European Space Agency (ESA) - Postdoctoral Research Fellowship programme (RFP)

  • Phd
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ESA's Postdoctoral Research Fellowship programme (RFP) aims to offer young scientists and engineers the possibility of carrying 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.

The programme gives access to the expertise of ESA for two years. You can find more information on research fields, specialists and contact details in the link on the right.

Would you like to do a PhD on a space-related subject? ESA is offering this possibility through the Network/Partnering Initiative (NPI).

This is a framework put in place for engineering PhDs initiated by research entities together with the respective ESA department. For more information please click on the link on the right.


Please note that you must be a national of one of ESA's Member or Cooperating States. You need to submit the application form and send the following documents by email

  • your CV, with detailed description of thesis and relevant experience
  • a list of publications, with bibliographical references
  • three references
  • a copy of the doctorate certificate or evidence proving that your dissertation will be finished within four months of the date of submitting the application
  • a detailed description of the research project

Applications may be submitted at any time during the year. The evaluation process of the applications usually starts in October.

Selection of candidates

Applications satisfying the general conditions for eligibility will be forwarded to the relevant establishment for evaluation. Successful applicants will be invited for an interview and normally fellowships start within one to three months of a positive decision being made.


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