Nov 2011: All vacancies are now filled. 

Feb 2011: The full list of GREAT ITN ESR vacancies are detailed at

The GREAT-ITN will offer 17 ESR (PhD) positions in all fields of Galactic Astronomy science where Gaia will have an impact - with the majority of the positions commencing Oct 2011 and lasting for three years. 

The table (updated 20111123) below shows the locations of all positions within the network:

Institute Phd Position Contact Person
Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK 2: Closed Dr Vasily Belokurov ( and Dr Nicholas Walton (
University of Leiden, The Netherlands 1: Closed Dr Anthony Brown (
University of Lund, Sweden 1: Closed Prof Sofia Feltzing (
University of Barcelona, Spain 2: Closed Dr Francesca Figueras ( and Dr Lola Balaguer (
University of Heidelberg, Germany 1: Closed Prof Eva Gebel (
MPIA, Heidelberg, Germany 1: Closed Dr Coryn Bailer-Jones (
University of Geneva, Switzerland 1: Closed Dr Laurent Eyer (
University of Leuven, Belgium 1: Closed Dr Joris De Ridder (
Peking University, China 1: Closed Ms Ning ZHANG (
INAF (Bologna and Padua), Italy 2: Closed Dr Gisella Clementini ( and Dr Antonella Vallenari (
Adam Mickiewicza University, Poznan, Poland 1: Closed Prof Tadeusz Michalowski (
CAUP, University of Porto, Portugal 1: Closed Dr Nuno Santos (
CNRS (Bordeaux and Besancon), France 2: Closed Dr Annie Robin ( and Dr Caroline Soubiran (

Application Procedure

Applicants apply directly to the host institutions, the links to the specific pages describing the detailed procedures at each host are given in the table above. 

Eligibility Requirements

Researchers applying for a PhD are eligible if they are still within the first four years of their career in research at the time of appointment. This is measured from the date when they obtained the undergraduate degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate.

As main rule, researchers are eligible if

  •  they are nationals of a Member State of the European Community, of an Associated Country or of any Third Country
  • they are nationals of any country other than the country in which they will carry out their research
  • they have not resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies etc.) in the country in which they will carry out their research  for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their requirements

As an exception to the general rule:

  • a researcher holding the nationality from a Member State or an Associated Country can carry out his/her research in his/her country of nationality if he/she can provide evidence testifying that he/she has legally resided and had his/her main activity in a non-Associated third country for at least three of the last four years immediately prior to his/her appointment
  • a researcher holding more than one nationality can carry out his/her research at partner institution located in the country of his/her nationality if he/she has not resided there during the previous 5 years.

What Expenses are Covered?

  • Living Allowance: basic amount to be paid to the researchers in monthly instalments. As a general rule researchers shall be appointed under an employment contract
  • Mobility Allowance: monthly payment of a fixed amount to cover expenses of the researcher related to his/her mobility (e.g. relocation, family charges)
  • Travel Allowance: fixed amount based upon the direct distance between the location of origin of the researcher and the location of the host institution. This allowance will be paid upon taking up employment and yearly thereafter.
  • Career Exploratory Allowance: this allowance of one single payment is intended to enable the researcher to help develop his/her career by e.g. attending job interviews, additional courses, job fairs.
  • Contribution to the participation expenses of eligible researchers: this contribution is managed by the hosting organisation for expenses related to the participation of the researchers in research and training activities (contribution to research-related costs, meetings, conference attendance, training actions).