Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

How can I apply for the programme?

You can find a detailed description of the application procedure on this page.


I’m still an undergraduate student. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, if you have completed two years of your degree studies. You can find more details about the eligibility criteria on this page.


What are the eligibility criteria for the programme?  

The eligibility criteria for the programme are described at this page.

I’ve completed my undergraduate/masters and I’m now involved in a research project at my University/Institute. Am I eligible to apply? 

If you have not yet started a PhD programme you can apply for the ESO Summer Research Programme. For your current affiliation information use the University/Institute where you are doing your research project.


I will start my PhD in the Fall of 2024. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. Students can apply as long as at the time of the program they have not yet officially started their PhD.


I’m a high school student. Am I eligible to apply?

We think your enthusiasm to take part in this programme is wonderful. However, the ESO Summer Programme is intended for university students. Please first start University and remember to apply to this programme in a few years!


After submitting my application, I didn’t receive a confirmation. Is something wrong with my application? 

No confirmation will be sent to your email after the application is submitted. If you saw the confirmation page that your filled out form has been successfully submitted, your application has been received and you have no reason to be concerned. The confirmation message you should see after submitting your application is the following:


To which email address should the reference letter be sent?  

The reference letter should be sent by the referee directly to the following email address the given email address It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure that the reference letter is submitted by the nominated referee. We will not contact the referees on applicants’ behalf.


Who submits the reference letter?

The reference letter must be submitted by the referee directly to the following email address


What is the role of the referee?

The referee should be ideally a lecturer/professor who is able to comment on the applicant’s academic/research achievements to-date. Someone who is familiar with the applicant, for example a lab professor or a professor with whom the applicant has early research experience with. The referee should write a reference letter describing who the applicant is, commenting on their strengths and capabilities and providing an overall judgement on the prospective benefits of the applicant’s participation in the programme.


Will you accept my application without having a reference letter associated with it?

We cannot accept applications without a reference letter. The deadline for submitting the application and the reference letter is 31 January 2024.


If I include more than one reference letter, will it improve my chances of acceptance?

We can only accept one reference letter per applicant. In case of receiving several ones, only the letter from the referee listed in the application form will be considered.


Do I need to certify my English level?

We do not require a formal English certificate. We expect the applicants to prepare the application on their own and it should therefore be representative of their English level. Additionally, we will conduct a short video interview with the shortlisted applicants to ensure they are indeed able to work and communicate in English.


Are travel expenses covered?

Yes. Travel costs to/from Garching will be covered for the participants of the programme. Additionally, a small allowance sufficient to cover lodging and basic daily expenses will be provided.

Are there any restrictions on nationality for applicants?

No, applicants from all nationalities are welcome to apply. However, at the final steps of the selection process priority will be given to students who are nationals of an ESO member state, ESO’s host state Chile and the Strategic Partner (Australia).


In the event of a remote format for the Summer Research Programme, what are the needed computing requirements in order to participate?

The student will only require a desktop/laptop and a stable internet connection. ESO will provide access to its servers and storage space if needed.

In case of any difficulties or further questions contact us at: