How to apply

Interested in applying? You should then do the following:

  • Identify and consult the endorsing professor or academic who preferably should be your thesis or project supervisor.
  • Form a team of two to four students who fulfil the eligibility criteria and have an interest in working in a team as an integral part of their university syllabus.
  • Register on the ESA Education Office’s project portal. Your endorsing professor and all the team members should register on the website.
  • Define your project, discuss it and try to find references in the scientific literature about similar research projects.
  • Write an experiment proposal following the experiment proposal form. Please follow closely the instructions below.
  • Ask your endorsing professor or academic to write a formal letter of endorsement in which he/ she pledges his support to all the team members as well as your proposed project. More specifically, the endorsing professor or academic supervisor should clearly state that he/ she supports the students’ application and that he/ she accepts responsibility for their Fly Your Thesis! project.
  • If you are a citizen of a Cooperating State*, obtain a letter of endorsement from your national agency stating that you will be financially supported throughout the programme. If you are a citizen of an ESA Member* state, this is not necessary. Contact ESA’s Education Office for further details if necessary.
  • Register on the project portal, apply for the programme and upload in one zip file the experiment proposal together with the letter of endorsement.
  • Read the conditions to apply and the constraints carefully, and familiarise yourself with the platform.

Instructions for the Experiment Proposal

The experiment proposal should focus on the scientific and/or technology-related objectives of the project and on the technical details for the implementation of the experiment. In other words, participants are invited to explain what they intend to investigate and how they are going to implement their experiment.

Prior to completing this experiment proposal template, teams should carry out some research of the scientific literature to see whether some work has already been done on the same topic or one that is similar. References to the literature are essential in order to demonstrate that teams are fully informed about the current status of research in this field. 

The experiment proposal must also explain the relevance of microgravity to the project and, more particularly, the relevance of parabolic flights as a means to achieve your scientific research objectives. It should be noted that parabolic flights are not limited to offer microgravity; they offer a range of gravity levels, from 10-2 to 2 g, where your experiment will be exposed to and, which could also be used for your experiment.

It is important that applicants explain in full detail how the proposed experiment is related to their syllabi. They should indicate which academic projects they are involved in and how their proposed experiment would be relevant to these projects.

The text of the proposal should be intelligible to scientists of various fields and engineers with a general science background.

Once the experiment proposal template is completed, upload it on our project portal together with the letter of endorsement in a single zip file.

Please note that the information detailed above is subject to change without prior notice.

Questions and contact details

If you have further questions about the programme and cannot find the information you are looking for on the Fly Your Thesis! pages, please contact us at: flyyourthesis @ esa.int

Please note that the information detailed above is subject to change without prior notice.

* ESA Member States in 2015
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland,  Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Canada (Associate Member)

European Cooperating States
Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia

Cooperating States
Cyprus, Malta 

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