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Research and public service in the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere of the Earth and other planets, and of outer space.

Observing, analysing, acting, informing, sharing

Below you can see that in 2020 the share of contractual employees among scientists (72%) is much higher than in support services (47% in IT, 61% persons in administration and 64% in engineering/technical staff). This is due to the fact that many scientists are paid on externally funded projects.

One of the main tasks of BIRA-IASB’s Documentation Center is to ensure that the institute’s scientists have prompt access to publications supporting ongoing research. This is maintained through the acquisition of licenses with academic publishers and through book and article purchases.

In 2020, 30% of the institute's staff are women (=49 persons). 70% (=112 persons) are male. This overall male-female ratio at BIRA-IASB hardly changed over the last decade.

Of all the Federal Scientific Institutes, BIRA-IASB has the highest proportion of its budget coming from external competitive projects (63%). These are projects funded by organisations such as:

  • ESA
  • the European Commission
  • (to a lesser extent) national research funds

With a contribution of 42% and 28% of external project funding respectively, ESA and PRODEX (ESA) are the most important sources of income for the institute, followed by the EU funding (essentially H2020) with 19%.

The following figures show immediately that the vast majority of our expenditure (>70%) is on staff. BIRA-IASB staff is increasingly financed by external projects.

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, which greatly reduced travel, we were able to save some budget on general operating funds to invest in scientific equipment.