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Announcement of Opportunity for Interdisciplinary Scientists and Guest Investigators in the ExoMars 2016 mission

Announcement of Opportunity for Interdisciplinary Scientists and Guest Investigators in the ExoMars 2016 mission

8 February 2016

The purpose of this Announcement of Opportunity is to solicit the participation of the scientific community as Interdisciplinary Scientists and Guest Investigators in the ExoMars 2016 mission. The deadline for receipt of mandatory Letters of Intent is 29 February 2016, 12:00 noon CET; the deadline for submission of proposals is 30 March 2016, 12:00 noon CEST.

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Establishing whether life ever existed, or is still active on Mars today, is one of the outstanding scientific questions of our time. The ExoMars Programme seeks to address this and other important scientific goals, and to demonstrate key flight and in-situ enabling technologies underpinning European and Russian ambitions for future exploration missions. The ExoMars Programme is a cooperative undertaking between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos.

The ExoMars Programme consists of two missions, to be launched in 2016 and 2018. The 2016 mission includes the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and an Entry, descent and landing Demonstrator Module (EDM), named Schiaparelli. The TGO will carry scientific instruments for remote observations, while the EDM will have a payload for in situ measurements during descent and on the Martian surface. The 2018 mission will land a Rover and a Surface platform.

ESA aims to appoint up to two Interdisciplinary Scientists (IDSs) and up to eight Guest Investigators (GIs) for the ExoMars 2016 mission. The IDSs and the GIs will be appointed until the end of the nominal mission; the appointment may be renewed in case of mission extension. ESA will not fund the activities of the IDSs or the GIs (travel, etcetera) and each proposer is responsible for securing his/her own funding from other sources.

This Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is open to scientists based in ESA Member States, Canada, and Russia. However, specific expertise not present in ESA Member States, Canada and Russia could be covered by scientists from other countries. Team members participating in a team supporting an IDS can be from any country. While Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs of the ExoMars instrument teams are excluded from this AO, Co-Investigators are eligible for IDS and GI positions.

Details about the ExoMars 2016 mission and the roles of the IDSs and GIs are provided in the documents accompanying this AO, which are available from the dedicated section below.

AO schedule and deadlines

8 February 2016 Release of this AO
29 February 2016 at noon (CET) Mandatory Letter of Intent due
30 March 2016 at noon (CEST) Proposals due
3rd quarter 2016 Appointment of IDSs and GIs

AO Documentation package

The following documents are provided with this AO:

Letter of invitation from the Director of Science [pdf]
Announcement of Opportunity for IDSs and GIs in the ExoMars 2016 mission [pdf]
ExoMars Science Management Plan; ESA/SPC(2014)7 / ESA/PB-HME(2014)2 [pdf]
ExoMars 2016 Mission Summary; EXM-MS-REP-RSSD-001_TGO-EDM-Description_Iss.1 [pdf]

These documents can also be downloaded as a zipped package from the right-hand menu.

Letters of Intent and Proposals submission

Prospective proposers must submit a mandatory Letter of Intent (LoI). Proposals not preceded by a corresponding LoI will not be considered. It is understood that the proposal's content may evolve between submission of the LoI and submission of the actual proposal.

LoIs are limited in length to 2 A4 pages (minimum font size 11 pt). Proposals are limited in length to 14 A4 pages (minimum font size 11 pt). The requirements for the contents of the LoI and the Proposal are provided in the AO document.

Letters of Intent and proposals must be submitted electronically in PDF format (file size cannot exceed 5 MB) to the following e-mail address:

according to the deadlines listed above.

Proposers will receive confirmation upon successful receipt of their Letters of Intent and Proposals.


Further queries should be addressed to:

Dr. Rolf de Groot – Exploration Programme Coordinator
The Netherlands


Dr. Luigi Colangeli – Scientific Programme Coordinator
The Netherlands

Last Update: 1 September 2019
5-Jun-2020 13:19 UT

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