ESO Summer Research Programme

ESO Summer Research Programme

ESO Summer Research Programme
Garching, Germany
1st July - 9th August 2019


For six weeks in the summer of 2019, ESO will host its first ever Summer Research Programme. This fully-funded programme is an opportunity for university students interested in astronomy/astrophysics, who are not yet enrolled in a PhD programme, to obtain research experience alongside astronomers based at ESO Headquarters (HQ) in Garching, Germany. In 2019, we accepted applications from promising university students from ESO Member States, Strategic Partners (Australia) and Host State (Chile). We received over 340 applications for just 7 available places; the applications were extremely high quality, and we were very sorry that we could not accept more students.

We are very excited to announce the successful applicants for the 2019 Summer Programme and the projects on which they will be working:

Aisha Bachmann (U. Bochum, Germany)

Project L: Understanding the formation mechanism of galaxies at their (ghostly) extremes
with Remco van der Burg & Jérémy Fensch

Abbie Donaldson (U. St Andrews, UK)

Project B: Comet evolution: from the Kuiper Belt to a dormant comet in the near-Earth asteroid population
with Rosita Kokotanekova & Anna Pala

Tania Machado (Technico Lisbon, Portugal)

Project J: Preparing for the Extremely Large Telescope: how will high-redshift star-forming galaxies appear with HARMONI?
with Anita Zanella & Chris Harrison

Marta Nowotka (Colorado College, USA)

Project A: Caught in the act: witnessing the formation of the most massive galaxy clusters across the cosmic time
with Chian-Chou Chen (T.C.) & Fabrizio Arrigoni Battaia

Samuel Ward (U. Durham, UK)

Project I: Modulated variability: a new window into stellar pulsations
with Richard Anderson

Matthew Wilkinson (U. Queensland, Australia)

Project C: Dark matter content of galaxies from globular cluster kinematics
with Prashin Jethwa & Laura Watkins

Francesco Zagaria (U. Pavia, Italy)

Project H: Kinematical study of planet forming disks
with Anna Miotello, Stefano Facchini & Carlo Manara


The Summer Research Program at ESO is an exceptional opportunity for students to work inside an institute that is both the headquarters of the most productive observatory in the world and a top-class research organisation. People at ESO's HQ maintain a very active research community and are also designing and operating cutting-edge telescopes and their instruments including: the VLTALMA; and the forthcoming ELT, which will be the world's biggest optical-near infrared telescope!  

The participants can choose between a wide range of research projects, covering many areas of astronomy from comets to cosmology. The ESO Summer Research Programme will also provide opportunities beyond research, including lectures, a mini-workshop, and many social activities; check out some of the planned activities. You should expect six weeks packed with new experiences, new networks and new friendships!

Travel costs to/from Garching will be covered for participants of the programme. Travel costs will be provided from the students' home institute, unless the home institute is not located in an ESO Member State, Strategic Partner or Host State (in which case the equivalent costs from the country of nationality will be provided). Accommodation will be provided free of charge in a shared apartment in Garching (with electricity, heating and internet all included). Students will also be provided with a modest stipend to cover living costs during the programme. Successful students have the responsibility to acquire any required visas to spend six weeks working in Germany under these conditions.

For inquiries about the programme, please email