PhD positions: Bird Flight Research & Aerial Robot Design

Applications are welcome for fully-funded PhD positions to study how bird dynamically shape-shift their body to fly in turbulence as inspiration for developing advanced biomimetic aerial robots in the Biomimetics Group at Groningen University.

They seek PhD candidates who are passionate about curiosity-driven research, bioinspired design, and outstanding scholarship. The research instrumentation is world-class and includes a Wind Tunnel, Automated Turbulence Generation System, 3D High-Speed Videography and Surface Imaging, Automated Motion Capture, Particle Image Velocimetry, Anemometers, Large Volume Stereo Fluoroscopy (XROMM), 6-axes Load cells among other instruments and setups.
The PhD learning experience includes multidisciplinary experimental research, designing setups and robots, and multidisciplinary modeling to corroborate data. Soft skills include team-based research, high-impact writing, visual & oral presentation, networking, and career development.

Duration: 4 years


The tasks for this position include:

  • Conducting methodologically innovative, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary scientific research on institutional innovation in view of complex social issues in the physical environment
  • Designing a research proposal that builds on and fits with current policy-oriented projects in collaboration with their VU supervisors and commissioning organizations
  • Designing and facilitating interactive methods, such as multistakeholder dialogue sessions aimed at problem articulation and the joint development of solutions, followed by concrete actions and their management
  • Writing Englishlanguage research articles that will be submitted to international scientific journals for peer-review and will culminate in a scientific dissertation
  • Writing Dutch language, and informative articles for policymakers on the results of the research;
  • Teaching (up to 40% of the appointment) in the courses provided by the Athena Institute.


The PhD positions: Bird flight research & Aerial robot design offers the following

  • a salary of € 2,443 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,122 gross per month in the fourth and final year for a full-time working week
  • a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
  • a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
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Job Requirements

They seek candidates with

  • MSc degree in Engineering, Robotics, Experimental Physics, Biomechanics, or Computer Science / Life Sciences with an engineering skillset.
  • excellent writing skills in English with a demonstrated passion for scholarship
  • strong team player who also works efficiently independently
  • passion for scientific questions and engineering innovation
  • robotics research PhD: General Maker and RC pilot experience is a pre
  • bird research PhD: General experience with animals is a pre
  • the highest ethical standards including animal welfare
  • the overall quality, research motivation, and social skill set of the candidate are more important than the specific technical fit

Application Process

Interested applicants for the PhD positions: Bird flight research & Aerial robot design are to send in the following PDF files:

  • curriculum vitae
  • cover letter
  • up to three academic publications with a small PDF file size.

To apply for the PhD positions: Bird flight research & Aerial robot design, click here

Application Deadline: July 01, 2022.

For more information, visit the official site.

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