Applications for the second call on doctoral grants in Space Exploration are now open
Portugal Space is looking for disruptive ideas and projects related to Technology Research and Development for Space Exploration. Applications for a doctoral grant are open until March 3rd, 2021.
The Portuguese Space Agency launches the second call of its PhD program to award scholarships for doctoral studies. This initiative, promoted by the Agency and supported by the Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia – FCT), aims to attract ideas and projects related to Technology Research and Development for Space Exploration.
The call is directed at brilliant students who want to pursue their doctoral degrees in the fields of Propulsion, Systems and Mission Analysis, Orbital Mechanics, Robotics, Structures and Materials, as well as Recycling, Manufacturing and In-situ Resource Utilisation (e.g., asteroid mining) from a technological/engineering approach.
In this second call, the Portuguese Space Agency wishes to reach scholars moving to doctoral studies in fields that will contribute to increase the sustainability of space exploration, who are engaged in technology research and development projects which consider the increasing necessity of autonomy and sustainable solutions.
In the next decade, space exploration will undergo a strong development thanks to the affordability of access to space’s new technology developments such as in space manufacturing and utilization of in-situ resources. All these new approaches will require a great level of space resources management.
Topics such as energy use in space, resource storage, the type of materials and how they can be reused are increasingly important elements in defining a mission as they allow for more efficient and sustainable projects.
In addition to studying a more rational use of Earth´s resources in Space, it is necessary to study and develop technology that enables the transformation and utilisation of existing space resources to support future space missions, (such as) including enabling access to water and oxygen and building infrastructures.
“Space sciences and technologies have had significant relevance in promoting societal and economic advancements in the last decades. This investment not only benefits the space sector but also promotes the development of downstream activities that can work as important resources to provide information and help increase the quality of life on Earth”, says Inês d’Ávila, project manager of the Doctoral Scholarship Program at Portugal Space.
The Agency intends to stimulate and contribute to reinforced cooperation of the Portuguese scientific community within itself as well as with international partners and with the industry, thus encouraging advances in technology for space exploration.
For evaluation purposes, Portugal Space has invited a group of recognised experts in the dedicated fields of this call. They are Afzal Suleman (IST- Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal) as the chair of the panel, Angelo Cervone (TU Delft – Delft University of Technology, Netherlands), Alfred Ng (CSA –Canadian Space Agency, Canada), Yang Gao (University of Surrey, United Kingdom) and Pedro Camanho (FEUP – Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Portugal).
The call for applications, now open, will award up to three doctoral scholarships. Applications will be open until March 5th, 2021, and must be submitted through the Open Space Innovation Platform – OSIP, of the European Space Agency.