The Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA) and the University of Lleida (UdL) are currently seeking an enthusiastic and motivated PhD candidate to join the Fruit Production Program (IRTA) and the Research Group in AgroICT & Precision Agriculture (GRAP) (UdL). We invite applications from ambitious candidates with relevant research experience and passion to conduct research and innovation activities on the Precision Agriculture to Understand Development Cinematics of Apple Trees (PAUCAT).

Supervisor/s: Dr Jaume Lordan (IRTA) and Dr Eduard Gregorio (UdL).
Job location: Lleida (Catalonia).
Full-time position (37.5 h/week).
Terms of appointment: The duration of the PhD Candidate contract will be for one year, extendible by yearly periods to a maximum of 3 years.
Salary: The financial remuneration for the PhD student will be €1,324.10/gross per month (€18,545.84/gross per annum) and for the fourth year it will be €1,655.88/gross per month (€23,182.32/gross per annum) which will be subject to the corresponding withholdings, pursuant to prevailing regulations, and to the collective employment agreement of IRTA(1).
Employee Benefits: 22 vacation days, 3 days of family & work conciliation, 45h of personal days, Friday afternoon off, Compressed Summer schedule from 15/06 to 15/09, Conciliation schedule.

Thematic Research Line:
In the framework of fruit tree physiology, the proposal aims to bring new knowledge in key processes that affect orchard profitability. What makes this project different is the research of these topics using Precision Agriculture tools. To that end, different types of photonic-based methodologies will be used, such as RGB-D cameras, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors, and photogrammetric techniques, among others. Putting all this together with climatic variables, will also allow us to elaborate development models to predict such different variables that play a key role in orchard profitability.
Tasks and Responsabilites:

  • The incumbent will perform a wide range of duties including laboratory and field work.
  • To evaluate different photonic sensors (RGB-D cameras, LiDAR) for their use in fruit orchard monitoring.
  • To monitor the apple tree development along the season by using photonic sensors.
  • To study along the season a series of parameters which are key to orchard profitability.
  • Writing of scientific articles. This thesis will be composed by a collection of articles.
  • Required qualifications and experience
    Candidates must hold one of the following degrees:
  • a) A Master’s in Agronomic Sciences, Electronics Engineering, Robotics, Industrial Engineering, Computer Science, or similar.
  • b) To be in a position to access a doctoral programme according to the requirements of Catalan universities, i.e. accrediting between 60 and 120 ECTS credits at the official university master’s degree level or equivalent.
  • Not to have a previous PhD degree.
  • Must demonstrate proficiency in essential computer software (MS Word, Excel and Power Point) and the ability to learn new software.

Desirable requirements

  • Any prior experience in matters of plant science, precision agriculture, RGB-D cameras, LiDAR and
    photogrammetry will be viewed positively.
  • Good statistical data analysis skills will be valued.
  • Good programming skills will be valued (Matlab, Python, C+, or similar).
  • Good communication skills, verbal and written, would be valued as well.
  • Proficiency in English
  • Catalan and Spanish are valued

Application process
If you wish to be considered for this position, please, apply via our Recruitment Platform to the job
post with reference October 7th 2022 and upload your CV and motivation letter. All information will
be treated in the strictest confidence.

IRTA guarantees an open, transparent, and merit-based recruitment process (OTM-R) to all registered candidacies avoiding thus any bias on gender, origin, age, ideology, or other circumstances that could be discriminatory. Candidates in a situation of social exclusion will be considered in the first place.

Please know that if you are the chosen candidate and you are from a country which does not belong to the UE, IRTA’s Human Resources Department will support you to get the residence and working permits.
(1) The financial remuneration of the PhD Candidate contract may not be less than 56% of the salary established for the category of Research Collaborator F of the Collective Agreement of the IRTA during the first two years, 60% in the third year and 75% in the fourth.

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