ESO Summer Research Programme


2nd ESO Summer Research Programme
Garching, Germany
2nd July - 11th August 2020



For six weeks in the summer of 2020, ESO will host the second 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 2020, we accepted applications from promising university students from any country, although priority has been given to students from ESO Member States, Strategic Partners (Australia) and the Host State (Chile). We received 293 applications for just 6 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 2020 Summer Programme and the projects on which they will be working:

Pablo Gómez Toribio (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain)

Project EComparing ground and satellite-based climate data for atmospheric studies of astronomical relevance 
with Tony Mroczkowski & Carlos de Breuck

Soetkin Janssens (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)

Project FRecovering the mass of the circumstellar nebula around a massive star at the end of its evolution
with Claudia Agliozzo & Neil Phillips

Zofia Kaczmarek (University of Warsaw, Poland)

Project BSearching for intermediate mass black holes
with Marianne Heida & George Lansbury

Katy Proctor (University of Western Australia, Australia)

Project DDistant galaxies in high definition - How starbursts and black holes impact the gas in galaxies 
with Gabriela Calistro Rivera, Gergo Popping & Paola Andreani

Yared Reinarz (Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile)

Project AProbing the atmospheres of outer worlds: transmission spectroscopy of exoplanets 
with Paulo Miles-Páez & Henri Boffin

Alina Vorontseva (University of Tartu, Estonia)

Project CNot going out quietly: variability in dying stars
with Nicola Gentile Fusillo & Anna Pala

We would like to encourage everyone who was not selected this year to re-apply to the next edition of the programme, as long as they are still eligible next year. Information about next year's programme will be provided on our website around November-December 2020. For any further questions, please contact us at

The Summer Research Program at ESO is an exceptional opportunity for students to work at 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 could choose between a wide range of research projects, covering many areas of astronomy from exoplanets to cosmology. The schedule of the ESO Summer Research Programme will also provide opportunities beyond research, including a series of lectures, a mini-workshop, a planetarium visit, an ELT instrumentation visit, and many social 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. 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.

An ESO Blog article on the 2019 edition of the Summer Research Programme can be found here

For inquiries about the programme, please email