International Space Science Institute (ISSI)Hallerstrasse 6
3012 Bern

Phone +41 31 684 48 96

Our scientific opportunities support the community through six distinct modes of operation. Links to proposal templates or on-line submission forms are provided for each individual tool.

Find explanations, forms of applications and an overview of current and past activities.


Remotely sensing potential climate change tipping points across scales

Potential climate tipping points pose a growing risk for societies, and policy is calling for improved anticipation of them. Satellite remote sensing can play a unique role in identifying and anticipating tipping phenomena across scales. Where satellite records are too short for temporal early warning of tipping points, complementary spatial indicators can leverage the exceptional spatial-temporal coverage of remotely sensed data to detect changing resilience of vulnerable systems. Combining Earth observation with Earth system models can improve process-based understanding of tipping points, their interactions, and potential tipping cascades. Such fine-resolution sensing can support climate tipping point risk management across scales.


Timothy M. Lenton, Jesse F. Abrams, Annett Bartsch, Sebastian Bathiany, Chris A. Boulton, Joshua E. Buxton, Alessandra Conversi, Andrew M. Cunliffe, Sophie Hebden, Thomas Lavergne, Benjamin Poulter, Andrew Shepherd, Taylor Smith, Didier Swingedouw, Ricarda Winkelmann & Niklas Boers

Lunar Gravitational-Wave Detection

A new era of lunar exploration has begun bringing immense opportunities for science as well. It has been proposed to deploy a new generation of observatories on the lunar surface for deep studies of our Universe. This includes radio antennas, which would be protected on the far side of the Moon from terrestrial radio interference, and gravitational-wave (GW) detectors, which would profit from the extremely low level of seismic disturbances on the Moon. In recent years, novel concepts have been proposed for lunar GW detectors based on long-baseline laser interferometry or on compact sensors measuring the lunar surface vibrations caused by GWs. In this article, we review the concepts and science opportunities for such instruments on the Moon. In addition to promising breakthrough discoveries in astrophysics and cosmology, lunar GW detectors would also be formidable probes of the lunar internal structure and improve our understanding of the lunar geophysical environment.


Marica Branchesi, Maurizio Falanga, Jan Harms, Karan Jani, Stavros Katsanevas, Philippe Lognonné, Francesca Badaracco, et al.

Volume Forum Report

Ground and Space Astronomy: Challenges and Synergies

The ISSI Forum on “Ground and Space Astronomy: Challenges and Synergies” took place on November 18 and 19, 2021, at ISSI Bern. The rationale behind this topic is the fact that fully achieving all scientific objectives of many space and many ground-based surveys increasingly relies on the combination of space data and ground-based observations. This is the case for ESA space missions aiming to characterize extrasolar planets, like Plato, but also for Galactic studies with Gaia, or cosmological missions like Euclid.


Ewine van Dishoeck, Fabio Favata, Alvaro Giménez, Bruno Leibundgut, Matt Mountain, Saku Tsuneta, and Joachim Wambsganss

Remote Sensing Of Tipping Points In The Climate System

This Forum Tipping Points in the Earth’s Climate was held online last month (26-29 January 2021) and brought modellers and the remote-sensing community together to discuss how Earth observations can contribute to our understanding of tipping elements in the climate system and help with early warning of change.

PRESTO: Predictability of the Variable Solar-Terrestrial Coupling – The SCOSTEP Scientific Program (2019-2024)

Special Taikong Issue No. 13 (June 2019) resulting from the Fora held ISSI-BJ (2018) and ISSI (2019)


Nat Gopalswamy, Ioannis A. Daglis


Anna Yang

Small Satellites for Space Science: A COSPAR Scientific Roadmap

This paper (published in Advances in Space Research, October 2019) resulted from the 2nd Forum on "Small Satellites for Space Science (4S)" held in April 2018


Robyn M. Millan, Rudolf von Steiger et al

Planetary Exploration, Horizon 2061: A Joint ISSI-Europlanet Community Forsight Exercise

We present the preliminary results of a foresight exercise initiated by the Air and Space Academy (Toulouse, France) and jointly implemented by the Europlanet Research Infrastructure project of the European Union and by the International Space Science Institute (ISSI).


Michel Blanc, Ari-Matti Hari, Rafael Rodrigo, Norbert Krupp, Karoly Szego, John Zarnecki, the H2061 W.G.

Performing High-Quality Science on CubeSats

CubeSats and the Future of Space Exploration—A Personal View
Report of the Forum on "CubeSats" (held in January 2016), Space Research Today, Volume 196, August 2016, Pages 10–35

Monitoring the evolution of coastal zones under various forcing factors using space-based observing system

This paper is an outcome of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) Forum on “Monitoring the evolution of coastal zones under various forcing factors using space-based observing systems” 11-12 October 2016 (convened by J. Benveniste, A. Cazenave, N. Champollion,
G. Le Cozannet and P. Woodworth


Contributors (alphabetical order): Michael Ablain, Mélanie Becker, Jérôme Benveniste, Anny Cazenave, Nicolas Champollion, Silvia Ciccarelli, Svetlana Jevrejeva, Gonéri Le Cozannet, Nicoletta Leornardi, Hubert Loisel, Nathalie Long, Philippe Maisongrande, Cyril Mallet, Marta Marcos, Melisa Menéndez, Benoît Meyssignac, Andrew Plater, Daniel Raucoules, Andrea Taramelli, Stefano Vignudelli, Emiliana Valentini, Philip Woodworth and Guy Wöppelmann

Understanding Gravity

ISSI/HISPAC Forum on “Understanding Gravity” 3/4 December 2013 at ISSI premises in Bern, Switzerland


Rafael Rodrigo

A Spiral Amongst Thousands
Credits ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, A. Martel