Announcement of Opportunity for
Interdisciplinary Scientists and Guest Investigators
in the BepiColombo mission


The outcome of this Announcement of Opportunity was that the following scientists were appointed:

Interdisciplinary Scientists (listed in alphabetical order)
Nancy Chabot, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, USA
Bernard Charlier, University of Liege, Belgium
Shunichi Kamata, Hokkaido University, Japan
Francois Leblanc, LATMOS/CNRS, Sorbonne Université, France
Anna Milillo, INAF/IAPS, Italy
Nicola Tosi, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany

Guest Investigators (listed in alphabetical order)
Nina Dresing, IEAP, University of Kiel, Germany
Kandis-Lea Jessup, Southwest Research Institute, USA
Tomoki Kimura, Tohoku University, Japan
Yeon Joo Lee, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
Beatriz Sanchez-Cano, University of Leicester, United Kingdom
Menelaos Sarantos, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA


13 May 2019

This Announcement of Opportunity (AO) solicits the participation of the scientific community as Interdisciplinary Scientists or Guest Investigators in the BepiColombo mission, to augment the scientific return of the mission as a whole.

BepiColombo is an interdisciplinary mission to the planet Mercury, carried out as a joint project between ESA and JAXA. It consists of two orbiters, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), which are dedicated to the detailed study of the planet and its magnetosphere.

The BepiColombo mission was launched on 20 October 2018. Arrival at Mercury and start of the science exploitation phase are expected in December 2025 and April 2026, respectively. The duration of the nominal science operations is 1 year.

The aim of this AO is to appoint up to six Interdisciplinary Scientists (IDS) and up to 11 Guest Investigators (GI) for the BepiColombo mission. The IDSs and the GIs will be appointed for a first period of three years, renewable. An IDS or GI appointment is ad personam. ESA will not fund the activities of the IDSs or the GIs (travel costs to attend meetings, etc.) and each proposer is responsible for securing his/her own funding.

This call is open to scientists based in ESA Member States, Japan and USA. Principal Investigators and Co-Principal Investigators of the BepiColombo instrument teams are excluded from this call, while Co-Investigators are eligible for IDS positions, but not for GI positions.

Full details, including the tasks of an IDS or GI, requirements for the proposals, and evaluation criteria, can be found in the Announcement of Opportunity for Interdisciplinary Scientists and Guest Investigators in the BepiColombo mission document.

Submission forms


Letter of Intent Submission Form

Deadline for receipt of mandatory Letter of Intent was:

13 June 2019, 12:00 (noon) CEST


Proposal Submission Form

Deadline for receipt of proposals was:

15 July 2019, 12:00 (noon) CEST



The schedule for this AO is given in the table below:

Event Date
Date of AO release 13 May 2019
Due date for mandatory Letter of Intent 13 June 2019, 12:00 (noon) CEST
Due date for proposals 15 July 2019, 12:00 (noon) CEST
Appointment of Interdisciplinary Scientists and Guest Investigators October 2019



Further queries should be addressed to:

Luigi Colangeli
Head of the Science Coordination Office
Directorate of Science
ESA/ESTEC - Noordwijk, The Netherlands


Masaki Fujimoto
Deputy Director General


Last updated: 15 July 2019


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