IRC-ESO Studentship Programme

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The IRC-ESO Studentship Programme provides a valuable opportunity for astronomers of the future to gain experience at the most productive ground-based astronomical observatory in the world.

The ESO (European Southern Observatory) enables scientists worldwide to discover the secrets of the Universe for the benefit of all.

The IRC (Irish Research Council) invests in the people, skills and ideas, across all disciplines, that will deliver new possibilities for the future, within Ireland and beyond.

IRC-ESO Studentship Programme

The Irish Research Council-ESO Studentship will consist of the following:

  • An annual stipend of €25,000
  • Annual research expenses of €4,500
  • A contribution to fees (up to a maximum of €5,750 per annum) will be made only if the applicant is already IRC-funded.


The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere awards studentship positions each year, based in both Germany and Chile. The programme offers an invaluable training opportunity for the next generation of astronomers and users of ESO facilities. Studentships are open to students enrolled in a PhD programme, preferentially but not necessarily in an ESO member state. Depending on the number of available positions, there may be one or two annual application deadlines, in May and November.

 IRC-ESO Studentship Programme

Acknowledging the importance of Ireland’s membership of the ESO and the value of investing in Ireland’s next generation of astronomers, the IRC signed a five-year Partnership Agreement with the ESO in June 2019. The IRC considers the ESO’s Studentship Programme to provide a valuable opportunity for astronomers of the future to gain experience at the most productive ground-based astronomical observatory in the world. The IRC has agreed to fund an ESO studentship for an Ireland-based researcher in 2022.

Students enrolled in a PhD programme in astronomy or the related fields of observational, theoretical or fundamental astrophysics will be eligible to apply. They must be registered at a higher education institution in the Republic of Ireland that is eligible to receive Irish Research Council funding.

Applicants may be recent entrants to a doctoral degree programme or PhD candidates nearing the completion of their research degree. Applicants may be Council scholars or may be funded by another source (or self-funded). provides information about postgraduate courses and study in Ireland. We list virtually every postgraduate course in Ireland, so you can search for the course of your choice.


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