Young Graduate Trainees

Are you about to take your finals? Or do you already have your Masters degree in the bag? If so, then you can apply to ESA as a 'Young Graduate Trainee' (YGT). This high-calibre programme lasts for one year and gives successful applicants an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the development and operation of space missions. As a Graduate Trainee, you’ll take on a responsible role in supporting a project, and benefit from the expertise of an ESA tutor.

YGTs gain valuable experience that can qualify them for the many exciting opportunities within Europe’s space industry, renowned research institutes and, of course, ESA. This, in addition to the rich personal experience of living and working in another country and in a diverse and international environment, makes the YGT programme very popular.

The selection process

Traineeship Opportunities for Young Graduate Trainees go online once a year in mid-November, and stay open for one month. At this time, we publish about 100 YGT job offers, aimed mainly at engineers and physicists, graduates in Information Technology, Natural or Social Science and Business.

To be eligible for the YGT programme, you must be in the final year of a Master's degree at a university or an equivalent institute or have just graduated. Candidates are required to have completed their Master's degree by the time they start work at ESA. (Should you already hold a PhD, please follow the link on the left to consult our Research Fellowship Opportunities, which will be in line with your background and level of qualification.) 

You must also be a citizen of one of the ESA Member States or from one of the European Cooperating States (see the link on the right for details).
Please be aware that you can only apply for one YGT opportunity. Only applicants to a single opportunity will be considered for the selection phase. Therefore, before you submit your online application make sure you have selected the opportunity which best fits your background and interests. 

Candidates are selected by the relevant tutor.
Recruitment interviews typically take place in March.
The recruitment date is then made by mutual agreement and can be any time from May to September of that same year. 

Attractive terms and conditions

Contracts are for one year. ESA will provide:

  • monthly remuneration (the basic net salary, or 'take-home pay', for a single expatriate YGT is about €2,200 per month depending on the location of the ESA Establishment)
  • an expatriation allowance, plus an installation allowance on arrival, for those not resident in the country to which they are assigned
  • 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)
  • 2.5 days paid leave per month
  • health cover under ESA’s Social Security scheme

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

Complete the online application form!

If you would like to apply, please fill in the online application form attached to each vacancy. Don't forget to attach your CV together with a cover letter explaining your motivation for applying.

Please note that our online application form is a generic form used for both junior and experienced candidates. YGT applicants should only complete the relevant sections of the form. For example, the section 'current/previous employer' should only be completed if the candidate has already had some professional experience as an intern or through summer employment.

Candidates will only be contacted if selected for a pre-screening exercise and possible subsequent face-to-face interview and can expect to be contacted by the end of February.

Remember, only one online application form per candidate should be sent!

Throughout the year you may find that some additional YGT posts are published. So that you don't miss a single chance for your career at ESA, you can now subscribe to our careers news list, and we'll keep you up to date by email.

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