The European Community for Planetary Sciences

Europlanet Society Briefing
August 2020

In this Briefing

Word from the President
Dear Colleagues,
We are delighted that the community has submitted over 1000 abstracts for the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 2020 and look forward to experiencing our first virtual meeting with you from 21 September – 9 October. The programme is now online. Please remember that you need to submit the videos of your oral talks and your pdf posters by 7 September.
Some bursaries are available to support early career researchers and members of our community from under-represented states. Please submit your applications by Friday, 21 August.
These remain challenging times and the Europlanet Society is working to find additional ways of supporting the community. We have just launched a mentoring service and an early career training and education portal to help the newer members of our community access opportunities and gain support from those with more experience.
The Europlanet General Assembly will take place during EPSC on Wednesday, 30 September. This is your opportunity to help us define plans for the coming year and secure the future of the Europlanet Society.
I look forward to seeing you there.
Nigel Mason
President, Europlanet Society
Coordinator, Europlanet 2024 RI
The teams in both Europlanet Offices are working remotely and will endeavour to respond to any queries you may have about the impact of Covid-19 on the Europlanet Society or Europlanet 2024 RI.

Europlanet Society News

Meet the Europlanet Society Team

Justen Russell

With a PhD in immunology and a background in vaccine research, the coronavirus pandemic may seem an odd time for a virologist to switch disciplines, but Justen Russell will tell you he has always had a passion for space. Officially joining the Europlanet Society team in June, Justen is the new communications officer for space sciences at the European Science Foundation. He certainly knows how to communicate, Justen has a background in competitive debate and science fiction published in Nature. At Europlanet, Justen’s first task has been to open up the Europlanet Society website, designing backend tools that will enable each of the various committees and regional hubs to manage their own section of the website.  
Bursaries to Support Europlanet Society Members at EPSC 2020 Virtual Meeting

The Europlanet Society has secured sponsorship to support up to 40 bursaries for researchers from under-represented states and early career (within 7 years of last degree) at the EPSC 2020 Virtual Meeting.

Successful bursary applicants will be able to reclaim the EPSC2020 abstract processing fee of 50€. To qualify for a bursary, the applicants will need to have an abstract accepted for presentation at the conference (oral or poster). To be eligible, applicants should be a member of the Europlanet Society (details of how to join can be found here).

The bursary funding will be issued after the meeting. To apply for a bursary, fill in the form at:

Europlanet Research Infrastructure News

Europlanet Mentorship Platform

In partnership with Vilnius University and the Europlanet SocietyEuroplanet 2024 RI is proud to announce the new Europlanet Mentorship Platform, which aims to help early career scientists to develop expertise, ask questions and discuss career plans with the support of more established members of the planetary community.

Open Calls for Applications and Nominations

Europlanet Telescope Network

Rolling Call for Submission

Europlanet 2024 RI provides the opportunity for funding observation nights at telescopes within Europlanet Telescope Network by reimbursing travel, accommodation and per diem of the observer, and service costs of the observatory.
Find out more here >>

Featured Events

The Europlanet Society Congress (EPSC2020) - Virtual Meeting

21 September – 9th October

The programme and full meeting details are now available including guidelines for oral presentations and posters.
Find out more on the EPSC2020 website >>


Registration Open Until 4 September

TThe EPEC-EPSC Working Group invites novice conference attendees/postdocs as well as experienced researchers to sign up for Mentoring@EPSC. Unsure about how to profit from a virtual conference? Register as an EPSC Mentee here. Willing to support an early career professional and share some of your tips and knowledge, please join us as an EPSC Mentor here.

EPSC 2020 Planetary Science Wiki Edit-a-thon

21 September – 9th October

The Diversity Committee of the Europlanet Society, in collaboration with Women in Red and WikiDonne, are organising an Edit-a-thon during EPSC2020 to highlight diversity within the planetary science community.
Find out more here >>

EPSC 2020 Goes Live for Schools

21 September – 9th October

For the first time, EPSC2020 is opening its doors to schools to give students a glimpse of how contemporary science is done. Teachers and students are invited to join us virtually (suggested age range 12-18 years old or older).
Learn more here >>


#PlanetaryScience4All Video Contest

Deadline 31 August, 2020

The Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) Communication working group is asking PhD students involved in planetary science to showcase their researchin this 4-minute video contest.
The winner will receive a free registration for EPSC 2021 in Helsinki, Finland and have their video shared via the Europlanet website, newsletters and social media. Learn more here >>

#InspiredByOtherWorlds Arts Contest

Deadline 30 October 2020

EPSC2020 is inviting schools and space enthusiasts of all ages to get creative and share their artworks and performances inspired by other worlds.
Learn more here >>

Europlanet Community Corner

EPEC Profiles

Gene Schmidt

Gene started his research in Planetary science looking at interior layered deposists of Mars before pursuing a PhD in planetary geology from the International Research School of Planetary Science in Italy. He is continuing his geologic research on Mars at the University Toma Tre and expanding his research to Martian analogs, spectroscopy, and the Precambrian geology of Earth.
Read Gene's full profile here >>
EPEC Profiles

Erica Luzzi

Erica is a PhD student at Jacobs University Bremen where she works on the of geological mapping on Mars within the European PLANMAP consortium. A recent winner of the Amerlia Earhart Fellowship, learn more about Erica and her work here>>
EPEC Profiles - Call for submissions
If you are an early career professional and want to showcase your research in an EPEC Profile: 
Find out how to participate here >>
Voyage 2050 Viewpoints

Dr Charlotte Götz

This months interview by EPEC Future Research Working Group is with Dr Charlotte Götz, the author of a Voyage 2050 white paper on “Cometary Plasma Science.”
Read it here >>

Inspiring Stories

Studying Alien Worlds Through ORBYTS

In this EPEC Inspiring Outreach Story, Billy Edwards describes how to bring cutting-edge exoplanet research into UK classrooms.
Read it here >>


Early Careers Training and Education Platform

Search for your next opportunity on Europlanet's Early Careers Training and Education Portal, with information on PhD positions, job opportunities, summer schools, and meetings relevant to early career professionals working in planetary science and related fields.
Find out more here>>

Early career opportunities should be mailed to

EPSC 2020 Social Media Internships

Call for Applications

Europlanet is looking for members of the community that would be willing to support the Europlanet social media team during EPSC 2020. Successful applicants will be paid €400 to cover 10 live sessions (either mornings or afternoons) during the meeting.
Apply here before August 21. All questions can be adressed to Anita Heward.

Planetary Science Highlights

Image credit to NASA/JPL-Caltech

Perserverence and Ingenuity on their way to Mars

Due to arive 18 February 2021

Seeking evidence of microbial life in Mars' ancient history, or of habitable conditions that could have supported it, the Perseverance rover and its helicopter partner Ingenuity launched 30 July and will touch down in Jezero crater early next year.
Among its collection of scientific instruments, Perseverance includes three with significant European contributions: the weather station MEDA (provided by a Spainish led consortium with contributions by the Finish Meteorological Institute), the remote-sensing laser Miro-Imager SuperCam (France/Spain) and the ground-penetrating radar RIMFAX (provided by Norway).
You can find more information on the mission, its scientific objectives and instruments at

Thirty Years of H3+ Astronomy

Reviews of Modern Physics 92, 3 August 2020

by Steve Miller, Jonathan Tennyson, Thomas R. Geballe, and Tom Stallard

Miller et al. acknowledge the support of Europlanet EU-funded projects in their ambitious review of three decades of scientific inquiry into the role of the H3+ in our solar system and beyond.
Read it here>>

Have your own publication you want featured in the Europlanet Society Briefing?

If it has a link to Europlanet we want to see it! Send a copy to so we can let the community know.

Society Members' Area

Funding Opportunities and Policy Reports

The Europlanet Society will be providing information about upcoming calls and funding opportunities relevant to planetary science and space on its website. Members should log into their account to access details on funding opportunities and the full monthly policy reports
Did you know? As Europlanet Society member, you can share your planetary science news via our newsletter. Contact the editorial team!
Not a member yet? Click here to join the Europlanet Society!
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