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 :
- For ESAC on the ESAC research areas page and the ESAC Faculty research groups web page
- For ESTEC on the ESTEC faculty research and the ESTEC research programme overview page.
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.