Students who would like to participate in 'Drop Your Thesis!' 2012 must be at the time of application:
- aged 18 to 28;
- a citizen of an ESA Member or Cooperating State*;
- a full-time student in a university of an ESA Member or Cooperating State*;
- either a Masters or a PhD student in a scientific or engineering subject.
Conditions for participation
It is essential that the experiment proposed is an integral part of the students’ syllabuses, i.e. part of a Masters thesis, a PhD thesis, or another form of research project supported by the applicants’ universities. Applicants must be able to show they have their university’s support through a letter of endorsement from their endorsing professor or academic supervisor.
Applying teams must be composed of two to four students. ALL students must fulfil the eligibility criteria. At least two team members will have to demonstrate that the experiment is part of their university syllabus (as above). The final number of team members who can participate personally in the Drop Tower Campaign will depend strictly on the requirements of the experiment and is subject to approval by the Review Board. The Board reserves the right to change or reduce the team size if considered necessary.
No changes to the composition of the team are allowed once the application has been submitted. If for exceptional reasons changes are absolutely necessary, they will be subject to the approval of the Review Board.
Priority will be given to teams and/or research projects that have not previously been investigated in a Drop Tower Campaign.
Submitted proposals will be evaluated on completion of all the relevant steps. Please read the How to apply page carefully.
Each team applying must be supported by one of their professors or academic supervisors, whose role will be to supervise the work of the students. This person must belong to the same institution as at least one of the students and will be expected to endorse the entire application and development process of the team, and will bear responsibility for the experiment. At the time of application he will provide the Letter of Endorsement for the team. As explained in the “Terms and Conditions for participation in ESA Drop Tower Campaigns” (see the Documents page), the endorsing academic supervisor will be appointed as the principal experiment coordinator. If the team is composed of Masters students, this person must also fulfil the role of local experiment coordinator and attend the entire campaign.
Additionally, the European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA) will offer the selected team, through a mentorship programme, the possibility to benefit from the support from a European scientist highly experienced in gravity-related research.
The objective of the ELGRA Mentors' relationships with the students is to bring some support to the team and to advise them during their experiment rack development.
The mentor will primarily focus on the scientific aspects of the projects and will follow the evolution of the team’s participation until the end of the programme, including the post-campaign activities.
The mentor will be offered the possibility to visit the institution of the student team and will be encouraged to co-author the papers related to this project.
A review board will assess all applications against several criteria, including the scientific and/or technological value and novelty of the proposed experiment; the involvement of the project in the students' syllabuses; and the relevance of microgravity, as well as the use of a drop tower, as a means to achieving the objective of the experiment The entire selection will be performed in a single step.
Please note that the conditions detailed above are subject to change without prior notice.
* ESA Member States in 2013
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
Canada, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Slovenia.