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Conference opportunities for sponsored students

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The ESA Education Office and their partners are continuously monitoring the evolution of the COVID-19 situation, and all conferences and events are subject to change following the applicable national and international guidelines. The latest information on conferences can be found on the appropriate conference webpage.

ESA Education will provide sponsorship to a select few university students to support their participation in conferences. The selection is competitive, and clear priority will be given to students whose abstracts have been accepted by the conference organisers and who have not been sponsored by ESA before.

Please see below for current opportunities.

72nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2021)

Application Status: OPEN
25-29 October 2021 – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Sponsorship deadline: 3 May 2021 (23:59 CET) 

The IAC is the one place and time of the year when all space actors come together. Global, multidisciplinary, and covering all space sectors and topics, it offers everyone the latest space information and developments, but above all, contacts and potential partnerships. Read more here about ESA's sponsorship for IAC 2021.


4th Symposium on Space Educational Activities

Application Status: POSTPONED
Due to the on-going COVID-19 situation this event has been postponed, please see the SSEA website for details.
ESA sponsorship opportunities for the new dates will be announced in due course.

Barcelona -  27th, 28th and 29th of April 2022

ESA Education will sponsor the attendance of a select few University students to attend the 4th Symposium on Space Education Activities in Barcelona, Spain from the 27th until the 29th of April 2022 . For more details on the symposium see the website.

ESA sponsorship covers the reimbursement of the early-bird student registration fee and provides a maximum reimbursement towards travel of €200 and accommodation of €50/night (payable on production of receipts).

Note that only students whose abstracts are selected by the conference Scientific Committee for either an oral or poster presentation will be awarded ESA Education Office Sponsorship. You will be informed of the success of your application for sponsorship on the 17th of January 2022, along with the announcement of selected abstracts.

Sponsorship only covers the reimbursement of the early-bird student registration fee, which closes on the 31st of January 2022.

Applications for sponsorship should be received before the 1st of December 2021:

To be eligible for sponsorship students must:

  • Have submitted their abstract for the conference
  • Have participated in, or be currently participating in, an ESA Academy (i.e. University level) hands-on activity and/or a training course, which should be the main subject of their abstract. 
  • Be a full time university student at a university in an ESA member state, Canada, Slovenia or Latvia.
  • Hold the nationality of an ESA member state, Canada, Slovenia or Latvia
  • Be over the age of 18 at the time of application

The application form will be available as of June 2021.


16th International Conference on Space Operations (SpaceOps 2020)

Application Status: CLOSED
18 May – 22 May 2020 – Cape Town, South Africa - Sponsorship deadline: 10 January 2020

SpaceOps 2020, hosted by the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), aims to bring together the global space operations community to address state-of-the-art operations principles, methods and tools. Held biennially since 1990, the SpaceOps conference attracts technologists, scientists, and managers from space agencies, industry, and academia, and fosters managerial and technical interchange on all aspects of space mission operations, including robotic and human spaceflight, Earth orbit and deep space missions, lunar and planetary missions, and orbital and surface operations.

SpaceOps 2020 provides university students with the opportunity to share mission’s experience, challenges, and innovation solutions with experts from around the globe. 

ESA sponsorship covers the reimbursement of the early-bird student registration fee and provides a maximum reimbursement towards travel and accommodation of €750. Sponsorship will be in the form of a single reimbursement after the conference (payable on production of receipts).

To apply students must:

Applications for sponsorship should be received before the 10th of January 2020.


26th Biennial European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA) symposium

Application Status: CLOSED

24-27th September 2019, Granada, Spain. 

Sponsorship deadline: 10th June 2019 (23:59 CET) 

The European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA) is a non-profit international society devoted to the promotion of scientific research under various gravity conditions in Europe. The organization, established in 1979, provides a networking platform for all scientists interested in life and physical sciences and technology in space or on ground. ELGRA aims at representing and strengthening the scientific community of gravity-related research and helping young scientists and engineers get involved in low- and hyper-gravity research through educational programs.

In 2019, ELGRA celebrates its 40th anniversary. Our 2019 Symposium will be a great opportunity to remember the history of our association and to plan the research in microgravity for the coming years, in which Space Exploration activities are expected to increase significantly.

Both ELGRA and ESA Education are sponsoring up to ten students’ registration costs, travel and accommodation to the symposium, you can find here the terms and conditions of participation


XVII International Summer School in Astrobiology (2019) 

Application status: CLOSED
22 - 26 July 2019 – Santander, Península de la Magdalena, Spain

Sponsorship deadline: 14 June 2019 

The theme of the XVII School of Astrobiology will be from astrochemistry to the origin of life. The origin(s) of life is one of the most fundamental topics in astrobiology, which lies at the intersection of astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, and biology. 

The XVII Astrobiology Summer School will connect the fundamental aspects of astrochemistry, prebiotic chemistry and the origin of life. The students will attend lectures given by experts in these fields, prepare and present a group project and participate in an excursion to a relevant geological site near Santander. 

The full programme can be seen here. The School is primarily aimed at graduate students in science or engineering, but is open to anyone interested in the origin of life and astrobiology.

ESA Education Office will sponsor the attendance (registration fee, accommodation and meals) of up to 7 European university students. For more details, please visit the summer school's website.

To apply for ESA Education Sponsorship fill in this form and send it to alumnos @


NASA International Internship programme (NASA I2)
Application Status: ON HOLD

The NASA I2 programme provides opportunities for U.S. and non-U.S. university undergraduate-level or graduate-level students to work collaboratively on NASA-relevant research with a NASA mentor.

ESA sponsorship for this programme is currently on hold until further notice. For inquiries regarding NASA I2 please email

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