Remedy 1: Undergraduate, masters and doctoral training programs in Copernicus-relevant programs

Primary gap remedy type: 
Proposed remedy description: 

The exploitation of Copernicus data and services requires the training of a competent workforce of data providers, analysts, managers, and service provision experts. This requires a substantial increase in the number of relevant degree programs at undergraduate, masters and PhD levels. Via the Copernicus academy system, ERASMUS+, national programs, or other avenues, innovative teaching courses should be developed and shared to help develop competency in use of Copernicus data to derive products and services, including the use of satellite and non-satellite data and their appropriate synthesis / fusion / merging.

Perhaps most acute is training at the doctoral level, which provides the next generation of expert scientists capable of maintaining and improving the observational program and driving innovative analysis approaches. In many countries within Europe, there is very limited, if any, access to doctoral funding program support specifically targeted at Copernicus-relevant activities. Increasingly within H2020 / FP, and national projects, work seems shifted to postdoctoral and senior staff at the expense of doctoral training. There, hence, exists a looming capability capacity issue as the existing EO expert workforce is likely not being adequately replaced in time. The Copernicus program, along with other relevant stakeholders (a.o. ESA, EUMETSAT, national bodies), through the Copernicus Academy or other means, should facilitate a dedicated doctoral training program to questions relevant to Copernicus and dispersed via member states. This would enhance the ability of academic institutions within Europe to engage with Copernicus activities, while simultaneously training potential future researchers to support the sustained operation of Copernicus services. Such doctoral candidates and their supervisors would naturally act as champions of Copernicus within their institutions, potentially aiding uptake within the academic sector, and acting as a force multiplier.

Doctoral studentships are relatively inexpensive and offer an opportunity to explore issues in depth. Many of the gaps and remedies identified by both GAIA-CLIM are amenable to doctoral thesis type work. A targeted doctoral program addressing questions of mutual interest to host institutions and Copernicus would facilitate the provision of a sustainable programmatic capability while simultaneously better engaging academia within the programmatic structure of Copernicus. 


The exploitation of Copernicus data and services requires the training of a competent workforce of data providers, analysts, managers, and service provision experts. 

Measurable outcome of success: 

Increase in range of qualified individuals supporting the Copernicus program provision.

Expected viability for the outcome of success: 
  • High
Scale of work: 
  • Individually
  • Single institution
Time bound to remedy: 
  • Less than 10 years
Indicative cost estimate (investment): 
  • Low cost (< 1 million)
Indicative cost estimate (exploitation): 
  • Yes
Potential actors: 
  • Copernicus funding
  • National funding agencies