Announcement of opportunity for community scientists in the Ariel Mission

The purpose of this Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is to solicit the participation of the scientific community in the role of Community Scientist (CS) in the Ariel mission. This AO is open to scientists affiliated with institutes located in ESA Member States. Scientists involved in the Ariel Mission Consortium (AMC) (programmatic, scientific, or technical) management or being responsible for hardware or software development and procurement activities are not eligible to apply.

Ariel is the medium mission “M4” in ESA’s Science Programme. Ariel will perform a chemical survey of a diverse sample of at least 500 exoplanets orbiting host stars with a range of spectral types. Most Ariel observations will consist of transit and/or eclipse spectroscopy of the atmospheres of warm and hot exoplanets, to address the following fundamental questions:

  • – What are exoplanets made of?
  • – How do planets and planetary systems form?
  • – How do planets and their atmospheres evolve over time?

Through this AO, ESA aims to appoint up to five Community Scientists who will join the Ariel Science Team. Up to three Community Scientists are expected to cover science areas augmenting those of the Ariel Science Team (AST) members from the Ariel Mission Consortium and from international partners (e.g., they will have expertise in fields such as Solar System planetary science, data science, protoplanetary discs). A further two Community Scientists will be selected in scientific areas relevant for the Complementary Science programme. The main responsibility of the Community Scientists will be to advise ESA on the means to optimise the use of Ariel data by the general scientific community. This includes looking after the interests of the scientific community involved in the Ariel complementary science programmes. In addition, the Community Scientists will be expected to provide support to the communications activities of ESA.

The successful candidates will be appointed, ad personam, for an initial term of three years, which may be renewed.

Letters of Intent, in PDF format, must be submitted using the Letter of Intent submission form linked below, before the deadline of 9 July 2021, 12:00 (noon) CEST.

Proposals, in PDF format, must be submitted using the proposal submission form linked below, before the deadline of 31 August 2021, 12:00 (noon) CEST.