College of Research Associates


ESF activities are developing substantially as a science services organisation. In order to streamline our peer review process and ensure the continued high quality and responsiveness of our services, we are constantly recruiting Research Associates across all scientific disciplines.

Research Associates collaborate with ESF remotely (home-based), on a consultancy basis and on a limited-time project basis. This includes supporting our Research Quality Assessment & Grant Evaluation team by :

  • Identifying scientific peers in order to assess research projects proposals and fellowships applications;
  • Doing the quality check of peer-review reports;
  • Performing other related tasks as appropriate (ie: supporting review panels and their Chairs)

Selected Research Associates will receive appropriate training and mentoring as well as recognition for projects satisfactorily completed, in the form of a certificate delivered by ESF. They will learn more as to how successful award applications are written and how selection processes work.


To be eligible to join our College of Research Associates, you will need to fulfill certain criteria. We seek individuals who have direct knowledge of the academic sector including early-career researchers (advanced doctoral or postdoctoral researchers) with research expertise in a variety of disciplines: 

  • Humanities 
  • Social Sciences 
  • Physics, Engineering and Material Sciences 
  • Chemistry 
  • Mathematics 
  • Computer Sciences 
  • Life Sciences 
  • Earth Sciences 
  • Environmental Sciences 
  • Biomedical Sciences 

Research Associates need to be active researchers in their field (academia or R&D) as testified by a recent publication record or other recent research outputs.  

As a Research Associate you are required to invoice your services to ESF, as you would collaborate with ESF on a consultancy basis.

What can you expect

If you are successful in joining our College of Research Associates, and if your field of expertise is relevant to a given assessment process, you will collaborate with the European Science Foundation remotely (home-based) on a temporary project basis, supporting our science services. The projects we undertake usually require between 2-4 months and normally require a team of several Research Associates.

We will contact you a minimum of two or three weeks in advance to check your availability and establish a consultancy agreement.

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Nature of the mission

When selecting Research Associates to work on particular missions we will always look for the best-fit for the assignment, taking into consideration your area of expertise, discipline, experience and availability.

The mission normally entails:

  • identifying scientific peers in order to assess research projects proposals and fellowships applications;
  • doing the quality of peer-review reports;
  • other related tasks as appropriate (ie: supporting review panels and their Chairs)


Prior to any concrete work engagement with us, selected Research Associates will be provided with:

  • Documents and information describing the processes that they could be assigned to work on
  • Appropriate training/briefing on these processes.

More information about our Peer Review and grant evaluation processes can be found in the European Peer Review Guide (Integrating Policies and Practices into Coherent Procedures) published by ESF in 2011.

How to apply

Please note that this is a Consultancy role and that selected candidates are required to provide invoices for consultancy services. 

Please note that during the period covered by the consultancy contract, Research Associates cannot act as reviewers for any of the grant evaluation activities implemented by ESF.

To apply to our College of Research Associates, please click on the "Apply" button below.  Applications will be processed by our HR and scientific teams and you shall expect a response within 2 months.

ESF will not discriminate, nor allow its staff to discriminate, against any member of staff or applicant for employment or ex-employee on the basis of gender (including in cases of pregnancy or maternity); age; ethnic, national or social origin; religion or belief; sexual orientation; disability; political opinion; social or economic condition or health.

For any questions regarding the College of Research Associates, you can send an email to cra[at]esf[dot]org.

Apply now