Internal Research Fellow (Postdoc) in the Directorate of Science at ESTEC, ESAC or STScI

Updated: about 2 hours ago
Deadline: 27 Oct 2021

Research Fellowship Opportunity in the Directorate of Science.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.

Internal Research Fellow (Postdoc) in the Directorate of Science at ESTEC, ESAC or STScI

This post is classified F2.

ESTEC, European Space Research and Technology Centre, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, or
ESAC, European Space Astronomy Centre, Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain, or
STScI - ESA Office, Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

The opportunity

ESA's postdoctoral Research Fellowship programme offers early-career scientists and engineers the possibility to carry out independent research in a variety of disciplines related to space science, space applications, or space technology . ESA Fellowships provide a unique opportunity to work with scientists and engineers at the forefront of space science, and experience first-hand how ESA works with communities across the Member States to maximise the scientific return from our missions.

Our team and mission

The European Space Agency maintains a world-leading Science Programme with missions in heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics and fundamental physics. The Science and Operations Department (SCI-S), in ESA's Directorate of Science, hosts the scientists and engineers that oversee the space missions from study to end of operations; it develops the science operation systems for the missions and conducts their science operations in flight; and it archives and curates their data during operations and beyond. The Department’s main objective is to maximise the scientific return of the missions for the benefit of humankind. The Department also supports research activities, which are coordinated by the ESA Science Faculty. Research Fellows are encouraged to take leading roles in Faculty research programmes and initiatives, in close collaboration with scientific staff. The Research Fellowship programme nurtures and strengthens the links between ESA and the scientific communities in the Member States.

Research Fellows spend their time on their independent scientific research and can choose to spend up to 20% of it on providing support for ESA science-related activities.

Candidates are encouraged to visit the ESA website ( ) for an overview of ESA’s Science Programme.

Field(s) of activity/research for the traineeship

We welcome all proposals for innovative research associated with one or more of our missions (linked from the above website).  For an overview of the ongoing space science research activities at the different sites, and more details about the fellowships, please visit our website:

Candidates should consult these pages to identify which of the establishments offers the most relevant environment for their research. Candidates are welcome and encouraged to contact any of the scientists working in their areas of interest.

Technical competencies

Breadth of exposure coming from past and/or current research/activities

Knowledge relevant to the field of research

Research/publication record

Ability to conduct research autonomously

General interest in space and space research

Ability to gather and share relevant information

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


Applicants should have recently completed, or be close to completion of a PhD in a related technical or scientific discipline. Preference  will  be  given  to applications submitted by candidates within  five  years of receiving their PhD.

Additional requirements

• Cross-cultural sensitivity.
• The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.

Further information

Other information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.

In addition to your CV and your motivation letter, please add your proposal of no more than 4 pages outlining your proposed research in the "additional documents" field of the "application information" section.

At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities.  Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace.  The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us at .


Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Nationals from Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia, as Associate Member States, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria, Cyprus and Slovakia as European Cooperating States (ECS).

Priority will first be given to candidates from under-represented Member States. ( )

In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment

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