How to apply
Interested in applying? If so these are the steps to be followed:
- Identify and consult the endorsing professor or academic supervisor, preferably your thesis or project supervisor.
- Form a team with other students who would be interested in working together for their thesis or project.
- Register on the ESA Education Office's project portal. Your endorsing professor and all the team members should also register on this portal.
- Define your project, discuss it and try to find references in the scientific literature to similar or related research projects.
- Write an experiment proposal based on the template found in the website section. Please follow closely the instructions listed below.
- Ask your endorsing professor or academic supervisor to write a formal letter of endorsement in which he shows his support to all the team members and your proposed project. More specifically, the endorsing professor or academic supervisor should clearly state in this letter that he supports the students’ application and that he accepts responsibility for their Drop 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 supported financially throughout the programme. Contact ESA’s Education Office for further details if needed.
- Access the portal, apply for the programme and upload the Experiment proposal and the letter of endorsement.
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, the participants are asked to explain both what they wish to investigate and how.
Prior to completing this experiment proposal template, please carry out some research to see whether any work has already been done on the same topic. References to literature are essential in order to demonstrate that you are fully informed about the current status of research in this field. Remember: the project’s main objective should be to achieve relevant results.
The experiment proposal must also explain the relevance of microgravity in your project and - more particularly - the relevance of using the ZARM drop tower as a means to achieving your objectives. It should be noted that the ZARM drop tower offers two drop modes: the drop mode with a microgravity experiment time of 4.74 s and a catapult mode of 9.3 s.
It is extremely important that applicants explain fully how the proposed experiment is related to their respective syllabuses. They should indicate which academic theses/projects they are involved in and how their proposed experiment would be relevant to these projects.
The text should be intelligible to scientists working in various fields and to engineers with a general science background.
All sections in the experiment proposal template must be completed, otherwise the application will be rejected.
The experiment proposal template and the letter of endorsement should be uploaded to ESA Education Office's project portal, in a single zip file.
Questions and contact details
If you have questions about the programme you can contact us by e-mail. However, due to the large number of e-mails we receive, you are asked to carefully read all of the relevant web pages before asking a question to which the answer may already be available online. Please ensure that any e-mail sent to us includes a clear and concise subject line.
If you cannot find the information you are looking for, please contact us at: dropyourthesis @ esa.int
Please note that the information detailed above is subject to change without prior notice.