Eligibility criteria


Students who would like to participate in ‘Fly Your Thesis!’ must comply with the following criteria:

  • age 18 to 28 at the time of the application;
  • be a citizen from an ESA Member or Cooperating State*;
  • be a full-time student in a university from an ESA Member or Cooperating State*;
  • either Master’s Students in their last years of study or PhD students, in a scientific subject.

Conditions for participation

An important condition is that the project of experiment is an integral part of the students’ syllabus. This can be through a Master’s Thesis, a PhD Thesis, a research programme or any form of project supported by the applicants’ university. Applicants must be able to show they have their university’s support through a letter of endorsement from their endorsing professor or academic.

Teams will be composed of two to four students. At least two team members will have to comply with the condition of involvement in the syllabus (see above) and all must fulfil the eligibility criteria. The final number of members in the teams to participate in the flights (should the team be selected) will depend strictly on the requirements of the experiment, and is subject to acceptance of the Review Board, who may decide to reduce the team size.

The initial composition of the team shall not be changed throughout the programme. If for exceptional reasons changes are absolutely necessary, they will be subject to the approval of the Review Board.

Biomedical experiments with human test subjects require an evaluation concerning the ethical and operational aspects of the experiment by the ESA Medical Board, an accreditation from a local ethical committee and additional paper work compared to the technical standard documentation for a parabolic flight experiment. For this type of experiment, the students shall just make use of the material and technical procedures which they are qualified for. Therefore either one of the students or the endorsing professor must be a qualified doctor or nurse.

Proposals identical to those already submitted to ESA’s Parabolic Flight Campaign programme of the Directorate of Human Space Flight will not be accepted.

A particular experiment proposal can be submitted a maximum of two times to the “Fly your Thesis!” programme.

Priority will be given to teams and/or projects that haven't flown on parabolic flights already.

Submitted proposals will be evaluated on completion of all the relevant steps. Please read the how to apply page carefully.

Please note that the conditions detailed above are subject to change without prior notice.

* ESA Member States in 2012
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
Cooperating States
Canada, Estonia, Hungary and Slovenia.
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