• POMP II call is closed

    The second MELiSSA Call for Doctorate and Postdoctoral Proposals (POMP II) is closed.


  • About the MELiSSA Foundation

    The MELiSSA foundation is a non-profit organisation created by the MELiSSA consortium for the purpose to manage a fund dedicated to finance a pool of MELiSSA PhD students and postdocs. The board of the the Foundation consists of Prof. Dr. Max Mergeay (Director) and Rob Suters LLM (Managing Director). The committee in charge of evaluating PhD applications consists of representatives of the MELiSSA community, ESA and independent scientists.

    The MELiSSA Foundation PS is a private foundation (private stichting) based in Brussels incorporated under Belgian law registered under nr. 0547759097

    For contact details please visit contact.


    The MELiSSA consortium consists of 14 partners including ESA, several universities and CRO's and private companies and is internationally recognized as the most advanced effort to develop biological closed loop life support systems. Our partners are from Belgium, Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, The Netherlands and Canada.





  • MELiSSA logo

    The MELiSSA Space Research Program

    The acronym MELiSSA means 'Micro Ecological Life Support System Alternative'. It refers to a space research program aiming to develop an artificial ecosystem for regenerative life support systems for long-term space missions to lunar bases or flights to Mars. The MELiSSA Project is managed by the ESA ESTEC and is part of the 'Physical Sciences Instrumentation and Life Support section (TEC-MMG)'. The project started 25 years ago and is based on a collaborative development program between 14 partners and a large number of supporting sub-contractors and international partners. 

    The MELiSSA initiative is internationally recognized as the most advanced effort to develop artificial life support systems. For more information please visit the ESA website.


  • Doctoral student,Environmental technology and microbial cleantech

    Doctoral student,Environmental technology and microbial cleantech - 2018BAPFWETEX343

    The University of Antwerp is a young, dynamic and forward‐thinking university. In 2018 it globally ranked 14th in the “Top 50 Universities Under 50 years”. It also appeared in the Reuters top 100 of most Europe’s most innovative universities (2018). Within the Faculty of Science, the University created the Department of Bioscience Engineering in 2006, recognizing a strong societal demand for research and education on applied biological sciences such as environmental technology.

    This department hosts the Research Group of Sustainable Energy, Air and Water Technology, founded in 2009, where prof. Siegfried Vlaeminck launched in 2015 a research team on microbial cleantech for a sustainable water cycle and food production chain (

    The team’s mission is to develop clean biotechnological solutions and to assess the environmental sustainability of such novel treatment and production pipelines (life cycle assessment/material flow analysis). Key application areas include single-cell protein (microbial protein), nutrient recovery, slow-release fertilizers, energy-positive sewage treatment, anammox, high-rate activated sludge, …

    With a sustainable circular and bio-based economy as goal, the team also focusses on regenerative life support systems, a necessity also for long-term human spaceflights. The specific PhD topic focusses on the development of an innovative technology for biological nitrogen conversion, including, but not limited to (partial) nitritation, anammox, nitratation and/or denitrification.The team is dynamic and international, embracing diversity, as witnessed from the synergetic collaboration of scientists from 8 countries (3 continents). And importantly, Antwerp is a vibrant historical human-scale city in the heart of Europe, with a rich offer of cultural and social activities.

    The Faculty of Science is seeking to fill a full-time vacancy in the Department of Bioscience Engineering for a Doctoral student in the area of environmental technology and microbial cleantech with focus on innovative biological nitrogen conversion

    Job description

        You prepare a doctoral thesis in the field of Bioscience engineering.
        You contribute to teaching and research in the Research Group of Sustainable Energy, Air and Water Technology (
        You publish scientific articles related to the research project of the assignment, and present your results at scientific fora in Belgium and abroad.
        You apply for additional external research funding.

    Profile and requirements

        You are passionate about environmental technology and microbial cleantech, and are highly motivated to obtain a PhD degree in this field.
        You hold a master degree in bioscience engineering, environmental engineering, (bio)chemical engineering or equivalent applied sciences.
        You have obtained your degree with very good and preferably excellent grades.
        Demonstrable laboratory experience in environmental microbiotechnology is a plus.
        The focus in your teaching corresponds to the educational vision of the university.
        Your academic qualities comply with the requirements stipulated in the university’s policy.
        You apply for external research funding, for instance targeting a doctoral grant strategic basic (SB) research at the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). This implies that compliance with the eligibility criteria as stipulated by is a plus.
        You have outstanding oral and written communication skills in English, and communicate clearly and honestly.
        You are quality-oriented, conscientious and creative.
        You have excellent interpersonal skills to collaborate constructively and respectfully with scientific team members and BSc/MSc students.
        You have excellent skills for to manage your time and budget, and are able to meet objectives efficiently within strictly set deadlines.
        You are strong in working proactively and independently, with an outcome-focused mentality.
        You are willing to travel internationally for project meetings, conferences, workshops and/or research stays.

    We offer

        a doctoral scholarship for a period of two years, with the possibility of renewal for a further two-year period after positive evaluation;
        the start date of scholarship will be probably March 1st 2019;
        a gross monthly grant ranging from € 2.373,36 tot € 2.516,73;
        an open and flexible work environment that encourages creativity, self-realisation and independent thinking;
        a young, dynamic, respectful, diverse and international working environment;
        the opportunity to tutor BSc and MSc students working on your research topic;
        the opportunity to build a broad national and international network of industrial and scientific partners;
        the opportunity to develop new personal competences through professional training moments, courses and workshops;
        a unique chance to make a difference, and personally contribute to the development of sustainable biotechnological answers to urgent societal challenges.

    How to apply?

        Applications may only be submitted online, until the closing date 7 January 2019.
        Your application must be accompanied by a motivation letter showing point by point that your profile matches with each of the mentioned requirements for this position.
        A pre-selection will be made from amongst the submitted applications. The remainder of the selection procedure is specific to the position and will be determined by the selection panel.
        The interviews of the candidates, preselected by a selection panel, will take place on January 15th, in the morning (local time in Belgium).
        More information about the application form can be obtained from
        For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact prof. Siegfried Vlaeminck,


Downloads AgroSpace MELiSSA Workshop Rome 2018

MELiSSA Bibliograhpy


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