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ESA astronauts at Le Bourget before the Human Spaceflight and Exploration in Europe conference

Recruitment Process

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ESA / About Us / Careers at ESA

ESA offers a unique opportunity to work with a highly dedicated team of scientists, engineers, managers and administrative staff, committed to ensuring that Europe continues to remain at the forefront of the space industry.

How to apply

If you are interested in becoming an ESA staff member, you can find all current job opportunities here. Each job opportunity includes job profile, location and closing date. To apply, you first have to register and create your candidate profile. Once you have applied, you will be able to track the status of your application.

We do not take unsolicited applications. However, we encourage you to check back regularly as job openings are frequently updated. Applications are accepted from nationals of one of ESA’s 22 Member/Cooperating States which include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Canada, Latvia and Slovenia.  In addition, nationals of European Cooperating States (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovakia) may apply to traineeships (Young Graduate Trainee) and Internal Research Fellowships.

All the applications received are evaluated. Candidates selected for an interview are generally advised within two to four weeks of the closing date. ESA covers economy class travel expenses for all candidates invited to attend an interview.

Selection process

Vacancies are normally filled through direct competition. In some cases staff may be reassigned to another post within the same grade, the same location or the same Directorate.

Vacancies are published internally, and if open to external competition are also published externally, through the above mentioned platform.  

The selection of candidates is generally conducted by an interview board, which evaluates the qualifications and suitability of candidates.


Staff members, irrespective of their category (A, B, C or L), are usually appointed for an initial period of four years, subject to a satisfactory probationary period of six months. Extensions are for an indefinite period. For staff with an indefinite contract, the contract terminates at the end of the month in which the staff member turns 63 if recruited after 1 July 2010.

The contract duration may differ in case of staff from non-Member States

Some ESA staff positions are referred to as Advance Recruitments. Contracts for advance recruits are for a maximum of two years and are not renewable. However, upon termination of an advance recruit contract an ESA staff contract may be given.