ESOCast 165: Fast-Track Your Career with the ESO Fellowship Programmes

19 juin 2018

Each year, several outstanding early-career scientists have the opportunity to further develop their independent research through post-doctoral programmes at ESO. The ESO Fellowship Programme is available both in Chile and Germany. Applications open in summer and the deadline is 15 October.

ESOCast 165 delves into life as an ESO Fellow, and explores the opportunities, experiences, and benefits ESO Fellows can enjoy working in the world’s foremost intergovernmental ground-based astronomy organisation.

With this programme ESO Fellows develop their scientific profiles, benefiting from a rich scientific environment. They also work independently to develop their own research projects and contribute effectively to collaborative scientific endeavours, while preparing to take on higher scientific, administrative or managerial responsibilities in future positions.

At ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany, Fellowships are granted for three years. Fellows spend at least 75% of their time on their scientific research, while up to 25% of their time is dedicated to support or development activities in various areas, including instrumentation, operations support, archive/virtual observatory, public outreach or science operations at ESO’s various observatories in Chile.

In Chile, the Fellowships last a total of four years. Fellows benefit from a dynamic research environment at ESO’s astronomy centre in Santiago. Every year, some of the best astronomers come here to work, observe or participate in conferences. During their first three years, Fellows are assigned to one of three science operations groups — Paranal, ALMA or APEX — where they will spend 80 nights a year contributing to the operation of ESO’s telescopes. This is a major advantage for Fellows in Chile, as such experience helps them better understand the instruments and their capabilities, as well as letting them write better observing proposals. Fellows may choose to spend their fourth year at ESO's astronomy centre in Santiago, ESO Headquarters in Garching, or at any astronomy/astrophysics institute in an ESO member state.

Regardless of which programme ESO fellows choose, they are fully supported to conduct frontline research and are equipped with essential practical skills for later in their careers. In a recent survey of ESO’s current and past fellows, 90% of respondents said that they found their functional duties benefited their career, and 94% said that they had learned skills which they use in their current job.

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Richard Hook
ESO Public Information Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
Cell: +49 151 1537 3591

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Screenshot of ESOcast 165
Screenshot of ESOcast 165


ESOcast 165: Fast Track Your Career with the ESO Fellowship Programmes
ESOcast 165: Fast Track Your Career with the ESO Fellowship Programmes