XX International Summer School in Astrobiology focused on exoplanet habitability

The ‘Josep Comas i Solà’ International Summer School in Astrobiology is co-organized by the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, the NASA Astrobiology Program and the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP), and sponsored by INTA and ESA. Held annually at the Palacio de la Magdalena (in Santander, Spain) it has become a tradition in the astrobiology community. The week-long program for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows provides lectures from international experts, round-table discussions, student projects, night-sky observations, and a whole-day field trip to a nearby site of astrobiological interest.

2024 Summer School

● Title: “Exoplanets: thousands of possibilities for complex chemistry and life”

● Dates: June 24-28, 2024

● Summary: With more than 5,500 exoplanets now detected and the next generation of ground- and space-based telescopes either in service or in development, we are on the verge of moving beyond mere detection to detailed characterization of these distant worlds by studying their atmospheres. As we do so, learning more about the formation and evolution of Earth and the other members of our solar system will better enable us to understand the characteristics, processes, and dynamics of exoplanets and the telltale signatures contained in the their atmospheres.

Four experts in astrobiology, who are also recognized as outstanding teachers (two American and two European), will:

– Share the latest news and discoveries in their field

– Discuss existing and new telescopes, technological challenges, and design considerations for future observations

– Cover frontier research in the co-evolution of life and the biosphere

– Explore recent progress in planetary atmosphere and biosignature modeling


We invite interested Doctoral (PhD) students and early career Postdocs whose research is related to the topics of the School to apply below.

European candidates:

1.- Students from countries belonging to the European Higher Education Area, (EHEA: http://www.ehea.info/page-members) or enrolled in European universities should apply through the UIMP – INTA Sponsored program.

– Website: https://www.uimp.es/

– Application form: the webpage for the registration at UIMP will open in April.

– Further information and contact: Carmen Suárez (csuarez@uimp.es) [CC: Carlos Briones (cbriones@cab.inta-csic.es)]

2.- ESA candidates:

The ESA Education Office is pleased to sponsor the attendance of up to 4 tertiary education students to attend the International Summer School in Astrobiology in the frame of the ESA Academy Short Course Scholarship  programme. The scholarship will cover the registration fees (which include lodging and meals) and provides a maximum reimbursement of EUR 300 towards travel expenses, which will be reimbursed via a single bank transfer after the course and will only be paid upon submission of receipts.

To be eligible for an ESA Academy Short Course Scholarship, students must fulfil the following criteria at the time of application:

  • be minimum 18 years old at the time of the short course;
  • be a citizen of an ESA Member State, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia or Slovenia;
  • be enrolled as a student (Bsc, Msc, or Ph.D.) in a tertiary education academic programme (not graduating before the short course);
  • not be able to attend the course through their academic programme;
  • not benefit from an overlapping financial support to attend this short course, unless duly justified;
  • agree with the conditions of the ESA Academy’s Privacy Policy

Priority will be given to students who have less than 2 years of professional experience and have never taken part in an activity sponsored by the ESA Education Office.

Contact J. Miguel Mas-Hesse to get more info and the application form.

The deadline for applications is April 21st at 23:59 CEST.

The decision by the Selection Committee will be communicated by May 8th.

ESA is committed to achieving diversity and creating an inclusive environment. To this end, applications from all eligible candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability, social origin, or other characteristics are welcome.

US candidates:

– Website: https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/career-funding/astrobiology-summer-school/

– ESA Applications are due April 12, 2024

– Application for US candidates: https://forms.gle/6J8SPfgJJ5gkyYXB9

– Letter of Recommendation: https://forms.gle/ondoMoSYTQ71YFi68

– Further information and contact: Melissa Kirven-Brooks (melissa.kirven-brooks@nasa.gov)

Nasa Astrobiology Program