ESO Summer Research Programme

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3rd ESO Summer Research Programme

Garching, Germany
5th July - 13th August 2021


Application process closed (deadline: 03 February 2021, 23:59 CET)

For six weeks in the summer of 2021, ESO will host the third Summer Research Programme. This fully-funded programme is an opportunity for university students interested in astronomy/astrophysics, who are not yet enrolled in a PhD programme, to obtain research experience alongside astronomers based at ESO Headquarters (HQ) in Garching, Germany. We accept applications from promising university students from any country, although priority will be given to students from ESO Member States, Strategic Partners (Australia) and the Host State (Chile). 

UPDATE: We are very excited to announce the successful applicants for the 2021 Summer Programme and the projects on which they will be working:

Anna Lena Schaible (University of Stuttgart, Germany)

Project ASpiral arms as drivers of chemical enrichment in galaxies

with Laura Sánchez-Menguiano & Dimitri Gadotti

Rodrigo Ferrer Chávez (Autonomous University of Yucatán, Mexico)

Project BGo with the flow: probing the flows and fate of gas in barred spiral galaxies

with Francesca Fragkoudi, Eric Emsellem & Adrian Bittner

Anirudh Ravishankar (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research -IISER-, India)

Project C: From birth to death: the multiple faces of accretion

with Anna Pala, Carlo Manara & Nicola Gentile Fusillo

Louise Kluge (Heidelberg University, Germany)

Project DThe mysterious [CII] emission in the interstellar medium of galaxies

with Michele Ginolfi, Gergo Popping & Paola Andreani

Paulina Palma (University of Chile, Santiago, Chile)

Project EProbing the building blocks of planets with ALMA

with Łukasz Tychoniec, Maria Koutoulaki & Leonardo Testi

Natalie Grasser (University of Vienna, Austria)

Project F: Measuring IMF in high density stellar systems, i.e. relic galaxies and globular clusters

with Magda Arnaboldi, Lodo Coccato, Chiara Spiniello (Oxford) & Carlos Barbosa (Univ. S. Paulo)

A detailed description of the projects is available here.

* The Summer Research Programme will be hosted in Garching if all accepted students are able to travel to ESO HQ. If the COVID-19 pandemic does not allow an in-person visit, the programme will be held virtually as it was done in 2020.

We received more than 200 applications and we therefore thank everyone for their interest. We would like to encourage those of you who were not selected to re-apply to the next edition of the programme, as long as you are still eligible. Information about next year's programme will be provided on our website around November-December 2021.

The Summer Research Program at ESO is an exceptional opportunity for students to work at an institute that is both the headquarters of the most productive observatory in the world and a top-class research organisation. People at ESO's HQ maintain a very active research community and are also designing and operating cutting-edge telescopes and their instruments including the VLTALMA, and the forthcoming ELT, which will be the world's biggest optical-near infrared telescope!  

The applicants can choose between a wide range of research projects, covering many areas of astronomy from planets to galaxies. The ESO Summer Research Programme will also provide opportunities beyond research, including a series of lectures, a mini-workshop, a planetarium visit, an ELT instrumentation visit, and many social activities. You should expect six weeks packed with new experiences, new networks and new friendships!

If it is possible to host the programme in person, travel costs to/from Garching will be covered for participants of the programme. Accommodation will be provided in a shared apartment in Garching (with electricity, heating and internet all included). Students will also be provided with a modest stipend to cover living costs during the programme. Successful students have the responsibility to acquire any required visas to spend six weeks working in Germany under these conditions.


ESO Blog articles on the 2019 and 2020 editions of the Summer Research Programme can be found here and here!    

For inquiries about the programme, please email