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Vacany Notice: Internal Fellowship IAP - Post-doctorate opportunity in applications development

Vacancy NoticeThe Integrated Applications Promotion programme (IAP) in the Directorate of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications is now re-advertising a vacancy for an Internal Research Fellowship with a starting date in Autumn 2012. The Research Fellowship will be based at Harwell in the UK. The focus of the fellowship is on applications development; as such it is relevant for applicants from a wide range of academic backgrounds, which may include economics, business studies, commerce, geography, ITC, or a specific industry sector with a potential need for space-based services. Expertise in space science and technology, whilst preferred, is not a pre-requisite.

About the European Space Agency and the Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) programme

The European Space Agency is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver ever more benefits to all the citizens of Europe.

The objective of ESA’s Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) programme is the development of operational services for a wide range of users. By integrating different space assets (Earth Observation, satellite communication, satellite navigation, manned space technologies), new and improved services can be created on a regional or global scale.  The programme responds to real user needs in a wide variety of sectors such as health, safety, energy, transport, finance and development.

The main aim of the fellowship is to  research and identify opportunities for new, space-based applications in one or more sectors and to help stimulate the development of new applications  and services to meet user needs. In order to carry out his/her function the Research Fellow will work within a dedicated team.


The Research Fellow will report to the Head of the Applications Business Office in Harwell, near Oxford. He or she will be responsible for research activities within one or more of the target sectors of the Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) programme (see for more details).

Candidates may make an application envisaging one of two possible orientations to the fellowship. If their expertise is in a discipline that can be applied to many different sectors (e.g. economic analysis), then their work while in post is likely to follow that logic and be used to research the potential for new applications in several different markets. If their expertise is sector-specific (e.g. maritime safety and security), then their application should make clear that this is their intended area of focus. There may be some cases (e.g. intelligent transport systems) where their expertise may cut across several sectors but will not be applicable to all. Again, any such intended focus should be made clear in the application.

Subject to the above, the Research Fellow will have as his/her main research activities:

  • Research in a chosen sector or discipline, to assist in the establishment of one or more IAP projects (examples of sectors that might be addressed include but are not limited to Renewable Energy; Intelligent Transport, Smart Cities, Machine to Machine (M2M),  Internet of Things (IOT); Insurance/Reinsurance; Maritime Safety and Security).
  • Researching user requirements and market potential for integrated applications within new Regional or Thematic markets.
  • Identification of appropriate Space Capabilities (EO, navigation and telecoms) and how they should be combined with terrestrial systems to create end-to-end solutions.
  • Liaison with industry (suppliers, developers) to identify state-of-the-art and new developments that may be of use for space-based integrated applications.
  • Identification of technological and other gaps, in order to propose future developments, missions or systems.
  • Supporting preparation of promotional materials and workshops to build awareness among user communities, to identify opportunities and to federate demand.


Applicants must have recently attained their doctorate or be close to successfully completing such studies in fields that can be applied to the development of applications and services for one or more of the target sectors for IAP. This might include business, commerce, economic analysis, Geographical Information Systems or the commercialisation of space technology. Expertise in space science and technology (e.g. satellite communications, satellite navigation or earth observation) is preferred but is not a pre-requisite. Experience of applications development is particularly valuable.

The candidate should be proficient in MS Office packages.

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of English is required for this post.

Other attributes required by the candidate include:

  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Creativity and an innovative attitude.
  • Good communication, interpersonal and presentation skills.
  • Ability to cope under pressure and ensure deadlines are met.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Good organisational skills.
  • Results orientated, with a strong drive to deliver.
  • Good team player but also self-motivated and able to plan and manage their own work.
  • Able to work well in an international, multi-cultural environment.

How to Apply

Information on the ESA Research Fellowship Programme and the application form are available at:
Applicants should send their application as described on the ESA web site (CV, covering letter, description of the research interest, list of publications and the filled-out RF application form) to: as well as If not possible by email, the reference letters can also be sent via normal mail to: ESTEC HR Division, HFI-HTR, ESA/ESTEC; Keplerlaan 1, PO Box 299, 2200AG Noordwijk ZH, The Netherlands).

Applications satisfying the general conditions for eligibility, to be submitted by Thursday 12th July,  will be evaluated and successful applicants will be invited for an interview.

22 June 2012
Last updated at 04 November 2021 - 06:20