Formation and evolution of planetary systems and habitable planets
Molėtai, 21 - 30 August 2015


General information
The summer school will present an overview of the pathways formation of habitable planets both in our and extrasolar planets. It is co-organised by the Nordic Network of Astrobiology, the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership "European Astrobiology Campus" and the EU COST Action "Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth and in the Universe". Its programme includes:

  • Lectures by internationally leading scientists covering a broad range of astrobiology
  • Observations of exoplanet and binary star transits as well as other interesting astronomical objects like Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet with the 1.65 m and broad field 51 cm telescope at the Molėtai Observatory
  • Remote observations using other telescopes in Europe
  • Two Poster sessions for students and early career scientists
  • Participant-led discussions about forefront-topics
Molėtai Observatory is a uniquely suitable venue for the summer school, offering both access to telescopes equipped with modern observing instruments as well as a spacious conference hall, local accommodation, and beautiful countryside environment with pristine lakes.

A preliminary programme of the summer course can be downloaded as a .xls file here.

Fees and refunds
There are no fees charged for the course. But participants will be charged a package rate, will be about EUR 600,- (roughly USD 700,-). Please see below for bursaries for European students !

This course package fee covers

  • Accommodation in shared triple or double bedrooms with shared facilities (one bathroom for 2-3 rooms) from 20 August evening to 31 August 2015 morning
  • Breakfasts, Coffee breaks, lunches and dinners 20 August evening to 31 August 2015 morning
  • Excursions as specified in the programme
  • Transfer between the course venues
  • Farewell dinner
  • Course material

Bursaries are available for around 32 European Ph. D. students and early career scientists (up to 8 years after their first Ph. D.). Selected participants located in countries taking part in the the EU COST Action "Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth and in the Universe" (this covers most European Countries) will get a flat refund of around EUR 600,- for accommodation and meals and up to EUR 360,- for travel depending on the distance travelled. Thus, they will in fact be paid for all their expenses.(The list of these countries can be inspected here. As of 1 January 2015 this includes: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK. Herein it is the country of the institution that the applicant is affiliated to, not the applicant's nationality that counts (i.e. an Australian applicant studying at a Swedish university would be eligible, a Swedish post-doc working at a Brazilian University would not). For participants located in Lithuania, however, special rules of refund apply (please contact the organisers for details). The selection of the applicants to be funded will be made by the organisers after the deadline. Accepted participants will be informed about refund formalities after 15 June 2015. Please note that they will only get refunded after the course.

Unfortunately, there will be no funds available for participants from other countries. They can also apply, but will have to find the financial means for attending on their own. If you fall into that category and want to apply for alternative funding from other sources, we strongly recommend you to do so well before the application deadline. It might be too late to ask for funds after the decision of the evaluation committee.

Venue and Access
Please refer to the Venue and Access webpages for all information

For all enquiries please contact the course organisers, Wolf Geppert, preferably by e-mail: or phone (++46-8-55378649) and Grazina Tautvaisiene, e-mail: or phone (++370-618-49941). Please also refer to the practical infos and the other information webpages. Most necessary information is likely to be found there.

Poster sessions
The poster sessions will be held on Friday, 21 August 2015 and Saturday 22 August 2015. The poster sessions are aiming to allow participants to present their work, so even posters a bit remote from the course subjects are welcome. Poster dimensions should be max A0 i portrait format (119 x 84 cm)

Participants will be allowed a 4 minutes Powerpoint assisted presentation for their posters (no discussion) which will take place in the lecture room. For a smooth run of these poster talks, they are asked to bring their talks on a memory stick or CD-ROM.

The application deadline has passed. However, we have some rest places available for students and early stage researchers from the following univesities participating in the European Astrobiology Campus: Vilnius, Stockholm, Tartu, Porto, Bordeaux, Open University, Iceland, Utrecht, Tallinn and Turku. They can still apply until 30 June 2015 . Please go to the Application webpage for accessing application forms and details.Applicants will be informed about the outcome in the end of June.

Welcome to Molėtai !

Lithuanian lake landscape Trakai water castle Vilnius Old Observatory