First phase: Essay
In order to participate, you are invited to describe your experiment idea in an essay of no more than 800 words (approximately one A4 page).
When writing your essay you should try to answer questions such as:
- What is the objective of my experiment?
- Why are the conditions on the ISS important for conducting my experiment?
- Why is my experiment interesting for the respective research field?
Please note that your essay shall be written in English! Essays must be submitted electronically via the Uploads page, which will be added soon to the righthand column of this page.
Second phase: Visit to ESA/ESTEC and detailed experiment proposal
A board will select a shortlist of about 40 essays to move on to the second phase of the contest. Selection criteria are originality and scientific merit of the experiment idea.
The authors of these selected essays will be invited to visit ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, where they will receive lectures about ESA, the ISS, experiments flown in the past on board the ISS, and how to write detailed experiment proposals. ESA scientists and engineers will give corresponding advice and will answer any questions the authors might have.
The visit should inspire and enable the students to write their more detailed experiment proposals. There will also be the chance to socialise and relax with other competitors.
The format for writing these detailed experiment proposals will be made available during the second phase of the contest via the download page on the SUCCESS website.
Please note that also these detailed experiment proposals shall be written in English. The detailed proposal should not exceed ten A4 pages.
Third phase: Award ceremony
A board consisting of scientists and engineers will review the detailed proposals and identify the winners.
All of the second-phase participants will be invited to the award ceremony, which will take place at a location somewhere in Europe. At this ceremony, the first, second and third prize winners will be announced.
The exact schedule of the contest can be found on the Schedule page. It is advisable to revisit the SUCCESS webpage frequently to check for any updates and the latest news.
If you have any questions, you can contact us via email at
success @ esa.int.
Last update: 21 September 2007