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Welcome to AstrobiologyOU.

We are an enthusiastic and friendly group of over 50 staff and students who are working together to understand how, and where, life might be found and to address the scientific, governance and ethical challenges faced by astrobiology-related exploration missions. 

With an increasing number of life-detection and habitability missions, astrobiology is at the core of nations’ space strategies. Our group members are involved in key astrobiology-related missions and in developing planetary protection regulations. 

AstrobiologyOU has grown from four colleagues with an incredible vision to a multi-disciplinary research group, across four schools and three faculties, working in three of the Open University’s Strategic Research Areas.

We are committed to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion. We offer exciting programmes in Outreach and Public Engagement with research. We also develop commercial and social enterprises as a means of maximising the impact of our academic and research activities.

About AstrobiologyOU
AstrobiologyOU Research
AstrobiologyOU People
AstrobiologyOU External Engagement

Latest News

PhD studentships now OPEN for applications


******Applications now OPEN*******

The following PhDs are being offered through various funding streams and in various schools across the university. Please see the applications details for each individual PhD to ensure you complete the correct, corresponding paperwork.


This UKSA funded PhD is being offered in the School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences:

1st November 2022

Senior Fellow Position **Closed to Applications**

An exciting opportunity to join our team as a Senior Fellow is now **closed to applications**

The post holder will undertake a self-directed research programme that will sit within the remit of AstrobiologyOU’s research and will result in significant outputs and impact. Their programme will demonstrate effective use of AstrobiologyOU’s and the Open University’s laboratory facilities. The post-holder will be expected to generate income through research grants and/or collaboration with industry.

Closing date: 12th October - 12:00pm (midday)

20th September 2022
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Latest Blog posts

Anthony pipetting on to a device connected to laptop that is displaying the results.

My experience training to use Nanopore's MinION

Oh wow, what an experience! Hi, I`m Anthony Scales and I have recently attended a weeklong training with Exeter sequencing service focusing on using Nanopore`s MinION. Though before I get stuck into telling you about the experience, I`d first like to introduce myself as I`m a guest within the University of Exeter. I am a research technician with AstrobiologyOU at the Open University, Milton Keynes, where we aim to address the scientific, governance and ethical challenges associated with astrobiology. To do this we are looking to answer questions within four key themes:

12th August 2022

My time as an OU Intern with AstrobiologyOU

I have been working at AstrobiologyOU as an intern since May 2022. I had made my final submission for my bachelor’s degree – Geography and Environmental Sciences – on the 1st of June. My job role was ‘Outreach Coordinator’, in which I worked in the public relations field of AstrobiologyOU. I have learnt much during the three months which I have spent with AstrobiologyOU.

20th July 2022
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