How to apply

Please note that the links to the ESA application ssytem are not yet active. We expect them to come live by the end of August 2018.

Fill in the online application form attaching to it (if you apply for ESAC, use this link, if you apply for ESTEC, use this link) uploading, your CV, your motivation letter and your research proposal. Your research proposal must clearly state:

  • Section 1: Title of Research Project (provide a short title for your research  project)

    Please make sure that you identify a staff member as a mentor. The list of possible mentors at ESAC is here and possible mentors from ESTEC here.

  • Section 2: Purpose of Fellowship at ESA (in about 250 words, give a very brief summary of your research programme and explain why it is relevant to ESA's science activities. In other words, why is it important that you do this at ESA?)
  • Section 3: Current and past research and future plans for the fellowship (use up to about 1500 words and a couple of figures, plus any references, to provide a detailed description of your current and proposed research)
  • Section 4: List of publications (list separately refereed and unrefereed papers, give authors, title and bibliographic reference but no abstract, unless the paper is unpublished)

For your research proposal, please use this Word template or this LaTeX template.

Take into account that applications wll be reviewed by a panel of space scientists who may not all be expert in your area. The evaluation criteria will be the scientific value of the proposal, the value for ESA, the realism and the productivity of the applicant.

Candidates must also arrange for up to three letters of reference to be sent by e-mail, before the deadline, to The letters must be sent by the referees themselves. The candidate's name must be mentioned in the subject of the email.

Applications satisfying the general conditions for eligibility, to be submitted by 1 October 2018,  will be evaluated and successful applicants will be invited for an interview.


Interested candidates are highly encouraged to visit the ESA website:


What happens after the application has been received?

Enquiries on the scientific aspects of the programme can be sent at any time to the fellowship coordinators.

Within six to eight weeks of the application deadline, candidates selected for an interview will be notified. Interviews will take place within two months.  Besides an interview, candidates are asked to give a short talk (15 min + 5 min for questions) to present their current and proposed research programme at a jamboree open to the whole science faculty.

During their visit, normally lasting two days, candidates are encouraged to interact with other fellows and staff members, to familiarise themselves with the ESA science faculty. Successful candidates will be notified by early February and normally fellowships commence in the autumn (September/October).

Note that it is required to have obtained a PhD before starting the fellowship.