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Early Stage Researcher


PLOME– Platform for Long-lasting Observation of Marine Ecosystems


PLOME project proposes a spatially adaptive, non-invasive, modular platform of independent and wirelessly connected benthic stations and AUVs to intelligently observe, monitor and map marine ecosystems, during long-lasting periods with real-time supervision. The proposal brings together elements that can be effectively developed with current technology, to provide a solution to the problem of marine observation that is technologically and economically realistic in the following decade. Moreover it is scalable in terms of cost and required resources for marine ecosystems’ observation.


The Universitat de Girona wants to incorporate a PhD student in the context of this project to work on the development of new techniques for active exploration of the environment with AUVs (i.e., intelligent mapping in coordination with the benthic stations). One of the Key Exploitable Result (KER) of PLOME is to increase the Technology readiness level (TRL) of AUVs in “planning for exploration and cooperation” from 4 to 6, allowing scientific and commercial uses of AUVs for this purpose. 


Job Posting Reference: PLOME – Active Environment Exploration with AUVs

Post Type: Early Stage Researcher (ESR)

Start Date: spring 2022

End Date: mid/end 2025

Host Institution: University of Girona

Address: C/Pic de Peguera 13, 17003 Girona (Spain).


Host Institution Description:

The Computer Vision and Robotics Research Group (VICOROB) has a strong experience in the design and development of hovering AUV prototypes with high-resolution image mapping capabilities. 5 AUV prototypes have been designed during the last 10 years, all of them having a different conceptual design. During the last years the team has worked on the development of advanced image processing techniques for the 2D and 3D mapping of the seafloor, as well as with the fusion of these techniques with navigation data coming from state of the art navigation sensors (DVL, gyros, USBL) together with global optimization techniques to face large-scale maps. Map based navigation and Simultaneous Localization and Mapping of underwater robots using both acoustics and/or video images is currently one of the main topics of research. VICOROB has also a long experience in intelligent control architectures and has contributed in mission control systems, behaviour-based architectures, robot learning and path planning for AUVs. Finally, the group has expertise in mechatronics and software integration. 


Background and Motivation

The main motivation in the PLOME project is to develop a monitoring solution that has a simple deployment and is easy-to-move from an experimental site to another, without any cable installation, for coastal and deep water environments. Stations will provide continuous and intensive temporal observation, while AUVs will be able to provide such intensive measurement at spatial level. Each system will be powered with self-contained electric batteries, allowing a platform duration between one week to one month. AUVs will typically be docked in standby mode, allowing wireless data transmission and battery recharging for various missions. AUVs will be able to undock and perform intelligent trajectories to explore an area. Stations and AUVs will cooperate between them through acoustic or visual light communications.


Tasks and Responsibilities

Research topics that will be developed:

  • Acoustic localisation of targets
  • AUV localization using reference points
  • AUV planning for active exploration
  • AUV planning for environment observation
  • AUV planning for data retrieval



  • The main responsibility of the PhD candidate will be to carry out the above described research
  • Participation in project trials and consortium meetings, as well as in international conferences
  • Secondment for 3-6 months at an external research institution to complement and improve the theoretical background
  • Participation in the organization of local events such as trials or workshops, as well as teaching support in some undergraduate or master’s degree courses.



PhD thesis by the end of the project

Publication of peer review scientific papers.


Person Specifications Educational and/or Professional Qualifications

A successful candidate must have an engineering background (electronics, industrial, computer science, mechanical) and must be able to enroll in a PhD program, which corresponds to 5 university courses (i.e. 4 Degree + 1 Master; 4 Degree + 1 Master; 5 Degree). 


Experience and Training

Previous research experience and/or robotics background will be positively evaluated.



We are looking for a talented and highly motivated candidate that wants to work in a team of researchers to conduct his PhD thesis. Candidates should have good oral and written communication skills in English. Good programming skills are also required.


How to apply

Applicants must send a curriculum vitae (CV) and a cover letter to, stating clearly the qualifications for the post. Applications should be received by 15th of March 2022, in order to start the contract in April/May.


This PhD thesis will be directed by Dr. Narcis Palomeras and Dr. Marc Carreras, both researchers at VICOROB.

Enginyer Robòtica Submarina

El laboratori de recerca en Robòtica Submarina de l’Institut d’Investigació VICOROB de la UdG necessita ampliar l’equip que treballa al Centre d’Investigació en Robòtica Submarina (CIRS) situat al Parc Científic i Tecnològic (C/Pic de Peguera n13, 17003 Girona).

Necessitem una persona que estigui acabant o ja disposi del grau (o equivalent) en enginyeria informàtica, electrònica o industrial, per a incorporar-se en l’equip tècnic de desenvolupament de projectes relacionats amb robòtica submarina. Les tasques a desenvolupar seran principalment la programació i operació dels robots en l’entorn de proves del CIRS i també des de l’embarcació de la UdG que opera des del port de Sant Feliu de Guíxols. 

La persona formarà part d’un equip pluridisciplinar que realitza diferents tasques emmarcades en projectes de R+D. Es busca un perfil tècnic, amb bons coneixements teòrics, i amb capacitat pel treball de camp en l’entorn marí. 

El lloc de treball ofereix colaborar amb equips humans altament qualificats, amb totes les infraestructures necessàries (piscina de proves, laboratori, embarcació) i utilitzant tecnologies avançades per a desenvolupar projectes novedosos en el camp de la robòtica submarina. Busquem una persona flexible i que sàpiga adaptar-se als canvis constants d’un context permanentment innovador; que tingui pensament analític per a poder arribar a la solució dels reptes que se li presentin, que se senti còmode i sàpiga treballar en equip i cooperar, i que tingui interès i preocupació per l’ordre i la qualitat de la seva feina.



  • Programació de robots submarins
  • Operació de robots submarins
  • Col·laboració en nous dissenys electromecànics
  • Preparació i realització d’experiments en projectes de R+D
  • Coordinació amb la resta de l’equip per treballar-hi conjuntament.



  • Grau en enginyeria informàtica / electrònica / industrial o àrees similars. Estudiants d’últims cursos també.
  • Català (nivell avançat oral), castellà (nivell avançat) i anglès (nivell mitjà).
  • Inquietud per a les novetats tecnològiques.
  • Desig d’implicar-se en el món de la robòtica marina.



  • Incorporació immediata a l’equip de treball.
  • Contracte a temps complet a la UdG.
  • Contracte prorrogable amb possibilitats d’estabilització dins el sector.
  • Retribució seguint taules salarials UdG, tenint en compte la titulació i experiència de la persona seleccionada.
  • Treballar en un laboratori de recerca punter, en projectes de R+D.
  • Possibilitat de formació en tecnologies i metodologies complementàries.

This position is offered under the framework of EU H2020 project iToBoS (“Intelligent Total Body Scanner for Early Detection of Melanoma”).


We are looking for a candidate keen to work in a very international/multi-cultural environment, with strong analytical skills allowing to understand a problem and to identify possible solutions and key success factors.


The ideal candidate should show the capacity to establish a positive and engaging atmosphere with the project partners and be reliable, solution-oriented, organised, rigorous and proactive, with versatile talents as well as strong ethical values.


In addition, excellent communication and networking skills, basic computer literacy & skills (MS Office applications), and capacity to organise and coordinate project tasks and deliverables with a high level of independence will be required to handle assignments.


Tasks and Responsibilities


  • Being charge in project financial reporting;
  • Interacting with the project coordinator (Dr. Rafael Garcia) to analyse critical paths
  • Keeping permanent contact with the 18 partners of the project
  • Keeping track of deliverables and milestones
  • Managing the internal communication of the consortium
  • Filling in follow-up information using the ECAS web tool of the European Commission.


Prerequisites. Applicants should hold a degree in engineering, management, economics or any related areas.


  • Excellent command of written and verbal communication skills in English
  • At least 2 years of experience as (cumulatively):
    • Prior participation in research projects
    • RDI Proposal Writer (Horizon 2020 or similar), possibly with a evidence- based track record of submitted proposals and/or awarded proposals
    • Project Coordinator / Project Manager of H2020 actions, also in charge or involved in project financial reporting


Duration of the position:  6 months contract, with possibility of extension

Salary:  30.5k € gross annual salary

Main academic partners: Dr. Nuno Gracias,, Prof. Rafael Garcia, and Prof Pere Ridao,


Submission Instructions.

Applications are evaluated based on the information provided by the applicant and on an interview. Prospective researchers should prepare and submit the following documentation:


  • A short statement of research interests (2 page max) summarizing previous work in the research area, and indicating how the applicant envisages their contribution.
  • CV including information on their education background and work experience, including if possible copies of transcripts from Bachelor, Master degrees, and courses enrolled at the PhD program.
  • Contact information for two references (including email addresses and telephone number)
  • English language proficiency documentation (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) is strongly advised. This requirement is waived for applicants whose mother tongue is English, or have completed their PhD in a country where English is the official language.
  • Given the current pandemic situation, the issuing of visa and work permits for non-EU candidates (who are not already EU residents) cannot be done in a timely manner. Due to incorporation constraints, only candidates in possession of an european work permit will be considered at the moment.


UdG is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment – DORA. Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Deadline for submission:Thursday, April 15th, 2021


Robocademy – The Maritime Robotics Research and Training Network


The Robocademy ITN will establish a European training and research network to develop key skills and enabling technologies in underwater robotics for the scientific and economic exploration of the oceans (e.g. offshore oilfield of the future). Through the close collaboration of leading research institutes, academia, industry, and SMEs in robotics, marine technology, marine science, and offshore industry, Robocademy will provide first-class training and research opportunities for ESRs. In well-defined and well-tutored PhD research projects, the Robocademy fellows will push the state-of-the-art in the area of robust, reliable and autonomous underwater robots.
Specialized scientific training modules will enable the fellows to obtain both a sound basis in robotics and an introduction to topics that are specific to their research areas. This will be complemented by a high quality soft-skills training programme for and the opportunity to gain extensive on-site hands-on experience through secondments to maritime industry and oceanographic research institutes. Thus Robocademy will foster the formation of young professionals that are able to meet the urgent demand for highly qualified researchers and engineers in the growing field of underwater systems and robotics.
For the European industry and scientific community, such specialists are crucial gain ground against competitors from North America and Asia. For the ESRs, the Robocademy training will open up excellent career opportunities in both academia and industry.


For more information, please visit: or


Job Posting Reference: Robocademy ESR-6
Post Type: Early Stage Researcher (ESR)
Start Date: October 2014
End Date: October 2017
Host Institution: University of Girona


Host Institution Description:
The Computer Vision and Robotics Research Group (VICOROB) of the University of Girona (UdG) is
devoted to the research related to the areas of computer vision, image analysis and underwater
robotics. Our team focuses its efforts in the study and further development of new algorithms,
methods and techniques of image processing needed for mapping the seafloor.


Background and Motivations

More than 70% of our planet’s surface is covered by water. Our oceans provide critical energy and food
resources, and drive the patterns of our weather across the globe. However, we know less about the ocean
floor than about the surface of other planets of the solar system such as Mars. For this reason, underwater
robotics is of great importance to explore and understand the oceans, as well as for monitoring the human
impact in the energy and food resources that the oceans offer us. The Deep Water Horizon disaster in the
Gulf of Mexico in 2010 underpins the oil industry’s desire to install, operate and decommission its
infrastructure particularly in deep water as well as the environmental risks associated with subsea
operations. Unmanned robots perform inspection, repair and maintenance tasks in a cost effective, safe and
timely manner.
As worldwide concern grows over global warming and pollution, autonomous underwater robots play an
increasingly important role in making the essential measurements that develop our understanding and
monitoring of key scientific phenomena. And as global threats to our national security grow, unmanned
subsea robots are now routinely deployed to investigate potential threats in economically critical ports and
harbours, and for humanitarian demining along our coastlines. Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) do
not only have to be sturdy and well-engineered. More importantly, they have to be equipped with advanced
cognitive and reasoning capabilities to perceive and understand their environment and to act accordingly.
The underwater environment presents key challenges to the UUVs’ sensory capabilities, especially when
inspecting submerged structures in a dynamic environment such as an anchor chain on an oil platform
(FPSO). Although the underwater medium presents limited optical visibility, optical sensors present the
advantage of higher resolution and data rate with respect to acoustics when inspections are to be carried out
at short range.


Aims and Objectives

  • Develop new algorithms for image enhancement to compensate the effects of the medium (absorption and scattering)
  • Develop new algorithms for optical mapping in a dynamic environment.


Expected Outcomes

  • New algorithms and approaches for optical mapping of submerged structures validated in real scenarios using UdG underwater robots.


Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Main research tasks:
    • Development of new solutions for:
      • Image enhancement
      •  Mapping in dynamic environments in which some of the mapped objects may change their position
  • Responsibilities:
      • The main responsibility of the PhD candidate will be to carry out the above described research
      • Participation in training events and meetings within the network and at international conferences outside the network
      • Participation in organization of the Local Training Workshop



      • PhD thesis by the end of the project
      • Publication of peer review scientific papers.


Secondments and Internships

Two secondments are planned: The first one (4 months) at NERC to learn about optical mapping algorithms developed by the National Oceanographic Centre, Southampton, and the second one (3 months) at CMRE to work with ESR8


Person Specifications Educational and/or Professional Qualifications


A successful candidate must hold a Masters degree in Physics, Computer Science, Planetary Science, Mathematics or related fields.


Experience and Training
Previous research experience is a plus.


A candidate should have good oral and written communication skills in English. Good programming skills are required.


Personal Attributes
We are looking forward for a talented and highly motivated candidate. He/she should have an independent and well-structured working style, but has to be able to work in teams as well.
Early-Stage Researchers (ESR) must, at the time of recruitment, be in the first of four years (of full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. The post of Early-Stage Researcher is for 36 months, and my be done in conjunction with a doctoral degree.
For all available positions, at the time of recruitment, applicants must not have resided or carried out the main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of the host institution (defined as the research institution or company cited in the job posting) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. The applicant must not have spent more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment at the host organization.


Person Specifications

Applicants must send: a curriculum vitae (CV) and a cover letter to stating clearly your qualifications for the post, the job posting reference number and title, host institution and research stream. They should also include two letters of reference from your referees. Any applications and general emails not meeting these requirements will not be considered.
Applicants can apply for a maximum of 2 different posts, with each post ranked in terms of preference. If you are applying for multiple job postings, please also indicate the order of preference.

If is not possible to send the documents by email, applications may also be sent by post to:

University of Girona,

Att. Dr. Rafael Garcia,

Av. Lluis Santalo, Edifici P4, 17003 Girona, Spain.

The deadline for the submission of applications is 30. July 2014
For more information about the research or host institution, please contact prof. Rafael Garcia (