ESO Fellowship Programme Europe and Chile 2018/2019

Job Summary

Post-doctoral Positions and Fellowships
European Southern Observatory
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

ESO Fellowship Programme 2018/2019 - Fast track your scientific career at Europe’s leading astronomy organisation

Each year, several outstanding early-career scientists have the opportunity to further develop their independent research programmes at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere. The top calibre and highly dynamic scientific environment supports ESO Fellows in steering their career by gaining new skills, unique insights and valuable experience.

Fellowships are available both at ESO's Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, and at ESO's astronomy centre in Santiago, Chile.

ESO Headquarters is situated in one of the most active research centres in Europe, boasting one of the highest concentrations of astronomers. High calibre scientists, instrument experts, and other professionals are all within easy reach, providing fellows with valuable opportunities to start collaborations and learn new skills. ESO's offices are adjacent to the Max Planck Institutes for Astrophysics and for Extraterrestrial Physics and close to the observatory of Munich's Ludwig-Maximilian University. Additionally, ESO participates in the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Garching campus, which brings together nearly 200 scientists.

In Chile, fellows interact with visiting astronomers covering a broad range of research areas and have opportunities to collaborate with the rapidly growing Chilean astronomical community and with astronomers at other international observatories located in Chile. The ALMA building next to ESO's Santiago offices with its many astronomers and fellows further enhances the stimulating scientific environment available to ESO Chile Fellows.

At both sites, ESO Fellows are expected to actively participate in ESO's scientific life by proposing and getting involved in the organisation of scientific workshops, co-supervising PhD students, coordinating thematic research groups, joining scientific committees, organising seminars, etc.


The ESO Fellowship Programme

The fellowships positions in Garching are 3 years in duration. In addition to developing their independent research programmes, ESO Garching Fellows are expected to engage in functional work for up to 25% of their time. Previous fellows have rated functional work as positively influential in their career as it equips them with essential professional skills.

The fellowships in Chile are granted for 4 years. During the first three years, the fellows are assigned to one of the science operation groups of Paranal, ALMA or APEX, where they will contribute at a level of 80 nights per year. For ALMA fellows a fraction of their duties can alternatively be spent on data processing, participation in the ALMA review process as technical experts, software testing, optimisation and extension of the array capabilities. At Paranal, fellows have the opportunity to join an Instrument Operations Team (IOT).



The programme is open to applicants who will have achieved their PhD in astronomy, physics or a related discipline before 1 November 2019. Early-career scientists from all astrophysical fields are welcome to apply.



If you are interested in enhancing your early career through an ESO Fellowship at the most advanced ground-based observatory in the world, then please view the full vacancy for more information, and apply online, at

Please include in your application:

  • a cover/motivation letter;
  • a curriculum vitae with a list of refereed and accepted publications. Please include submitted and non-refereed publications as a separate list;
  • a brief summary of relevant experience (e.g., observing / instruments / algorithmic / programming / simulations / modelling) of maximum one page;
  • a proposed research plan (maximum of two pages);
  • the names and contact details of three persons familiar with your scientific work and willing to provide a recommendation letter. Referees will be automatically invited to submit a recommendation letter. However, applicants are strongly advised to trigger these invitations (using the web application form) well in advance of the application deadline.


The closing date for applications is 15 October 2018

For further information, please view the full vacancy and apply online, at


Compensation and Benefits

Included Benefits

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary and allowances (tax-free), comprehensive social benefits, and we provide financial support for relocating families. Details of the Terms of Service for fellows including details of remuneration are available at:


Application Details

Publication Start Date
2018 Sep 04
Application Deadline
2018 Oct 15