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Frequently Asked Questions

1. I obtained my PhD before 2016, can I apply for the Living Planet Fellowship 2023 Call?

The Living Planet Fellowship 2023 Call is addressed to young post-doctoral scientists who completed their PhD after 01 January 2016. Scientists that obtained the PhD before this date may be exceptionally admitted to this programme if, at the time of the proposal’s submission, they have completed less than 8 years research experience after the award of the PhD (i.e. including any research career breaks). For such an exception to be accepted a detailed explanation for the research career break shall be provided as an appended letter from the host institution. Career breaks for family or health circumstances (if duly justified) are both acceptable reasons.


2. Can multiple candidates from the same institution be selected if they apply for the fellowships in different calls for proposals?

The selection of a single candidate for any single Organisation is done on a per-call basis. Therefore, it is possible for the same Organization to have selected candidates in two different Calls for Proposals, including in consecutive calls.


3. I am a postdoctoral researcher at an institute in an ESA Member State, but I hold an international citizenship. Can I apply for the Living Planet Fellowship 2023 Call?

Candidates to the Living Planet Fellowship 2023 Call must have a nationality from an ESA Member and Associated States participating to FutureEO-1 Block 4 optional Programme. Candidates not holding such citizenship are not eligible for this programme.


4. I am finishing my PhD and will obtain the degree in 2024 after the start date of the fellowship/I will defend my thesis after the call deadline, but before the start of the fellowship. Am I eligible to apply?

The Candidates must have completed their PhD before the submission deadline (27/10/2023). Please note that the Living Planet Fellowship is an annual call. Candidates defending their thesis after 27/10/2023 will be eligible to participate in the LPF 2024 Call.


5. The Host Institution is based outside an ESA Member States but has registered offices in several ESA Member States. Is the Host Institution eligible, if the Candidate will conduct the research in one of these offices?

The Host Institutions must have their registered seat (with its own ESA Entity Code associated to the seat) in one of the following FutureEO-1 Block 4 Participating states:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Latvia, Slovenia and Canada.


6. In the proposal I have to indicate the list of ESA data to be required to implement the project. Should I indicate a qualitative estimate? Should the request be made before the project? Or do we mean if the project is accepted?

The candidates shall detail in the proposal the complete list of ESA data (including third party missions) that will be required to carry out the project. It is not necessary to make the request before the project is accepted.


7. Regarding non-ESA and in-situ data, should these be already available before the project or could I acquire them during the project?

Regarding non-ESA data, the Candidates of Host Organisation shall demonstrate in the proposal the availability of all the required datasets to accomplish the proposed work. Some of these datasets may be acquired during the project. The Candidates will be responsible for accessing the required non-ESA data.


8. Is there a minimum budget requirement for this call?

There is no minimum budget requirement for this call. It is expected that the Host Institute undertakes to carry out research work, through a post-doctoral project, to be carried out by a researcher employed by the Institute.


9. Does the LPF cover salaries of research assistants, costs of instruments and processing capabilities (cloud computing or workstations)? In case the candidate’s salary is already covered, is it possible to apply for funding for above mentioned items and not for the candidate’s salary?

The LPF Contract is placed between ESA and the Host Organisation as a full-time research contract to be implemented by a single postdoctoral scholar. The LPF does not cover the costs of funding a team of researchers or a supervisor. However, it can cover some of the costs of cloud computing and in-situ campaigns. Please check the Section 4 Options in the Call for Proposals for further details.


10. Can the candidate’s salary paid by the Host Institution count as part of the 30% co-funding?



11. Is Living Planet Fellowship intended for exploitation of data coming from existing ESA and European missions or does it address also development of new technologies such as building a ground station for the reception of earth observation images?

The call is intended for proposals in the domain of scientific exploitation of ESA and European EO missions and datasets that may maximise the missions’ scientific impact. The development of innovative EO data products or improvements to existing EO data products can be proposed in the frame of the call. However, the call does not focus on new technology or hardware development.


12. Is a private organization (start-up) willing to conduct a research project in the cloud computing area eligible?

Private organisations are eligible to participate to the call.


13. Who can make the submission of the proposal?

Either the Candidate or the Host Institute can make the submission of the proposal to


14. Is there a template for the Statement from the Host Institution accepting the conditions without reservations the Draft LPF EISI Agreement (Appendix 1 of the present call)?

This statement can be included in the letter of support provided by the Host Institute.


15. PSS Forms

– Where do I fill in the co-funding?
The total Company/Institute contribution goes to 15. Reduction for company contribution.
– Should I fill in only the cost for ESA in the PSS or the total cost?
All costs in the PSS are TOTAL costs. The Company/Institute contribution (co-funding) is in cost element 15.Reduction for company contribution.
– The research period as a visiting scientist option is made as a Contract Change Notice, so should these costs be included in the PSS?
The PSS should not include these expenses.


16. Co-funding

With this Fellowship ESA co-funds post-doctoral research projects. At least 30% of the total cost of the research project should be secured internally by the host institution. ESA funding shall contribute to cover at maximum 70% of costs, associated to the salary, travel and publications of the Candidate. The maximum ESA contribution to the project is 150.000 EUR (exclusive of options, as detailed in the call package).


17. Overheads

The call does not impose a rate or a limit on the overheads, which are established on the basis of the company’s normal accounting method. Normally, overheads are covered by the host institution, and considered as part of the 30% co-funding contribution of the host institute.


18. Option 1 eligible amount

Candidates shall be informed that Option 1 (if expressly approved by ESA) will be supported with an additional amount of 2,000 Euros per month during the duration of the visiting period, to be implemented as a change to the ESA contract.