Education and Training

ESO's education and training programmes take a variety of forms.

  • Through its Student, Fellowship and Associate Programmes, ESO has contributed to the training of large numbers of young scientists and engineers over the years. After spending some time at ESO engaged in cutting-edge research or developing some of the world's most advanced astronomical facilities, these people leave the Organisation, taking with them their accumulated professional experience. These benefits not only their future careers, but also stimulates the research in their home institutions and helps to improve the competitiveness of Europe's industries.

  • In 2003, for example, ESO employed 32 Students, 33 Fellows and 56 Associates under these programmes.

  • ESO has organised, either alone or with other institutions, many seminars, workshops and summer schools on diverse scientific topics as well as on technical fields such as adaptive optics and optics. These events also help to develop the scientific and technical competencies within industry and scientific institutions in the Member States.

  • Through its education and Public Outreach Department, ESO provides much information on ESO's activities and projects, as well as general information on astronomy. The main recipients of this material are schools, the media, and countless private visitors to the ESO web-site. The extent of the reach of ESO's web-site was evident during the 2004 Venus Transit which attracted some 54 million hits over an 8-hour period and delivered 1.75 Terabytes of data to the public and media.

  • A further instance of Technology Transfer through training is the professional experience gained by ESO staff through their employment at ESO. By working on projects that often press the limits of technical possibilities, ESO staff acquire a unique experience that is later transferred to industry and institutes when they leave the Organisation.