SmarT sub-pixel URban flood Mapping from open earth observation and crowdsourcing


STURM is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) project at WEO in Luxembourg.


Floods are major natural disasters with severe impacts in urban areas, where the confluence of increasingly high population densities, intricate infrastructures, and the escalating effects of climate change trends exacerbate the risk.
Reliable and timely monitoring is critical for urban flood resilience in terms of pre-disaster preparedness, emergency response, and post-disaster relief.
Remote Sensing techniques hold the potential to accurately assess flood extent; however, data can be expensive and inaccessible. Open Remote Sensing harbors untapped potential due to its relatively coarse resolution. Furthermore, recent strides in deep learning-based computer vision techniques, coupled with novel observational opportunities, offer a promising avenue for gathering valuable insights on flood extent and depth, amalgamating RS and data-driven approaches.


The STURM project aims to advance urban flood resilience research by combining open-source Sentinel imagery from remote sensing and crowdsourced semantic and visual data through deep learning techniques. The primary objective is to overcome the constraints of spatial resolution and data scarcity, enriching our understanding of urban flood dynamics. This project aspires to leverage the capabilities of emerging observation systems, providing a globally consistent, open-source framework for comprehensive multi-source observations of hydroclimatic hazardous events in urban areas. By doing so, STURM aims to foster enhanced flood resilience strategies and address the hydrological challenges of the 2030s and beyond.


STURM employs an innovative methodology that harnesses the power of deep learning and data fusion to achieve accurate urban flood extent and depth mapping. By leveraging open RS Sentinel imagery and integrating crowdsourced semantic and visual data, this approach overcomes the limitations imposed by conventional spatial resolution. The project's novel data fusion paradigm enables sub-pixel mapping and precise measurements from street-level images, offering insights into hydroclimatic events that were previously unattainable. The state-of-the-art AI-based pipeline ensures efficient utilization of globally accessible data sources while minimizing the consumption of human and economic resources. This methodology not only promises wide-ranging applicability but also provides an essential benchmark for the validation of existing hydrological models.


STURM is an EU-funded R&I project funded under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Postdoctoral Fellowships - European Fellowships (Grant agreement ID: 101105589) and hosted at WEO.

Project Timeline


A continually revised collection of tips, materials, and links for
writing a winning MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship proposal &
navigating project implementation.

The 2023 call for MSCA-PF is now closed.
The next call will open on 9 April 2024.

Who, what, and where, by what helpe, and by whose:
Why, how, and when, doe many things disclose.

Thomas Wilson, The Arte of Rhetorique.

The insights shared here emerge from my personal journey, and are continually enriched through conversations with other MSCA fellows and with those who aspire to become so. Keep those essential questions "What? Why? How? Where? When? Who? By what means?" in mind. Let these queries shape your decisions, whether you're picking a host institution or writing your proposals and reports. Stay curious and receptive to new ideas as an opportunity for growth and innovation. Cultivate appreciation and love for your research as the driving force when faced with challenges. Prioritise your well-being, emotional, and mental health as a solid foundation for success and satisfaction. Feel free to get in touch if you believe something should find a place here: every input is warmly welcome!

Begin by familiarising yourself with the critical research themes and societal challenges that the EU aims to address within the scope of EU Horizon Europe. Thoroughly explore the MSCA programme's official website, which provides all the relevant documents and information, including eligibility criteria, guidelines, and templates. Harmonise your research ambitions with both the EU's research priorities and policy objectives, as well as the MSCA programme's core objectives and mandatory requirements. Aligning your proposal within these broader frameworks will enhance its relevance and potential impact, simultaneously increasing its chances of securing funding. Note that this approach implies that you're not solely seeking financial support; you're actively striving to contribute to the advancement of research and the pursuit of innovation and societal progress.

Finding an appropriate host institution and an inspiring supervisor involves more than considering their prestige, equipment, and scientific profile; it's also about finding alignment with your research values, fostering a collaborative and comfortable environment. The process takes audacity: use the EURAXESS portal, inspect the CORDIS portal, leverage your personal and academic network, or reach out directly to researchers and innovator you admire. Break free from the confines of academic options: any institution, whether public or private, academic or not, and based in Europe, has the potential to be a host for your MSCA PF. A harmonious match between you, the host and the supervisor is essential for a rewarding experience: a supportive team who aligns with your research interests and is dedicated to nurturing your growth can significantly impact your project's success and your personal development. When considering the hosting country, ensure that it meets eligibility criteria and aligns with your lifestyle preferences. Be mindful of varying financial aspects based on country contracts and institutions, while keeping in mind that higher taxes in Europe contribute to vital social services - including research funding - offering benefits like healthcare and education. Use online resources (e.g. Numbeo, Data World) to gain insights into the cost of living and overall quality of life. The value you gain from MSCA extends far beyond monetary compensation; it provides prestige, networking opportunities, and enduring value for your future pursuits. Embrace the journey with enthusiasm.

Participate in webinars, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and relevant courses to expand your knowledge and enhance your skills. Various institutions, including National Contact Points, universities, research institutes, and even private companies, offer both paid and free learning resources tailored to EU project, storytelling, scientific writing, project management, and other related topics. These educational opportunities provide valuable insights into proposal development, research methodologies, and effective communication. By investing in your learning journey, you not only sharpen your proposal-writing, but also equip yourself with the tools needed to excel in your research. Stay proactive in seeking out these resources to bolster your project proposal's quality and increase its chances of success.

When crafting your MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship proposal, factor in gender dimensions and other diversity aspects within your research. While some projects might seem gender-neutral and diversity neutral at first, deeper analysis often reveals hidden biases. For instance, consider studies involving AI algorithms. Without deliberate attention, these systems can perpetuate stereotypes in their decision-making processes, highlighting the need to integrate fairness and inclusivity. Embracing such considerations enhances the societal impact of your research and fosters a more diverse and equitable research landscape.

Open science is a policy priority for the European Commission and thus mandatory for all funded research and innovation programs. This means that, as a researcher, you have a responsibility to make your data, methodologies, and findings openly available. In your proposal, explicitly and precisely state the open science aspects by addressing the following:
  • What will be openly accessible, whether datasets, code, interviews, experiment protocols, papers, and other outputs.
  • When the outputs will become available, with reference to your Gantt chart.
  • Where the outputs will be accessible by mentioning the specific repositories.
  • How the outputs will be accessed and used, with the type of license and the open access policy you intend to implement.
Furthermore, consider the many advantages of utilizing open-source tools: cost-effectiveness, reliability, accessibility, freedom, transparency, and knowledge sharing. For example, every element on this website, from the logo to the HTML structure, was created using open-source software and resources.

Follow the provided template diligently to structure your proposal effectively. Every section serves a purpose, so ensure you address each requirement. Be concise yet comprehensive in your content. Avoid redundancy and stay focused on showcasing your project's significance, objectives, and methodology within the allocated space. Where appropriate, use bullet points, tables, and figures to convey information effectively. Employ visual aids strategically: a color palette can be very helpful, but make sure the colors are understandable when printed, including black and white versions. Literature references in footnotes can be font sise 8 or 9 and can be arranged in two columns to save space. References to previously published works by you or your supervisor should be emphasised. If you're using Zotero or another reference manager tool that handles Citation Style Language (CSL), you can download the CSL file that I've customised for my MSCA proposal. . This citation style includes only essential information: the first author, year of publishing (to underline the recentness of the literature), and a persistent identifier (see EU policy), such as the DOI or the URL in case a DOI is unavailable. If the reference is repeated, the note will report “see ref. x”. A well-organised proposal that makes efficient use of space not only facilitates reviewers' work but also reflects your ability to prioritise and communicate essential information concisely.
Horizon Europe

Explore the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation until 2027.


Learn about the different types of MSCA funding and actions available.


Find job, funding, and hosting opportunities in Europe.

Cordis portal

Explore the official database of EU-funded projects and result.

Openaire - FAIR

Learn how to make your research data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable).

Openaire - DMP

Learn how to make Data Management Plans.

Yellow Window Toolkit

Learn how to make gender-sensitive research.

Guide for Applicants

Download the guide for applicants to MSCA-PF.

MSCA-NET Handbook

Download the handbook by MSCA-NET, the EU-funded project of National Contact Points (NCP).

REA short guide

Check the most frequent mistakes in the PF proposal submission.

Career development plan guide

Download the handbook aimed at First Stage and Recognised Researchers.

Condensed reference style

Download the citation style customised for STURM proposal.


Stay tuned for updates on STURM progress and achievements.
The main research outputs and deliverables will be managed according to the FAIR principles.

New Content!
Data & Code
Coming soon
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Nicla M. Notarangelo

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow
Principal Investigator


Charlotte Wirion




Host Organization

Contact Us



Luxembourg-City Incubator

WEO Luxembourg-City Incubator
9 rue du Laboratoire
L-1911 Luxembourg