Postdoc – Boston University – Radio occultations of plasma environments in the Jupiter system

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Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
Department: Center for Space Physics
City: Boston
State/Province: MA
Country: USA
Contact Person: Paul WIthers
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: Boston University
Application Due Date: Saturday, October 01 2022

Postdoc – Boston University – Radio occultations of plasma environments in the Jupiter system
The Center for Space Physics at Boston University invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher position supervised by Professor Paul Withers. The research will involve (A) analysis and interpretation of radio occultation observations of Jupiter’s ionosphere by the Juno spacecraft and (B) planning for future radio occultations of Europa’s ionosphere by the Europa Clipper spacecraft. Depending on the candidate’s interests, analysis of existing observations of the various plasma environments in the Jupiter system may also be possible. Candidates should possess a PhD degree in a relevant field. Experience conducting research on planetary ionospheres or other plasma environments is desirable. The salary offered will be competitive and commensurate with experience. Funding is available for two years with the possibility of extension. The appointment is expected to begin as soon as possible after 1 January 2023. Please contact Paul Withers ([email protected]) for further information.

Applications should be sent by email to Paul Withers ([email protected]). The application should be submitted in PDF format and contain a curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, and contact information for three referees. Review of applications will begin on 1 October 2022. Women and underrepresented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply. Boston University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Research Scientist, Planetary Geosciences

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Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
Department: Planetary Science Section
City: Pasadena
State/Province: California
Country: United States
Contact Person: Cheryl Cooperstein
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Application Due Date: Monday, July 04 2022
Web Link:

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, invites applications for a newly created

research position in the Planetary Geosciences Group. The successful candidate will support

the Europa Clipper mission by performing geological analysis of Europa. Specifically, the

candidate will provide expertise in icy satellite geological mapping, analysis, and interpretation

as well as expertise in surface landform distribution and identification. The candidate will also be

expected to participate in formulation activities related to missions to the Ice Giants and their



Applicants should have a well-established record in planetary geology, evidenced by

publications in refereed scientific journals and participation in national/international meetings. It

is expected that the successful candidate will develop an independently funded research

program. Opportunities exist for participation in ongoing and future space missions.


This position requires the following qualifications:

  • PhD in planetary geology, or a related field.

  • Peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals planetary science.

  • Demonstrated professional reputation as a productive researcher with a track record of

  • publications in peer-reviewed journals, and presentations at national and/or international

  • conferences.

The following qualifications are preferred:

  • Experience with icy satellite structural analysis and interpretation.

  • Experience in geological mapping, and landform analysis and interpretation.

  • Familiarity with the Europa Clipper mission.

  • Experience in mission formulation and concept development, particularly in relation to

  • outer solar system exploration.

  • Experience on active planetary missions.

  • Experience obtaining grant funding.

To view the full description of this unique opportunity and apply, please visit:–Planetary-Geosciences_R2330

Applications received by July 4, 2022 will receive full consideration.

Section Manager, Planetary Sciences Section

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Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
Department: Planetary Science Section
City: Pasadena
State/Province: California
Country: United States
Contact Person: Cheryl Cooperstein
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Application Due Date: Friday, June 03 2022
Web Link:

The Planetary Sciences Section provides scientific leadership in planetary science and astrobiology, including small solar system bodies, life detection, and planetary habitability, via basic research, advanced instrumentation, and mission concept development.  We are seeking a Section Manager, who will lead the Section Science Management Team, and report to the Science Division Manager. As the Section Manager, you will have the opportunity to interact and partner with NASA and with senior JPL leadership in representing the Section, and be responsible for defining and implementing the vision for the Section as an organization and as a planetary science and astrobiology research institution.  In this role, you will develop deep knowledge on the multi-disciplinary work being done related to planetary science across the Lab and NASA, and forge new connections that will benefit both you, and the Section.  This is a full-time position with a 0.7FTE commitment, and you will be expected to also maintain your active scientific work.

In this role, your responsibilities will include: 

  • Developing, aligning, and interfacing the needs of various research groups within the Laboratory’s overall Division 32 Charter.
  • Representing the Section on scientific and technical committees and advisory boards, and Interfacing with the Laboratory’s management and NASA Program Offices. 
  • Developing comprehensive research and strategic plans that meet requirements and expectations of the Science Division, Solar System Exploration Program Directorate, and the NASA Planetary Science Division, to provide new and innovative opportunities for the research staff.
  • Recruiting and developing an outstanding, diverse, and inclusive staff, consistent with the Lab’s programmatic and administrative goals.
  • Working with Science and Business Management to facilitate all aspects of Section operations. 
  • Executing other ad-hoc assignments as assigned by Division Management.

Regular duties of the Science Management Team, as led by the Section Manager, include:

  • Fostering a favorable and inclusive work and research environment with a focus on mentoring, coaching, and professional development opportunities.
  • Reviewing and tracking proposals for internal and external research programs, as well as for competed instruments and missions.
  • Reviewing and tracking professional products from the Section, including publications, presentations, and reports.
  • Selecting and preparing research highlights representing science activities in the Section.
  • Improving and implementing recruitment and hiring best practices for Affiliates, Postdocs, and Employees.
  • Maintaining extensive familiarity with the professional work and expertise of Section members.
  • Reviewing and acting on Ethics-related issues such as Outside Activity Requests and mitigation of conflicts of interest.
  • Reviewing and overseeing Safety and Travel requests at the Section level.
  • Representing the Section in Science Division, Solar System Exploration Directorate, and other programmatic, strategic, and hiring meetings.
  • Representing the Section in professional training development activities and events.
  • Preparing first drafts of agendas, reports, and nominations for awards and promotions.




  • Typically requires a PhD in Physical Science, Biological Science, Engineering or Mathematics or similar disciplines, with a minimum of 8 years related experience.
  • Minimum of 4 years of demonstrated supervisory or management experience with Line, Program, or Project organizations.
  • Multidisciplinary knowledge in Planetary Sciences and Astrobiology, with a proven track record in developing, defining, and implementing an independent scientific research program.
  • Demonstrated scientific bona fides through an extensive publication record.
  • Demonstrated ability to secure competed external funding.
  • Demonstrated commitment to mentorship.
  • Highly developed leadership ability and teamwork skills, with proficiency in one or more of decision-making and delegation, change management, strategy development, and financial/cost management.
  • Has knowledge of industry and/or academic practices in support of diversity, equity and inclusion related to Planetary Science and Astrobiology research, and a demonstrated commitment to advancing improvements in this area.

Desired Skills:

  • Established experience and commitment to developing or supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Experience working with JPL Program Directorates.
  • Expert knowledge of Laboratory and NASA policies and procedures, and government regulations across a range of applications.
  • Knowledge of NASA HQ and Center science Programs/Projects and management practices and procedures.

Applications received by June 3, 2022, will receive full consideration.

Post-doctoral research associate in planetary atmospheres

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Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
Department: Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
City: Tucson
State/Province: AZ
Country: United States
Contact Person: Tommi Koskinen
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: University of Arizona
Application Due Date: Sunday, April 24 2022
Web Link:

The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) at the University of Arizona invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate position in the field of solar system planetary science. The successful applicant will join the Planetary Atmospheres and Titan & Outer Solar System groups ( and work in collaboration with Dr. Tommi Koskinen on the analysis and interpretation of Cassini observations of the upper atmospheres of Saturn and Titan. The Cassini UVIS instrument was used to probe these atmospheres during 13 years in orbit and the observations provide unprecedented constraints on seasonal change, energy deposition, and dynamics in the upper atmospheres of Saturn and its peculiar satellite.

The successful applicant will be expected to conduct a highly competitive program of scientific research, lead the analysis and interpretation of the observations, and write scientific articles for publication in peer reviewed journals. The minimum qualifications are a PhD in related fields and proven track record of research. Candidates with previous experience with statistical data analysis methods and/or radiative transfer applications with multiple scattering are preferred.

Interested candidates should apply to Job Posting #req9015 at Applicants are expected to submit a cover letter (1 page), Curriculum Vitae and a statement of research interests highlighting past achievements and future plans (up to 3 pages), and contact details for two referees.

Deputy Project Scientist, Europa Clipper

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Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
Department: Science Division
City: Pasadena
State/Province: California
Country: United States
Contact Person: Cheryl Cooperstein
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Application Due Date: Tuesday, November 30 2021
Web Link:

Job Title: Deputy Project Scientist, Europa Clipper Project

Location: Pasadena, CA


The Science Division of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Europa Clipper Project, managed for NASA by JPL, seek a Deputy Project Scientist for the development, cruise operations, and tour operations phases of the Europa Clipper mission. The purpose of the Europa Clipper mission is to investigate the habitability of Jupiter’s moon, Europa.  This mission seeks to address the NASA’s strategic science goal of ascertaining the potential for life elsewhere in the solar system by investigating the capacity of Europa and its deep ocean to harbor life. The mission is currently in its final system design and fabrication phase, toward a planned launch in Oct. 2024, arrival at Jupiter in 2030, and first encounter with Europa in 2031; the nominal end of prime mission is 2034. The successful candidate will be a highly motivated individual with previous direct mission experience and broad planetary science expertise.


The Deputy Project Scientist reports to the Science Division Manager and Project Scientist and has all the authority and responsibility of the Project Scientist in those areas they are tasked to work in, or when acting in the absence of the Project Scientist.  Above all, the Deputy Project Scientist assists the Project Scientist in responsibility for the scientific integrity and overall scientific success of the project.

Specifically, in close collaboration with the Project Scientist, and in conjunction with the Deputy Project Scientist from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the JPL Deputy Project Scientist will fulfill the following roles:

  • Assist management of the Project Science team, to ensure the scientific integrity and overall scientific success of the mission, ensure that the scientific return of the project is maximized within the project constraints, and coordinate with Europa Clipper science team members in making science recommendations to the project; 
  • Interface with Europa Clipper Project Management, Project systems personnel (flight system, mission system, payload office, project system engineering, and mission assurance), and NASA Headquarters representatives on programmatic and science issues;
  • Have key responsibilities for organizing and participating in Europa Clipper Science Team meetings;
  • Organize and conduct meetings of the Europa Clipper Investigation Scientist team, and interface with that team;
  • Assist in organizing Europa Clipper’s science leadership meetings (Principal Investigators, Deputy Principal Investigators, and science working group co-chairs);
  • Represent the Project Scientist at key project meetings, including project change control board, waiver board, and risk board meetings;
  • Lead preparation of science input to regular project reviews, such as: Project-level Monthly Management Reviews, Quarterly presentations, and Monthly Project Status Reports;
  • Generate and present science materials as necessary to support project reviews, and represent the Project Scientist in additional forums and presentations;
  • Assist in instrument science issue identification and resolution;
  • Serve as owner and custodian of science requirement documents;
  • During operations at Europa, potentially serve as chair of the tactical science planning group;
  • Organize workshops, conference special sessions, and special journal issues pertinent to Europa Clipper science;
  • Perform review and approval of project science documents for export compliance as an export technical liaison;
  • Assist in organizing science communications and outreach;
  • Assist in interfacing with the leadership of the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) science team;
  • Perform science analysis, including advising a postdoctoral and/or graduate student researchers.


Qualifications and Skills:


  • Ph.D. in planetary science, physics, geology, chemistry, astrobiology, or a related scientific discipline, with typically a minimum of 8 years of related experience;
  • Extensive knowledge of, and ability to represent, broad areas of Europa science;
  • Be recognized as a leader by the planetary science community, through a record of invited presentations, authorship of review articles, and service on conference organizing committee or to professional societies;
  • Demonstrate a strong record of planetary science research, through publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals;
  • Demonstrate ability to represent the Europa Clipper mission through science conferences, public talks, planetary science committees, and related presentations;
  • Possess technical knowledge of missions, instrumentation, and spacecraft;
  • Have recent experience working in a team environment, where consensus building was required;
  • Possess strong verbal and written communications skills;
  • Demonstrate a strong record of practices that uphold the values JPL focuses on, including openness, integrity, quality, innovation, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.


  • Demonstrated strong leadership skills through activities such as participating in or leading development of a scientific instrument, participating in or leading scientific review and advisory committees, or organization of a significant research collaboration;
  • Knowledge of NASA policies and procedures;
  • Recent experience that brings additional and complementary science and engineering expertise to the Project Science team;
  • Recent experience showing technical and science knowledge of a deep space or orbital spacecraft mission;
  • Working knowledge of several remote and/or in situ instrumental techniques as applied to planetary missions;
  • Familiarly with the Europa Clipper mission science requirements, instruments, and procedures in particular.

To view the full description of this unique opportunity (including EEO statement and NASA requirements) and apply, please visit:–Europa-Clipper_R1074. Applications received by November 30, 2021, will receive full consideration.

Planetary Astronomer

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Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
Department: Carl Sagan Center
City: Mountain View
State/Province: CA
Country: USA
Institution: SETI Institute
Application Due Date: Wednesday, January 05 2022
Web Link:


Position Title:                                                     Planetary Astronomer

FLSA Status:                                                       Full-Time, Exempt

Reports to:                                                           PDS Node Manager

Location:                                                              Mountain View, CA         

The SETI Institute is seeking a Planetary Astronomer to support the work of the Ring-Moon Systems Node (RMS) of NASA’s Planetary Data System (PDS). The successful applicant will be an integral part of the RMS Node Team, which shares responsibility for archiving, augmenting, cataloging, and distributing key data sets from NASA’s missions to the outer planets. The PDS ensures that the entire community of planetary scientists has seamless access to NASA’s archive of planetary data. The RMS Node’s primary focus is on data sets relevant to planetary systems in the outer solar system, including the rings and moons of the outer planets, atmospheric research, and astrogeology. Our flagship service is the Outer Planets Unified Search (OPUS), which provides powerful and effective cross-mission, cross-target, faceted search based on accurate and consistent metadata and informative browse products.

The astronomer will focus primarily on expanding the coverage of OPUS to support additional data sets, including those from Galileo, New Horizons, Juno, and the Hubble Space Telescope.  This challenging and rewarding role, which provides an important service to the planetary research community, requires both experience working with planetary data and skill at programming in Python, as well as familiarity with the SPICE toolkit.

Additionally, the astronomer will develop data processing pipelines to convert data sets currently archived with PDS into the more modern “PDS4” standard.  Data sets for this task include Cassini UVIS, Cassini CIRS, and Voyager ISS.

Full-time funding from PDS is available for this role, but may be decreased to as low as half-time if the successful applicant prefers to work fewer hours or maintain partial salary funding from other projects.  Indeed, the astronomer will be encouraged to seek additional research funding on any topic of their choosing including, but not limited to, topics related to the Node’s extensive data holdings.

The position offers exposure to a wide variety of NASA missions, remote-sensing instruments, and types of scientific data, as well as the opportunity to learn many technical skills. The successful applicant can expect extensive mentoring from existing team members so that they can be successful in this role as well as grow their career in exciting new directions.


  • Understand and characterize the data and metadata associated with specific data sets that are targeted for incorporation into OPUS.
  • In cooperation with other team members, define the relationships between the targeted data set’s metadata and existing OPUS search terms, determining whether any modification in the latter is needed.
  • Develop new software and use existing Python-based and SPICE-based tools to construct a software pipeline that integrates the selected data set into OPUS.
  • Develop data processing pipelines to validate existing data and metadata, and convert it into the new, modern “PDS4” standard.
  • Participate in team discussions about the latest results in planetary astronomy and related fields.


  • Experience with computer programming for scientific applications is required. Proficiency with the Python programming language is mandatory.
  • Familiarity with the SPICE toolkit is strongly desired.
  • Experience in scientific data analysis and in writing research papers for peer review is strongly desired.
  • A Ph.D. or equivalent career experience is preferred, but candidates will be considered with a bachelor’s or master’s degree with substantial research experience in planetary astronomy, astrophysics, physics, or a closely related field. 
  • A personal and demonstrable scientific interest in planetary systems is highly desirable.
  • Must be detail-oriented, proactive, and flexible.
  • Should have the initiative to work independently and as a team player.

Apply here:

Salary/Benefits: The SETI Institute provides competitive salary, excellent benefits including health/dental/vision insurance, a flexible spending account for medical and dependent care, vacation, and sick leave. The Institute sponsors a retirement plan option upon fulfillment of eligibility.

Diversity and Equity

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.

The SETI Institute is an Affirmative Action Employer and members of underrepresented communities and demographics are particularly encouraged to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ and people with disabilities.

Employment Details:

It is strongly preferred that applicants be prepared to establish residence in the San Francisco Bay Area by Spring 2022.  The position is based in Mountain View, California.  Applicants who cannot relocate will be considered, but this should be stated clearly in the application’s cover letter.

UCLA faculty position opening in experimental space-planetary plasma interactions

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Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
Department: Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
City: Los Angeles
State/Province: CA
Country: USA
Contact Person: Emmanuel Vincent Masongsong
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: UCLA
Application Due Date: Monday, November 01 2021
Web Link:

The UCLA Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences (EPSS) is accepting applications for a tenure-track/tenured faculty position in Space Physics at any rank/level. We encourage applicants from all sub-disciplines of space physics to apply, but we are particularly interested in candidates in the area of experimental space physics pertaining to the interaction of small solar system bodies, moons, or planets with solar winds or flowing plasmas (e.g., at asteroids, Mars, Uranus, or Galilean satellites). Apply here:  Reviews will commence on November 1, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.

We welcome applicants whose experience in research, teaching, and community/collegial service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to excellence and equity, diversity, and inclusion. Candidates are expected to hold a Ph.D. in Physics or a related field by the date of hire, July 1, 2022. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Research Scientist, Outer Planet Magnetospheres and Moon Interactions

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Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
Department: Planetary Science, Astrobiology and Ocean Worlds
State/Province: California
Country: United States
Contact Person: Cheryl Cooperstein
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Application Due Date: Monday, October 12 2020
Web Link:

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology invites applications for a Research Scientist position in planetary science, with a focus on research and instrument/mission development in the areas of magnetospheres, magnetosphere-moon interactions and astrobiology.  JPL is committed to fostering an enriching and rewarding research environment with strong support and coaching for professional and personal development.

In this position you will conduct planetary science research with a focus on modeling of magnetospheric charged particle interactions and other exogenous weathering effects, and applying such results to inform remote sensing observations and biosignature detection. It is expected that the successful candidate would develop an independently-funded research program and would pursue new mission and/or instrument opportunities focusing on the exploration of habitable environments in the Solar System, in particular the icy moons of the Ice Giant planets.

This position requires a Ph.D. degree in space physics, planetary science, planetary physics, or a related field along with expertise in outer planet magnetospheres and moon-magnetosphere interactions (ideally Ice Giants).

To view the full description of this unique opportunity (including EEO statement and NASA requirements) and apply, please visit Applications received by October 12, 2020, will receive full consideration.

PhD Positions in Solar System Science in Göttingen, Germany / Deadline 15 November 2017

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Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
Department: International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science at the University of Göttingen
City: Göttingen
State/Province: Lower Saxony
Country: Germany
Contact Person: Dr. Sonja Schuh
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research
Application Due Date: Wednesday, November 15 2017
Web Link:

The International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science at the University of Göttingen in Germany (Solar System School) offers a research-oriented doctoral program covering the physics of Solar system science. It is jointly run by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) and the University of Göttingen. Read more at

The science covered by the department Planets and Comets (one of three departments at the MPS) includes a wide spectrum of planetary research. We study the structure and composition of planets in our solar system as well as dynamic processes. The research includes the deep interior, surfaces, atmospheres and the plasma environment (thin hot charged particles in the environment) of the planets. The main focus lies in the research of the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars) and the gas giants (Jupiter and Saturn) as well as small bodies including comets and asteroids. We study similarities and differences among the various objects and compare them with each other to better understand the evolution of our solar system.

A list of open PhD projects in planetary sciences and cometary science is available at

Solar System School students collaborate with leading scientists in these fields and graduates are awarded a doctoral degree from the renowned University of Göttingen.

The Solar System School is open to students from all countries and offers an international three-year PhD program in an exceptional research environment with state-of-the-art facilities on the Göttingen Campus. Solar System Science is a key research area on Göttingen Campus, performed jointly with the nearby Institute of Astrophysics and the Institute of Geophysics of the Faculty of Physics, the Faculties of Chemistry, Mathematics, Geosciences, and the German Aerospace Center.

Applicants to the Solar System School should have a keen interest in Solar system science and a record of academic excellence. They must have, or must be about to obtain, an M.Sc. degree or equivalent in physics or a related field, including a written Masters thesis (or a scientific publication), and must document a good command of the English language.

Online applications should be submitted before the deadline of 15 November 2017 via

ESA Research Fellowships in Space Science

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Current state: Approved and Notify DPS Secretary
Department: Science Directorate
City: Noordwijk (NL) and Madrid (ES)
Country: Netherlands and Spain
Contact Person: Oliver Jennrich
Contact Email: [email protected]
Institution: European Space Agency
Application Due Date: Monday, October 02 2017
Web Link:

The European Space Agency awards several postdoctoral fellowships each year.

The aim of these fellowships is to provide young scientists, holding a PhD
or the equivalent degree, with the means of performing space science
research in fields related to the ESA Science Programmes.

Areas of research include planetary science, astronomy and
astrophysics, solar and solar-terrestrial science, plasma physics and
fundamental physics. The fellowships have a duration of two years, with the
possible extension to three years, and are
tenable at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in
Noordwijk, Netherlands, or at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in
Villafranca del Castillo, near Madrid, Spain.

Applications are now solicited for fellowships in space science to begin in
the fall of 2018. Preference will be given to applications submitted by
candidates within five years of receiving their PhD. Candidates not holding
a PhD yet are encouraged to apply, but they must provide evidence of
receiving their degree before starting the fellowship.

ESA fellows are enrolled in ESA’s Social Security Scheme, which covers
medical expenses. A monthly deduction covers these short-term and long-term risks.

The deadline for applications is 2 October 2017.

More information on the ESA Research Fellowship programme in Space Science,
on the conditions and eligibility, as well as the application form can retrieved from

Questions on the scientific aspects of the
ESA Fellowship in Space Science not answered in the above pages can be sent
by e-mail to the fellowship coordinators, Dr. Oliver Jennrich or Dr. Bruno
Altieri at the address [email protected]