Visitor Funding Application

The ESA Science Faculty provides support for scientific visitors to ESAC (Madrid, Spain), ESTEC (Noordwijk, Netherlands) or STScI (Baltimore, Maryland, USA) with the aim of fostering old and building new science collaborations with the community.

Applications for funding are reviewed by the ESA Science Faculty Council based on written proposals which can be submitted at any time.


Process in a Nutshell:

The process can be completed by a scientist interested after discussion and agreement with a Faculty host, or by the host themselves.

  1. Host in the ESA Science Faculty identified
  2. Complete the application form:
  3. Email the completed form in PDF format with filename [YYYYMMDD]_[Visitor]_[site].pdf to at least 6 weeks before the visit
    • YYYMMDD is the submission date, Visitor is a name and site should be ESAC, ESTEC or STScI as appropriate
  4. The Faculty council will consider the application for approval
  5. For approved requests, the Head of SCI-E sends an invitation letter to the visitor
  6. The visitor makes travel arrangements
  7. The identified Faculty host will assist with local arrangements and ensure that the ESAC security guards are informed for badging
  8. After the visit, all receipts for flights, hotel and taxis (if needed) are sent to


Guidelines for cost:

  • Duration: The scope of this visitor programme includes anything from short (1-day) visits up to a maximum of 3 months. Longer (e.g., sabbatical) visits are in principle possible but need to be funded via different sources (please consult your host for details). Adding personal time, e.g., for sightseeing is allowed without, of course, covering hotel nights or per diem.
  • Travel: As first option, travelling by train should be considered. Travelling in own car is not foreseen to be reimbursed. If flights are unavoidable, only cheapest available economy tickets are reimbursed, and most efficient routes should be used. Combining the journey with other destinations is generally supported but the cost should not be higher than without other arrangements.
  • Accommodation: In Europe, costs for accommodation will be reimbursed up to 100 EUR/night, upon production of receipts. For longer visits (see also below), long-term accommodation such as an appartment should be sought to reduce total costs for accommodation. For visits to STScI, please include a well-justified estimate of the actual accommodation cost in USD/night.
  • Ground Transport: From airport to hotel and back, public transport will be reimbursed. Transport between hotel and ESA site should be organised economically, i.e., public transport or going with colleagues. Private car, car rental, or taxis require special justification in the original request.
  • Out of pocket expenses: A daily allowance of 50EUR is paid for out of pocket expenses including meals and snacks. No receipts are required to receive the per diem. The intervening weekend(s) will be paid for stays longer than six working days; shorter stays should be organised to run from Monday to Friday.
  • Long term visits: The ceiling for hotel plus per diem for long-term visits is 3000 EUR per month as it is expected that longer-term accommodation will be cheaper. Our experience shows that a good plan of the work previous to the visit greatly increases the productivity during the visit, reducing the need of long term visits. Visits lasting more than two weeks should include a detailed working plan that justifies why a long term visit is needed. For very long term visits (longer than 3 months) please contact the Faculty Chairs to discuss possible funding schemes.


Seminars for visitors

Visitors are expected to give a talk during their visit (e.g. as a seminar/breakfast seminar or ad hoc talk). Please include a title in the application form and ensure the faculty contact arranges the talk as soon as possible with the relevant organisers.


Expectations and acknowledgements

Individuals and groups who publish research which has benefitted from a Faculty Grant should acknowledge that support in their publications as follows:

"We acknowledge support from ESA through the ESA Space Science Faculty Visitor scheme - Funding reference XYZ"
The funding reference can be found in the acceptance email and the invitation letter to the visitor.