Early Stage Researcher FONTE-EID

Birmingham, West Midlands
07 Jun 2018
End of advertisement period
07 Jul 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

School of Engineering and Applied Science PhD Studentship (3 years) [Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), Innovative Training Networks (ITN), project FONTE – Fibre Optic Non-linear Technologies]

Development of new optical transmission methods based on nonlinear Fourier transform.

Applications are invited for a three year prestigious Postgraduate studentship as MSCA Early Stage Researcher, supported the School of Engineering and Applied Science through MSCA ITN European Industrial Doctorates project FONTE, to be undertaken within the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT) [] at Aston University. The successful applicant will join an established experimental group working on the applications of the nonlinear Fourier transform signal processing method for the fibre nonlinearity mitigation and the development of the new generation of extra-high-capacity optical networks and related concepts. Secondments: The studentship is offered in collaboration with world-leading industrial unit: Nokia Bell Labs (NBL), Stuttgart, Germany (no less than 18 months at NBL). The project research time and trainings will be equally split between AIPT and NBL. Close collaboration and visits to other three FONTE partners, Technical University of Denmark, Telecom ParisTech (France), and Technical University of Delft (the Netherlands), will be carried out along the project.

The position is available to start in September/October 2018 (subject to negotiation)


The successful candidates will be employed on a full-time basis with a competitive salary in accordance with the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions regulations for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) and the personal circumstances of the applicant. The successful candidate will receive a financial package consisting of MSCA living allowance and mobility allowance, together £32,750 pa. Eligible candidates will also receive an additional family allowance according to the rules of the MSCA.

PhD studentship bursary

Background of the Project

Nonlinear transmission effects in optical fibre are now a major limiting factor in modern fibre-optic communication systems. Nonlinear propagation effects make optical fibre channels very different from traditional linear communications channels such as wireless or copper cables. There is a clear need for radically different methods for the coding, transmission, and processing of information that take the nonlinear properties of the optical fibre into account. The nonlinear Fourier transform (NFT) that is to be used in place of the conventional Fourier transform, offers new opportunities for the development of fundamentally novel engineering techniques for the coding, modulation, transmission, and processing of information in optical fibre channels. The student will work on the theoretical development and experimental verification of new coding and modulations techniques for NFT-based optical transmission systems under the supervision of world-class mentors: Prof. S. Turitsyn (AIPT, main supervisor), Drs Y. Prylepskiy (AIPT), H. Buelow (NBL), and M. Yousefi (TPT). FONTE ESRs will benefit from cross-disciplinary joint supervision by world experts in optical communication in academia and industry.

Person Specification

FONTE is looking for candidates with exceptional skills in signal processing, optical communication or applied mathematics. Preferred skill requirements include experience in experimental work, knowledge of scientific programming and computing, physical optics, communications. Knowledge in differential equations, mathematical physics, numerical analysis, information and communication theory, or machine learning is an asset. Applicants with a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Physics, or equivalent, are especially encouraged to apply. The successful applicant should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification in engineering or physics.

1. Academic Entry Requirements

For applicants from non-English speaking countries, it is necessary to have taken either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the British Council IELTS test (taken no more than two years before the start date of your course). Minimum requirements are:

TOEFL IBT: 93 (23 in Writing, 19 in Speaking, 18 in Reading and 19 in Listening)

IELTS: 6.5 (6.0 in Writing Speaking, Reading and Listening).

Pearsons English language test: 63 with no less than 57 in each band

Further information can be found at

3. MSCA Eligibility

Applicants must be Early Stage Researchers (ESR), i.e. be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

Researchers 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 recruitment date.

5. MSCA Compliance Form [FONTE]

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:

Further particulars and application forms are available in alternative formats on request i.e. large print, Braille, tape or CD Rom.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact HR via