Early Career Researcher for the Remote Sensing Working Group

Each year since 2020, the SIOS Remote Sensing Working Group (RSWG) offers an early career researcher (ECR) the opportunity to serve as an observer member of the working group. The ECR acts as a SIOS ambassador and assists in distributing news about SIOS remote sensing activities in ECR and other administrative and scientific networks. The selected ECR observer is expected to also contribute scientifically to WG activities. This engagement provides a platform for ECRs to become involved in an international organisation and develop important organisational skills.

--- The 2022 call is now open. Application deadline: 20 August ---

Eligibility criteria
  • Ph.D. student or Postdoc fellow/Researcher (up to 7 years past the Ph.D.) and working on a topic related to Earth Observation/Remote Sensing/Geoinformation applications in Svalbard or the Arctic.
  • Commitment to participate in the regular activities of RSWG for at least one year.
  • Commitment to attend the Polar Night Week (23-27 January 2023) in Longyearbyen.
  • Good command of the English language.
  • Actively participate in WG activities for up to two years.
  • Work closely with the SIOS Remote Sensing Officer and the RSWG Chair on routine activities e.g. organising meetings (~1 physical and 5 virtual per year), writing draft meeting minutes, following up on working group documents etc.
  • Making working group activities visible to ECR networks via email, social media, and other means.
  • Assisting RSWG in planning online events (conference, webinars).
  • Assisting in organising the annual remote sensing training course in September 2023.
  • In the first year, the ECR observer will receive travel, accommodation, and other expenses for attending the working group’s physical meeting during the Polar Night Week in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. An extended stay (only during the first year) at SIOS Knowledge Centre would also be considered as per the requirements of SIOS Knowledge Centre and the interest of the candidate.
  • Travel, accommodation costs and other expenses to attend the remote sensing training course in September 2023.
  • The ECR observer would get a chance to learn the working style of an international organisation and the opportunity to expand their network while working with working group members and during the Polar Night Week.

Please note that the travel and accommodation costs to attend the Polar Night Week and the training course during the first year is the only financial support available for the ECR. This is a non-salaried position.


The total duration of the engagement of ECR is up to 2 (1+1) years.  

  • The first year runs from 1 September 2022 to 31 August 2023.  
  • In the second year (1 September 2023 to 31 August 2024), the ECR observer is encouraged to stay engaged in RSWG without any funding support from SIOS.  
  • After two years, the candidate may continue contributing to the working group voluntarily.
How to apply?

If you are interested in joining the RSWG fill out the application form below. You will need to upload your 2-page CV and 1-page statement of interest as two separate PDF files within the form.  


Your statement of interest must focus on  

  1. your research background,  
  2. experience in working with ECR networks e.g. APECS
  3. why are you interested in becoming the ECR observer on RSWG,  
  4. how would you contribute to RSWG activities,  
  5. how will this opportunity be beneficial for your research career.

Please note that you must register to the SIOS account if you are using the SIOS online form for the first time. New accounts are approved  during office hours (8:00-16:00 CEST Mon-Fri). Therefore, we recommend registering for an account well before the application deadline.

The selection procedure will be carried out by RSWG members. The evaluation will be based on your CV and the statement of interest. Applications from ECR affiliated to a SIOS member institution will be prioritised (Is your home institution a SIOS member?).

Timeline 2022

Application open: 26 July 2022

Application deadline: 20 August 2022

Selection phase: 20 August to 30 August 2022

Announcement of results: tentatively 30 August 2022

Joining of the ECR observer: First week of September 2022


Testimonials of previous ECR in the RSWG


I have joined SIOS Remote Sensing Working Group (RSWG) half a year ago, and I’m very happy about it, as it quite fits my expectations, meeting the reasons why I wanted to join this group in first place. Since I’m interested in remote sensing in the Arctic reason, being an Observer to the SIOS RSWG enabled me to become aware of its efforts on integrating an observing system based on distributed data management in and around this archipelago of Svalbard.

I have had the opportunity to get involved in a very diverse range of activities which not only has provided me with a better insight into the existing cooperation, and ways of working of an international organisation with a focus on such a unique location but also actively contributing to these efforts. Among these activities, I have been supporting RSWG meetings; I have promoted SIOS work, goals and missions at conferences (oral presentation and a poster) and I’ve been also supporting the increase of social media outreach through the creation of weekly visual and written online content.  

However, there are two activities which I would highlight. One would be my contribution to the upcoming training course focused on the Artificial Intelligence applications on the Arctic/Svalbard (data) which will take place later this year in Longyearbyen. I’m involved in this course both as a lecturer and as a member of the Task Force leading the organisational activities. The second activity is the development of a set of surveys (still ongoing) regarding user requirements for remote sensing products in Svalbard; existing remote sensing and earth observation products and the potential of citizen science activities in this region.  

Finally, the people with whom I’ve been working are very incredibly nice to work with and keep a good pace and engagement in the activities – in particular, the SIOS Remote Sensing Officer, Shridhar Jawak and William Harcourt, the first ECR observer, with whom I’ve been working more closely with.  

I would definitely recommend anyone interested in Remote Sensing and the Svalbard/Arctic region apply to become the next ECR observer to the SIOS RSWG!

Sara Aparicio


I have worked on the SIOS RSWG for 12 months and it’s been a thrill. Firstly, I worked very closely with the SIOS Remote Sensing Officer, Shridhar Jawak, who worked tirelessly during my tenure to ensure I was given as many opportunities to participate in SIOS activities as possible. This unwavering support was assisted by the excellent team of international RSWG members, who were always willing to listen to my views and thoughts on projects the working group were undertaking. Taken together, my integration into the working group created a stimulating environment within which I was able to engage in scientific discussions that have shaped the working group activities over the last 12 months.

My participation in several SIOS activities and events, including the SIOS Online Conference, the SIOS Polar Night Week and the regular RSWG meetings, has enabled me to enhance several transferable skills. At the SIOS Online Conference, I was responsible for chairing a special ECR session as well as provided the creative freedom to organise social events for the participants (which was a lot of fun to organise!). At the Polar Night Week, I similarly helped run workshops and presented findings from a RSWG-led survey, bolstering my ability to present to an international audience. My key role was to participate in RSWG meetings, which were very interesting to engage with as it enabled me to recognise the hard work undertaken by SIOS to create a successful regional observing system.

Through this role I have also gained tangible benefits. The RSWG tasked me to review the availability of satellite data over Svalbard, which will be published in the SIOS special issue in the journal Remote Sensing. There have also been opportunities to contribute to several other publishable projects within the working group. Finally, the opportunity to understand the inner workings of an international consortium of researchers has been eye-opening and an experience I will take forward into my future career. If you are interested in Svalbard science, developing a regional observing system and gaining experience in conducting research at an international level then this is an opportunity not to be missed!

If you would like to know more about my experience then feel free to email me (wdh1@st-andrews.ac.uk).

William Harcourt