Want to become an ESO Fellow?

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Join a world-class Observatory!

We are looking for motivated young astronomers willing to combine their research activities with functional work for one of the many ESO observing facilities. All fellows have ample opportunities for scientific collaboration within ESO, both in Garching and Santiago. For more information about ESO's astronomical research activities please consult Science Activities page. The list of current ESO staff and fellows has information on their research interests. There are also lists of all former and current ESO fellows in Garching and former and current ESO fellows in Chile.

For information about the application procedure and employment conditions please visit the Frequently Asked Questions and Employment Conditions pages.

The application deadline is every year on October 15. To apply on-line, please visit the ESO recruitment portal.

Recruitment takes place every year between July and December.

What you can expect from us

ESO supports your research, skills and career development in many different ways:

  • We provide an induction program to help your smooth integration into the organisation.
  • The Offices for Science foster friendly and scientifically stimulating environments in both Garching and Chile where innovation and creativity are valued ingredients of everyday work. You are encouraged to take ownership of your fellowship as an aid in your career development, to openly express your ideas and to participate fully in their implementation. Both Heads of the Offices for Science maintain 'open door' policies and take a genuine interest in the well-being of Fellows.  You can also channel your concerns and opinions more formally through the Fellows representative who serves as a liaison between the Fellows and management. 
  • You receive mentoring from ESO Astronomers and the Heads of the Offices for Science concerning your research, development of your technical skills, and career development.
  • ESO has a Development Programme for Fellows to help them prepare for the next steps in their careers. The programme includes trainings such as communication and presentation skills, project management, basic people management skills, writing skills etc. Specific training and advice are also offered on crafting effective job applications and interview skills. You will also have opportunities to participate in or lead teams in different projects, and serve as mentor for Students. This gives you an advantage in an increasingly competitive job market.
  • You are encouraged to contribute to or lead the organisation of workshops and ESO conferences, which are funded by specific budget lines, and supported locally. Additionally, you have opportunities to work in or lead the creation of science groups, organize lunch talks and joint Astronomy colloquium, Fellows science coffees, Fellows Days etc.
  • Observing and science trips are well supported, allowing you to obtain new data to advance your research, disseminate your results, network with other astronomers around the world, and serve as an ambassador for the organisation - winning arrangement for both you and for ESO.

What we expect from our Fellows

You are expected to fully engage in, and contribute to, ESO's scientific and social environment while developing your own profile as researcher. You should be key actor in shaping ESO's culture and the organisation's development, and participate actively in the projects that further ESO's mission.

You serve as an ambassador for the organisation when attending to conferences, workshops, meetings and other professional or public events. You are encouraged to promote ESO's Fellowship Programme externally and to provide feedback internally to help continuously improve the programme.  

Last but not least, you serve as a role model for younger scientists (especially students) and support their development.