Research Announcements

ESA issues research announcements at regular intervals. These announcements are the official access routes for institutional users to use the research facilities managed by ESA's Directorate of Human Spaceflight. Announcements of Opportunity are issued for each discipline: physical sciences, life sciences, technology, Earth observation and space science. Some announcements are coordinated with our International Space Station partners, for example in specific areas of life and physical sciences. These International Announcements of Opportunity allow for a worldwide scientific competition and cooperation, by forming the best scientific teams, as well as offering access to the instruments from all Space Station partners. The European announcements refer to pre-competitive application areas frequently involving European industries.


Announcement of Opportunity for Human Research Using Concordia station as Human Exploration Analogue

The Human Spaceflight and Robotic Explorations Directorate of the European Space Agency, in cooperation with the Concordia Steering Committee, is announcing an opportunity to propose investigations in medicine, physiology and psychology, using the unique environment of Concordia station as a Human Exploration analogue.

Concordia Station is a station located at a location called Dome C on the Antarctic Plateau, Antarctica, owned and funded by the Italian and French National Antarctic Programmes (PNRA and IPEV). The station has been proposed as the one of the highest fidelity real-life Earth-based analogues for long duration deep space missions, as it shares many stressor characteristics with long duration deep space missions, such as extreme isolation and confinement, and as such serves as a very useful analogue platform for exploration-relevant research.

Proposals selected through this Announcement of Opportunity will be implemented on Concordia station in support of human research questions that are relevant to prepare for ESA’s overarching goal to enable a human mission to Moon, Mars or beyond.

Interested applicants should be aware that this Announcement of Opportunity is not a funding opportunity, but rather opportunities to participate in research campaigns in a remote Antarctic polar station. Researchers are responsible for obtaining their own funding for these research activities should their proposal be selected by ESA. 

More information can be found in the links below. Letters of intent and proposals shall be submitted electronically to using the templates from this website.

Letter of intent: February 4, 2018
Proposals: March 30, 2018

The AO-2017-Concordia Proposal Workshop will be held on February 20, 2018 at ESTEC/ESA in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. This workshop takes place in conjunction with a Concordia Science Workshop covering results of past and on-going ESA-selected experiments implemented on Concordia station on February 19, 2018. 

Bedrest Call for Ideas 

Artificial Gravity generated by centrifugation via short-arm human centrifuges is considered as having the most promising potential to mitigate physiological deconditioning caused by prolonged exposure to weightlessness. ESA will embark on an ambitious bedrest programme focussing on Artificial Gravity as a countermeasure and thus invites the European science community to participate in contributing and shaping ESA’s bedrest programme through this Bedrest Call for Ideas.

The objective of this Call for Ideas is to solicit for countermeasure ideas, focussing on Artificial Gravity as the main countermeasure, which shall be implemented and evaluated in the next ESA-sponsored bedrest studies. Contributions shall benefit the ultimate goal of eventually leading to a more efficient and effective countermeasure concept for long-duration spaceflight. 

More information on the Bedrest Call for Ideas can be found in the links below. Contributions shall be submitted electronically to using the templates from this website.

Deadline: February 28, 2018
Workshop: March 19, 2018

ESA's new Continously Open Research Announcement for Investigations into the Biological Effects of Space Radiation

Exposure of crewmembers to cosmic radiation and its effects on the human body is considered as the main showstopper for long-duration exploration human missions and future colonisation of the solar system. To advance our knowledge of the effects of cosmis radiation and to promote identification of appropriate countermeasures, ESA invites interested scientists to apply to the new Continuously Open Research Announcement CORA-IBER programme . This open call allows scientist to make use of beamtimes available at 5 European state-of-the-art radiation facilities in Europe (GANIL, France, AGOR KVI-CART, The Netherlands, HIT, Germany, UPTD, Germany and TIFPA, Italy) to address topics related to Biological Effects of Radiation. Information on the programme, details on the participating facilities and how to apply can be found in the links below. 


Research capabilities offered by ground based facilities not only improve the preparation of space experiments, but can also further scientific knowledge of the basic influence of gravity or other space or planetary conditions on life-, physical-, and interdisciplinary- processes in general.

The advantage of using ground based facilities will also considerably increase the potential for experimenting under simulated space conditions as compared to real space and microgravity access possibilities, which at present are still limited.

This will allow for more comprehensive research programmes, making them compatible with Earth-based research activities, and will favour the development of a strong community of scientists from all disciplines keen to include space-relevant research into their daily scientific activities.

Fast-track evolution

In order to better respond to requests to access a ground-based facility, ESA has implemented a fast-track evaluation process for proposals with a maximum cost for ESA of 50 000 Euro. Proposals within that range are evaluated at any time, and independently of the classical international announcement of opportunities.

 - Continuously Open Research Announcement (pdf)
 - Continuously Open Research Announcement proposal form (doc)

Last update: 15 March 2018

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