Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

If you are a citizen of one of the ESA Member States (currently Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom)  or a citizen of one of the co-operating states (Canada, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia), you can apply.

Can I apply even if I'm not a national of the above mentioned countries?

Yes, nationals of other states with which ESA has a cooperation agreement  can have access to a one-year international traineeship, at the post-doctoral level, along lines similar to those of the research fellowship. The programme provides a subsistence allowance to cover the trainees' living expenses during their stay at ESA. If you fall into that category, please contact the fellowship coordinators for more information.

I don'T have a PhD (yet). Can I apply nevertheless?

Yes, you can. However, you need to have obtained your PhD before starting the fellowship.

I am a senior postdoc, can I still apply?

Yes. However, the programme is meant for young researchers, so preference is given to applicants who are within 5 years of having received their PhD.

How to apply?

Have a look at the 'How to apply' section, please.

I have some pretty nifty application prepared which I like to use. Can I Attach it to the form?

No, please don't. We receive more than a hundred applications for the fellowships and it makes our life much easier if you stick to the template.

Should I contact faculty members before applying?

Yes, absolutely. They can give you much more detailed information about their research and the research you can conduct during the fellowship than this website can.

What happens after I send the application?

The science faculty will review your application together with all the other applications we receive. If you are invited for an interview, we will inform you about six to eight weeks after the deadline. The interviews usually take place in early to mid-December. In addition to the interviews, you are expected to give a short presentation (15 min + 5 min for discussion) covering your past research and your future plans. The successful applicants will usually be informed by the end of January.

Where do the interviews take place?

We interview at both sites, i.e. at ESTEC near Noordwijk, the Netherlands and at ESAC, near Madrid, Spain.

I don't have travel funds to come all the way to the Netehrlands or Spain, can you help?

We pay for your travel and your stay. Even if you do have travel funds.

When can I start?

We encourage the research fellows to start in September/October.  There is some flexibility, but the general idea is 'in the autumn'.

Can I attend conferences?

Yes. You are actually encouraged to do so. Usually about three conferences per year can be attended.

What about a research budget?

Depends. Page charges for publications are covered (up to a reasonable amount), so are observing trips or research vists to external labs (again, within reasonable limits). You can also make use of the science vistor programme, that allows to invite external scientists to work with you for up to a few weeks. If you need larger amount of money for equipment, make sure that you mention it in your application.

What about the pay?

You will be paid. The exact amount depends on your qualifications and experience and if you are eglible for family and child allowances, but a good first-order guess is around 2500€ per month, tax-free. You will also fall under the ESA social security scheme, which covers medical expenses, invalidity and death beneifits.

I'm still confused.

Then contact us. We might be able to clarify things.