Early-Stage Researcher in European Training Network, Wideband Optical Networks

Birmingham, United Kingdom
£38,850 per annum
21 Dec 2018
End of advertisement period
31 Mar 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

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

Wideband Optical Networks – Bismuth doped fibre 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 Bismuth doped fibre for a new class of wideband doped optical amplifier. The successful applicant 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 S.K. Turitsyn (AIPT, main supervisor), Dr. V. Dvoyrin (AIPT), Dr. E. Pincemin (Orange), Dr A Richter (VPI Systems), Dr A. Napoli (Infinera).

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, Orange (France), VPI Systems (Germany), and Infinera (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 Prof Sergei Turitsyn 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.


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:

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: