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Post Docs: Research Fellowship

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ESA / About Us / Careers at ESA

ESA's postdoctoral Research Fellowship programme (RF) aims to offer young scientists and engineers the possibility for two years to carry out research in a variety of disciplines related to space science, space applications or space technology. Applicants must have recently attained their doctorate in a field closely connected to space activities.


To see open Research Fellowships, look for those positions titled Internal Research Fellow among the ESA job opportunities.



  • Applications are accepted from nationals of ESA Member States and European Cooperating States, together with Latvia and Slovenia as Associated Member States and Canada as a Cooperating State.
  • 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.


Selection Process

  • Candidates are selected on the basis of their application to a Research Fellowship. These opportunities are published throughout the year.
  • If you are interested in becoming an ESA Research Fellow, you can find all current Research Fellowship opportunities the link above. Each Research Fellowship opportunity includes job profile, location and closing date. To apply, you first have to register and create your candidate profile. Once you have applied, you will be able to track the status of your application.
  • In addition to your CV and your motivation letter, please add your proposal of no more than 5 pages outlining your proposed research.  No application sent after the closing date will be accepted.
  • All the applications received are evaluated. Candidates selected for an interview are generally advised within two to four weeks of the closing date. ESA covers economy class travel expenses for all candidates invited to attend an interview.
  • The successful candidate will start the research fellowship on a date agreed with the recruiting manager, generally within six months of receipt of the offer of appointment.


Attractive terms and conditions

  • Contracts are for two years, with the possibility of renewal for a third year.
  • The monthly remuneration (basic net salary or take-home pay) falls within a predetermined range and varies depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. The remuneration also depends on the location of the ESA establishment where the fellow is appointed and ranges from €3000 to €3800 per month.  
  • Fellows may be entitled to an expatriation allowance and/or to an installation allowance on arrival if they meet the conditions of entitlement. Removal expenses are not reimbursed.
  • 2.5 days paid leave per month.
  • Health cover under ESA’s social security scheme.