​ Announcement of opportunity for

Membership of the NewAthena Science Study Team


5 February 2024

Through the present Announcement of Opportunity (AO), the Director of Science invites scientists based in ESA Member States to apply for membership of the NewAthena Science Study Team (NASST).

Athena was selected in 2014 as the mission to implement the science theme "The Hot and Energetic Universe". During the study and definition phases of the mission it became apparent that the complexity (and associated cost) of Athena was significantly greater than originally identified, such that the mission concept was not affordable within the ESA Science Programme. This led to a re-formulation of the mission, culminating in what is now called NewAthena. As part of the re-formulation activities, ESA appointed a Science Re-Definition Team (SRDT) to support the definition of the science objectives of NewAthena, and to provide expert advice during the study activities necessary to define the NewAthena mission concept. The SRDT have now completed their mandate, producing a report on potential science objectives for NewAthena. The NewAthena mission concept and science objectives were presented to the Science Programme Committee (SPC) at their meeting in November 2023, during which the SPC approved the start of the NewAthena study phase.

The NASST will define the science requirements of the mission and will support ESA on all aspects of the study phase related to the science return of NewAthena. ESA will appoint up to eight members to the NASST, through this AO. These members will be appointed for a period of three years, renewable, or until mission adoption, whichever comes first. With the exception of expenses incurred while travelling to in-person NASST meetings, ESA will not fund any of the selected candidates’ activities related to the present appointment. Additional members of the NASST are nominated by the instrument consortia and international partner agencies.

The AO is open to scientists based in ESA Member States. Early career scientists and historically under-represented groups in astronomy and space sciences are encouraged to apply.

Full details of this AO can be found in the Announcement of Opportunity for Membership of theNewAthena Science Study Team document.


Letter of Intent and Proposal Submission forms

Proposals in response to this AO must be preceded by a mandatory Letter of Intent. Proposals not preceded by a Letter of Intent will not be considered. The Letters of Intent and Proposals must be submitted using the online forms – see links to the forms below or in the top menu.

Letter of Intent Submission Form
The deadline for receipt of your Letter of Intent was:
21 February 2024, 12:00 (noon) CET


Proposal Submission Form
The deadline for receipt of your proposal was:
20 March 2024, 12:00 (noon) CET


Schedule for this AO and important dates

Activity Date
AO for Membership of the NewAthena Science Study Team issued 5 February 2024
Mandatory Letters of Intent due 21 February 2024, 12:00 (noon) CET
Deadline for receipt of Proposals 20 March 2024, 12:00 (noon) CET
Appointment of selected scientists April 2024



Requests for further information should be addressed to:

Paul McNamara
​​​​Astronomy and Astrophysics Coordinator
2200 AG Noordwijk
The Netherlands
e-mail: Paul.McNamara@esa.int


Last updated: 20 March 2024


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