UKSA: Aurora Science Announcement of Opportunity 2017

Posted on Jun 8, 2017 in News | 0 comments

UKSA: Aurora Science Announcement of Opportunity 2017

The UK Space Agency is making funding available for Aurora science. The purpose of this AO is to support science associated with planetary exploration to enhance the UK’s capabilities and cross-disciplinary approach to planetary science. The first mission in the Aurora programme, ExoMars, will search for traces of past and present life. A key goal of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is to detect and characterise trace gases in the Martian atmosphere and gain a better understanding of methane and other atmospheric gases that are present in small concentrations, but could be evidence for possible biological or geological activity. The ExoMars rover, due for launch in 2020, will search Mars for signs of biosignatures from past life preserved within the subsurface via a 2m drill.

This scheme is open to academics and individual scientists from the UK or overseas, working at UK Research Organisations, for proposals to fund:

  • Fellowships to develop promising early career researchers or allow existing academics to discipline-hop
  • Post Doctorate Research Assistants  Studentships  Support for academics to participate in international science teams to exploit data from future missions such as the NASA InSight mission Applications are particularly welcome in the following areas:
  • InSight and TGO data exploitation;  Preparation for data exploitation of 2020 ExoMars
  • Science research activities in collaboration with the robotic exploration unit within the ESA Centre at Harwell, for example activities around sample curation, understanding contamination introduced by a missions sample processing system.

All proposals should have a letter of support from ESA (contact point This need not be restricted to Mars research. Proposals for matching funding for the ESA NPI scheme are most welcome. Although extensions to current fellowships will be considered, preference will be given to new fellowships.

Closing date: 5th September 2017

Further information and application instructions can be found here or in the announcement pdf.

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