Welcome to the ESA Space Science Faculty


ESA’s Science Directorate employs many scientists (as staff or contractors), whose role is to support the development, operation, and scientific exploitation of ESA’s scientific missions. In addition, many scientists carry out scientific research, which is usually (but not necessarily) related to the specific missions they support.

The Space Science Faculty aims to promote scientific research and an exchange of ideas among its members, and to foster a productive scientific environment. Faculty members are active in a wide range of scientific fields, and maintain collaborations with many individuals and institutes outside ESA.

Faculty members are located at several ESA sites, the largest of which are ESTEC (in Noordwijk, The Netherlands) and ESAC (in Villafranca del Castillo, Spain). In addition, Space Science Faculty members are also located in the ESA Office at Space Telescope Science Institute (Baltimore, Maryland, USA), and at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, Maryland, USA). Staff of the Spanish Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), co-located with ESAC, are also considered part of the Faculty.

Faculty members have access to funding which is not directly related to ESA projects, but is meant specifically to encourage and foster scientific research by its members. This funding is used to support scientific projects, workshops, and collaborating visitors. For practical purposes, the allocation of this funding is managed by  elected councils at ESTEC and ESAC, with the smaller sites manged by, and contributing to, the ESAC Faculty council.

Postdoctoral Research Fellows (RFs) play a key role in the Faculty's research activities. RFs are employed for 2-3 years and may elect to be located at ESTEC, ESAC or STScI, depending on the topic of their research and their interests. Typically 8 new RFs are employed each year, and the current RFs pursue a diverse range of astronomy and planetary science.

► To apply to a Research Fellowship, please start with a visit to the call for Research Fellowships in Space Science for more information

► Learn more about the scientific research activities of our Faculty

► Meet our Faculty scientists via the Member Directory



To contact most Faculty members by email, please use the address in the form:



For queries about the Space Science Faculty webpages, contact the Faculty Webmaster