Research Fellowships in Space Science


Postdoctorate Position 2 years Europe Wide, Europe Wide

Uploaded 29 Aug 2018

Job Description

The formal application period will start later in the year (about 6-8 weeks before the deadline), but if you are interested in applying, please read the summary below for information on how to apply.

If you have familiarised yourself with the content of the application process below, you can go directly to the ESA application webpages. As we are recruiting for both ESAC and ESTEC, there are two different job openings, so please check which one you need to apply to (ESAC or ESTEC).


The ESA Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Programme is aimed at providing scientists in the early stages of their career, holding a PhD or the equivalent degree, with the means to perform research in space science. The programme is open to suitably qualified applicants who have completed their PhD (or equivalent) or will have completed it by the start of the fellowship (autumn 2019). Preference will be given to applications submitted by candidates within five years of receiving their PhD and nationals from under-represented states at ESA.

About 8 positions shall be offered for this call, shared between ESAC (Spain) and ESTEC (Netherlands).

Short ESA video clips about the ESA research fellowship programme:


As part of their mandate, the Scientific Support Office at ESTEC and the Science Operations Department at ESAC conduct research programmes covering many areas of space science. These research activities are coordinated by the ESA Science Faculty, a body made up by the scientists in both places. Research Fellows are encouraged to participate in these programmes, which are led by the scientific staff (with the appropriate engineering, technical and administrative support). Research Fellows are in principle fully dedicated to scientific research and have no functional duties. However they may choose to spend up to 20% of their time on scientific activities in support of an ESA mission. Additionally they encouraged to take an active part in the scientific life of the establishments.

The research projects proposed by applicants for an ESA Fellowship should be related to ESA's scientific missions, to the space research programmes of the ESA member states or to the scientific activities of the ESA Science Faculty. A brief summary of the research activities carried out by Faculty members can be found :

RF candidates should consult these pages to identify which of the two establishments offers the most relevant environment for the candidate’s research proposal and to identify one or more staff members who could act as mentors. While certain research programmes can be pursued at both centres, in most cases the location of the mentor defines where a fellowship can be held.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to contact the identified staff members to discuss their research proposals before submitting an application.

Person Specification

The Research Fellow Programme is open to nationals of the following states: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Canada and Slovenia as associated member state as well as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Slovakia as European Cooperating States (ECS).

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