Early-career fellowships for Earth observation, Earth system or climate scientists

Our post-doctoral research fellowship schemes aims to support early-career scientists and engineers, from eligible ESA member states, to undertake independent, cutting-edge climate research to advance and/or demonstrate the value of ESA Earth observation missions and satellite-derived climate data records that address Essential Climate Variables (ECV) defined by the Global Climate Observing System.

The CCI has funded over 30 research fellowships to date and make use of ESA data and Earth Observation assets to improve and exploit ECV products developed within the framework of the ESA Climate Change Initiative.

Two types of research fellowships are offered:

Internal Post-doctoral Research Fellowship

For this scheme fellows propose and then conduct an independent climate research project at an ESA establishment (usually ECSAT). Fellows receive a monthly salary for a period of two year years (with the possibility of renewal for a third year). The project topic should advance or exploit ESA Earth observation missions and satellite-derived climate data records.

Our current Internal research fellow is Anna Jungbluth. Anna's research is focused on the application of applying machine learning techniques to ESA's climate data. Recent internal research fellows include Iestyn Woolway who investigated the global responses of lakes to climate change - research that was cited in the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report - and Romy Schlögel who researched natural hazards related to climate change using remote sensing observations.

ESA Climate Change Initiative Research Fellowships

ESA CCI research fellowships are available to talented early-career researchers (post-PhD) from participating ESA Member States and are allocated based on the merit of the research proposal and the applicant. These fellowships are co-funded by ESA and based at a host institute/organisation for a period of up to 2 years and focus on the exploitation of ECV data products under development by the ESA Climate Change Initiative.

Thematic areas of particular interest:

  1. Exploiting Essential Climate Variable (ECV) products from CCI for improved understanding of climate change.
  2. Examining cross-ECV consistency and multiple ECV use (those under the CCI Programme in particular)
  3. Enhancing interactions between CCI members and other Earth science laboratories, research centres and universities

Calls for Fellowships are made at approximately 2-year intervals, nominally in 2025 and 2027. Up to 10 fellowships are will be funded at each call. Future CCI fellowship calls are anticipated to have a special focus on strengthening the link to the climate modelling community in support of ESA hosting the WCRP CMIP - International Project Office.

Current CCI fellowship projects - 2023 cohort

The current cohort of CCI ’research fellows focus on the fundamental understanding and long-term response of our climate system, and improving our knowledge of the carbon, water and energy cycles.

Previous fellowship projects

Details of fellowship projects from previous cohorst can be viewed from the links below:

2021 Fellowship projects

2020 Internal research fellowship (Ieystn Woolway)

2017 Internal research fellowship (Romy Schlögel)

2015 Fellowship projects

2014 Fellowship projects

How to apply

ESA Research Fellowship opportunities are published on our recruiting site throughout the year. You can set up a job alert to be informed as soon as the opportunities are published!

Learn more about the recruitment process at ESA.