Research Fellow

European Space Policy Institute

Postdoctorate Position Permanent Vienna, Austria

Uploaded 22 Oct 2020

Job Description

The European Space Policy Institute is looking to employ one or more Research Fellow(s) at the premises of the Institute in Vienna, starting in January 2021. 

The European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) is an association ruled by Austrian Law, based in Vienna, founded at its inception (2003) by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and supported by members including national space agencies, the European Commission, and leading space industry companies. 

The Institute provides decision-makers with an informed view on mid-to-long-term issues relevant to Europe’s space activities. In this context, ESPI acts as an independent platform for developing positions and strategies. 

ESPI fulfils its objectives through various multidisciplinary research activities giving way to the publication of books, reports, articles, executive briefs, proceedings or position papers and to the organisation of conferences and events including the annual ESPI Autumn Conference. Located in the heart of Vienna, the Institute developed a privileged relation with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and with a network of researchers and experts in Europe and across the globe. More information on ESPI is available on our website: 

Fields of activities and duties

As a member of ESPI Research Team, the Research Fellow is expected to support and/or lead different projects of the Institute. This includes research studies, events organization, sector watch, presentations and any other job part of ESPI usual activity. Given the multidisciplinary scope of the Institute the Research Fellow may address various aspects of the space domain including a) Policy & Strategy, b) Economy & Business, c) Security & Defence and d) International & Legal. 

Duties and responsibilities envisioned for the position include: 

  • Conduct of research projects, involving:
    • Literature review, information and data collection and compilation, stakeholders’ consultation through dedicated interviews or surveys;
    • Methodology and analysis tools preparation;
    • Comprehensive and thorough analysis of research topics;
    • Synthesis of results and recommendations in study reports
    • Project control and reporting to ESPI management, partners or customers;
  • Participation to ESPI space sector watch activities, tools and reports (see ESPI Insights and ESPI Yearbook)
  • Support to general activities of the Institute:
    • Conferences, workshops and other events organization
    • Working with other researchers and trainees of the institute on common projects
    • Participation to ESPI daily routine and meetings

Person Specification

For this position, ESPI is looking for applicants holding at least a 5 years degree with educational background in either Engineering, Political science, Economy, International Relations or Law. 

Candidates should demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of space institutions, of their programmes and strategy and of the main political, technical and economic trends affecting the global and European space sector. 

The following competencies and skills are required for the position: 

  • Excellent analytical and synthesis skills; 
  • Capacity to work both independently and as part of a team; 
  • Self-motivation and interest in continuous learning;
  • Good organizational skills based on an objective-driven mindset; 

Previous experiences in policy research, consulting or advisory would be an asset. 

The working language of ESPI is English. Excellent command of the English language, written and oral, is a prerequisite. A track record of articles, papers, thesis or reports written in English would be appreciated. 

For this position, ESPI offers a permanent contract under Austrian law. ESPI can only accept applications by EU citizens or non-EU citizens holding residence and employment permit in Austria.


    • UK National
    • EU National