Want to become an ESO Student?

As an ESO student, you could spend up to two years during your doctoral studies at either the ESO headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany or ESO's offices in Santiago, Chile. As you would not spend your entire Ph.D. at ESO, you need to be enrolled in or about to commence a Ph.D. programme in astronomy or a related field. As a result, you would have Ph.D. supervisors at both the institute which will award your degree (“home institute/supervisor”) and at ESO.

How to apply

If you wish to apply for an ESO studentship, it is vital that you establish contact with an ESO staff member who could act as your supervisor during your time here. This will allow you, your home supervisor and the ESO staff member to prepare a description of the project you will propose. This outline should contain a clear summary of the advantages that spending time at ESO will bring to the project.

If you are interested in this opportunity to work at one of the world's leading observatories please apply online at https://jobs.eso.org/. Your application should include the following documents:

  • a Curriculum Vitae (including a list of publications, if any);
  • copies of your university transcript and certificate(s) or diploma(s);
  • a summary of your master's thesis project (if applicable) and ongoing projects, indicating the title and the supervisor (at most half a page);
  • an outline of the proposed Ph.D. project, highlighting the advantages of coming to ESO (preferrably one page, maximum two);
  • a letter from the home institute that i) guarantees the financial support for the remaining Ph.D. period after the termination of the ESO studentship, ii) indicates whether the requirements to obtain the Ph.D. degree at the home institute are already fulfilled;
  • and two letters of reference, one from the home institute supervisor and one from the ESO supervisor.

All documents should be submitted in English, although translation of certificates and diplomas is not required.

The closing date for applications is the 15th of June each yearTo apply on-line, please visit the ESO recruitment portal. Review of the applications, including the references, will begin immediately. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Candidates will be notified of the results in July or August, and successful applicants can begin their studentships between August and March.

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 in both Garching and Chile are friendly and vibrant scientific environments where creativity and innovation are encouraged. For more information about ESO's astronomical research activities please consult Science Activities page.
  • both Heads of the Offices for Science operate an 'open door policy' and are eager to listen to suggestions and propositions to improve the studentship, the well-being of students, and the scientific environment at ESO
  • as well as a formal supervisor, you will be encouraged to choose a mentor from among the ESO fellows, who will provide less formal advice on a range of topics
  • as a result of the diverse environment there is a large community of scientists willing to provide advice and suggestions both scientifically but also regarding interviews, job applications, presentations and more
  • ESO generously supports scientific and observing trips, to enable you to gather new data, develop your work through collaboration and promote it at conferences

Further information about the employment conditions and benefits for ESO students can be found at http://www.eso.org/public/employment/student.html.

What we expect from our Students

You are expected to engage with and contribute to the scientific and social environment at ESO. While students are in the unique ESO environment, they are expected to take full advantage of the wealth and breadth of expertise and advice available to them, both scientifically and professionally.

We also hope you will take the knowledge you gain about ESO out into the wider astronomical community; to your home institute, to conferences and other meetings, where you will be seen as a representative of ESO.