Early-Stage Researcher in European Training Network “Wideband Optical Networks”

Birmingham, West Midlands (GB)
£38,850 per annum
20 Dec 2018
End of advertisement period
31 Mar 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Early-Stage Researcher in European Training Network “Wideband Optical Networks”

Engineering & Applied Science

Location:     Aston University Main Campus
Salary:     £38,850 per annum
Contract Type:     Fixed Term (36 months)
Basis:     Full Time
Closing Date:     23.59 hours BST on Sunday 31 March 2019
Interview Date:     To be confirmed
Reference:     R180592 

Wideband Optical Networks – Raman amplifiers
Applications are invited by Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT) for a prestigious three year postgraduate position as Early Stage Researcher (ESR) within the European Training Network project WON. The project is supported through the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). 

Background of the project
Modern society’s relentless demand for internet traffic has driven massive growth in the capacity of modern optical fibre communication systems, stimulating a wide range of technical innovations, but the current system designs have now reached their physical limitations. The WON project seeks to exploit the unused spectral bands of single-mode optical fibre by developing the system concepts and components required to increase spectral usage from 5THz currently, to over 40THz. Consequently, there is a clear need for new approaches to optical amplification, which will be addressed in this project by exploring the promise of Raman amplification for a new class of flexible, wideband discrete Raman optical amplifier. The student will work on the modelling, assessment, and experimental development and testing of these new amplifiers for next generation wideband optical transmission systems, and will acquire highly sought after skills in numerical simulation, photonic component modelling and optical communication system design.  He/she will benefit from cross-disciplinary joint supervision by world experts in the field: Dr W. Forysiak (AIPT, main supervisor), Prof S.K. Turitsyn (AIPT), Dr. E. Pincemin (Orange), Dr A. Napoli (Infinera), Prof V Curri (Politecnico di Torino) and Dr. J. Fischer (Fraunhofer HHI).

The successful applicant will join an established group working on the application of novel wideband amplification methods based on Bismuth-doped fibre for the development of a new generation of ultra-high-capacity optical networks and related concepts.

Training and secondments: The ESR position is offered in collaboration with a consortium of leading academic groups and industry partners across Europe, and offers outstanding opportunities for training in optical fibre communications. Extended visits are planned to three WON partners, Infinera (Germany), Politecnico di Torino (Italy), and Fraunhofer HHI (Germany).  In addition to their individual scientific projects, WON researchers will benefit from further continuing education which includes a variety of training modules, transferable skills courses, and active participation in scientific workshops and conferences.

The position is available from April 2019 (subject to negotiation) for the duration of 36 months.

The successful candidates will be employed on a full-time basis with a competitive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for ESRs and the personal circumstances of the applicant. The successful candidate will receive a financial package consisting of the MSCA living allowance and a mobility allowance, together a sum of £38,850 pa. Eligible candidates will also receive an additional family allowance according to the rules of the MSCA.

Person Specification
ETN WON is seeking candidates with exceptional promise and skills in physics, applied physics, electronic engineering, or applied mathematics. Preferred skill requirements include mathematical modelling and knowledge/experience of fibre optic communications.  Evidence of relevant project work and creative thinking will be viewed positively. The successful applicant should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification in engineering or physics. Applicants with a Master of Science degree in Physics, Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Physics, or equivalent, are especially encouraged to apply. 

For informal enquiries about this project contact Dr Wladek Forysiak by email:

The successful applicant is expected to register for a PhD at Aston University and therefore will have to comply with minimum PhD Entry Requirements to be found in the section “Entry Requirements” detailed here. The position includes a PhD tuition fee waiver to the level of UK Home/EU fees. Applicants from outside the EU may apply for this studentship but will need to pay the difference between ‘Home/EU’ and ‘Overseas’ tuition fees, the difference currently being £12,005 pa in 2017/18.


  • BSc or MSc qualification in Engineering or Physics or equivalent. 
  • Experience in experimental work, knowledge of scientific programming and computing, particularly in the context of optical fibre communications.
  • English Language: Minimum requirements can be found in the section “English Language Entry Requirements” detailed here 
  • Comply with MSCA eligibility and mobility criteria as listed below.

MSCA Eligibility 
Applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers, and not have been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured FROM the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited) – even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged. Research Experience is measured TO the first day of the WON employment contract of the researcher.

MSCA Mobility 
Applicants may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the first day of WON employment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.

As part of your application form, you will need to attach the following documents:

  • Degree Certificate(s). If your qualifications are from an overseas institution please provide transcripts of the marks you have already achieved with your application
  • English Language Certificate if appropriate 
  • A copy of your passport (All pages) 
  • Completed and signed MSCA Compliance Form 

Additional studentships and speculative applications to AiPT
AiPT is always open to speculative applications from students to projects other than WON

The online application form, reference forms and details of entry requirements, including English language are available at 

Such applications must also be accompanied by a research proposal giving an overview of the main themes of the research, and explaining how your knowledge and experience will benefit the project.

Details of how to write your project proposal are also included in the How to Apply section, 

For informal enquiries about speculative applications and other opportunities within the AIPT, contact Prof. Sergei Turitsyn by email:

Aston University is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter,  recognized recently by a prestigious Silver Award to EAS. We pride ourselves on our vibrant, friendly and supportive working environment and collaborative atmosphere”.  

Please visit our website for further information and to apply online. 

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.