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Graduates: Young Graduate Trainees

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ESA / About Us / Careers at ESA

Are you about to take your finals? Or do you already have your Master’s degree? If so, then you can apply to ESA as a 'Young Graduate Trainee' (YGT). This high-calibre programme lasts for one year and gives you the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the development and operation of space missions in an international and multicultural environment.

Every year, we publish about 100 YGT job opportunities, aimed mainly at engineers and scientists, graduates in Information Technology, Natural or Social Science and Business.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for the YGT programme, you must be:

  • A student in the final year of a Master’s degree at University or an equivalent institutes or have just graduated. YGTs are required to have completed their Master's degree by the time they start work at ESA. (Should you already hold a PhD, please have a look at our Research Fellowship programme, which is in line with your background and level of qualification)
  • A citizen of one of the ESA Member States or from one of the European Cooperating States, Latvia or Slovenia as an Associated Member State or Canada as a Cooperating State.


What we offer you

  • An enriching and highly valuable experience that could open doors to a career within Europe’s space sector, renowned research institutes or, of course, ESA.
  • An international and multicultural environment
  • A one year contract with 2.5 days paid leave per month
  • You will earn approximately €2300 to €2700 per month (depending on the location of the ESA Establishment) exempt from national income tax in ESA Member States and excellent employment conditions.
  • Travel expenses at the beginning and end of the contract  (including travel expenses for spouse and children if they reside with the trainee during the contract)
  • Comprehensive health cover under ESA’s social security scheme

How to apply

Opportunities go online once a year in February, and stay open for one month. 

Before applying

  • Once published, browse the ESA list of opportunities on our page here.
  • Select the one that best matches your interests and profile - focus your application on an opportunity that genuinely interests you and fits your educational background. Multiple applications are not encouraged.
  • Register and create your candidate profile with your CV and motivation letter.

Once you have applied, you will be able to track the status of your application in your hr-space.

After applying

  • Candidates are selected by the relevant tutor and recruitment interviews take place in April/May.  
  • The take-up-duty date is then made by mutual agreement, typically in September/October of that same year. 

All candidates will be informed of the outcome of their application by email. 

Throughout the year you may find that some additional YGT posts are published. So that you do not miss a single chance for your career at ESA, you can now sign up with us to receive job alerts.

Towards the end of the traineeship period, trainees are asked to submit a report on their activities and the accomplishments achieved during the year.

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