European Space Agency Post-graduate Research Grant Programme 2022
Skip to content

European Space Agency Post-graduate Research Grant Programme 2022

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the European University Institute (EUI) are jointly launching a new grant programme for European post-graduate scholars in history and other social sciences and humanities interested in ESA and Europe in space to conduct research at the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU). The historical archives of ESA and its predecessor organisations (ELDO and ESRO) are deposited at the HAEU and are open for consultation after 15 years.

Two research grants of EUR 5,000 each will be available each year; the next call for applications will be in 2023.

Purpose and Objectives

The grant programme provides young scholars in history and other social sciences and humanities from Europe (either nationals of or affiliated to an academic institution in ESA Member, Associate or Cooperating States), who are interested in ESA and Europe in space, with a unique research experience in the HAEU, embedded in the international scholarly community of the EUI in Florence.

To address the challenges brought by the current health emergency, the HAEU will provide online access to files digitised as part of the ongoing joint digitisation projects with ESA or digitised on individual request, thus ensuring operational continuity of the grant programme during the Covid pandemic.

Eligibility and Admission

  • All current postgraduate students (master’s and doctoral candidates);
  • All postdoctoral researchers or university teachers who have completed a master’s degree or doctorate within ten years preceding the date of application, and who currently hold an academic appointment.

Successful applicants will prepare a publication (thesis, dissertation, book or scholarly article) related to the history or other social sciences and humanities of ESA and Europe in space.

Research projects presented by postgraduate students or postdoctoral researchers should preferably relate directly to their master’s or doctoral field of research.

In view of the languages used in the ESA historical archives, candidates should have a sound knowledge of English and basic knowledge of French.

Application Procedure and Deadline

The deadline for applications is 30 June of each year.

Applications must be sent by e-mail to the Historical Archives of the European Union at Receipt of the application will be confirmed by e-mail within one week.

Applications and supporting documents must be submitted in either English or French. The research itself and subsequent publications may be in the language chosen by the grant holder.

Complete application files should include:

  • a detailed presentation of the research proposal, including a description of the research subject, its academic significance and its contribution to research in the field, any previous academic work performed in the field of study, and the proposed research methodology and timetable (five pages maximum);
  • a detailed annotated bibliography of sources and studies related to the research (five pages maximum);
  • a justification of the need to use the ESA archival fonds at HAEU in Florence;
  • a statement of the applicant’s plans for scholarly publication of the research results;
  • a list of the applicant’s previous publications (no more than 10, including the most recent);
  • a letter of recommendation from a professor of a university or university-level research institute, providing an evaluation of the scholarly significance of the project and an assessment of the candidate’s qualifications, abilities and motivation to carry out the proposed research.

Grant Awards

Successful applicants will receive a research grant of EUR 5,000 to cover all research expenses.

The grant will be paid in two instalments:

  • a first instalment of EUR 2,000 at the start of the research, as attested by the Director of the HAEU;
  • a second instalment of EUR 3,000 after the research results have been published by the grant holder and once the grant holder has informed the Director of the HAEU on the publication. The results must be published within 30 months after the grant is taken up.

The publication shall be issued at the latest 36 months from when the grant was attributed.


The ESA and the HAEU will organise the selection of the candidates, taking into consideration the excellence of the application file, the significance and originality of the proposed research, the feasibility of the project, the candidate’s ability to carry out the research, and most importantly the necessity for using primary archival sources at the HAEU. The selection is based on equal treatment of applicants, with no discrimination based on nationality (ethnic origin), race, colour, religion or other beliefs, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender of the applicants.

Publications and Commitments

Grant holders undertake to ensure that all subsequent publications or productions using in whole or in part the results obtained under the auspices of the research grant appropriately acknowledge the grant programme. In addition, they will provide ESA and the HAEU with a copy of the publication. ESA and HAEU may invite the researcher to present the outcome of the project and use the publication for promotion and educational purposes.


Applications, all related correspondence, and queries should be sent by 30 June 2022 to:


Tel: +39 055 4685 649

Selected projects

Frankowski, Pawel 
Choosing to collaborate: the role of norms in outer space in the ESA/Russia relations 1985-1994

Savina, Tonio
ESA-China astro-political relations in the post-cold war era: an archival analysis.’

Page last updated on 13/01/2023

Go back to top of the page