics in relation to growth patterns, environmental variables and human management.

Many applicants have been asking us questions like;

Available Subjects

Assessing Trees in African Drylands.

Eligible Nationalities and Benefits

This scholarship is open to students from countries all over the world.

Benefits of the Fellowship

  • The position is insured by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.
  • Terms and Conditions of appointment and payment according to the agreement reached between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.
  • The starting salary is presently at a least of DKK 331,125 (approx. €43,750) which includes yearly supplement (+ pension at a minimum DKK 53,811). Negotiation for salary supplement is quite possible.


  • The candidate should hold a Master of Science degree or finish latest in August 2020. A subject related to Geo- or Computer sciences is not a requirement but advantageous.
  • The candidate should have good communication skills in both spoken and written English.
  • Knowledge or the interest to learn machine learning applications, programming (preferably Python) remote sensing software (preferably open source) is expected.
  • Knowledge on dryland vegetation (preferably Sahel) and experience in handling large remote sensing datasets is not a requirement but advantageous.
  • The candidate should be willing to carry out field work in West Africa (likely Senegal).

How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to University of Copenhagen (UCPH) on to apply.

Visit Award Webpage for Details


The deadline for the scholarship award application is 20th July 2020. Applicants should ensure they submit their applications on or before the specified date.