Deadline: March 31, 2023

The African Research Fellowship (ARF) program, jointly carried by ESA with the African Union Commission, was successfully initiated in 2021 with two African fellows selected to carry out their research in ESA in 2022.

It aims at empowering African Researchers (Ph.D. or Master’s degree with extensive research experience) to carry out Earth Observation (EO) R&D activities relevant to the EO AFRICA Initiative. The African Research Fellows shall maximize the use of EO data in synergy with in-situ and state-of-the-art modeling approaches, in a cloud environment, to respond to the challenges the African continent is facing with respect to water resources management and food security.

With this call, ESA offers 1-year fellowships to four African Researchers to work at the ESA-ESRIN premises in Frascati (Rome, Italy) in collaboration with ESA’s scientists.

Research Areas

Candidates shall propose a 1-year R&D proposal contributing to Water resources management or Food security issues. Proposals focusing on smallholder needs (e.g. farming, agricultural water use, regenerative agriculture, water productivity, irrigation systems, nutrients management, infestations…) or related to coastal processes (e.g. ecosystems, coastal waters, coastal geomorphology and change, coastal urbanization, tourism…) and fisheries (e.g. aquaculture, habitat suitability, blooms, implications of climate change…) are especially welcome.

The activity will be coordinated and aligned with the EO AFRICA R&D Initiative which provides training opportunities and scientific tools for the selected African research fellows. The EO AFRICA Space Academy and its Digital Campus will give access to a wide range of expertise and knowledge to be shared with research fellows. Whereas the EO AFRICA Innovation Lab will allow the African research fellows directly collaborate with European scientists and implement their research ideas.


  • 1-year length fellowship. Not extendable
  • Computer Laptop/Desktop provided by ESA
  • Shared office in ESA/ESRIN
  • Support to obtain a VISA through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (i.e. MFA/MAE)
  • ID Card from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (i.e. MFA/MAE) Card and Codice Fiscale
  • Assistance for opening a Bank account at ESRIN
  • Option to request housing hunting service

As for the personal health/accident/civil responsibility insurance, the ARF will have to arrange autonomously his/her own insurance coverage. If needed, ESA/ESRIN can provide contacts with:


  • Travel to/from the original country (3000 EUR for the trip)
  • Standard International Research Fellow Salary (circa 2,500 EUR x 12 months)
  • Scientific network activities (e.g. conference) maximum ceiling of 2,000 EUR)


  • Open to African Researchers;
  • Applicants must have a PhD or Master’s degree with extensive research experience.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment independently and as part of a team.
  • Demonstrated experience in using Python and developing Jupyter Notebooks.
  • Fluency in English and/or French, the working languages of the Agency.
  • Ability to produce scientific papers to a high standard in English and to interact effectively with the international scientific community in English.


The needed documents to apply are:

  • Research Proposal
  • CV with the most recent publication list. Such document containing both the CV and publication list shall not be longer than 3 pages max
  • Copy of ID
  • Scan of PhD or Master Diploma
  • 2 Reference letters

Click Here To Apply

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