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Conference opportunities for sponsored students

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ESA / Education

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.

71st International Astronautical Congress 

Application Status: POSTPONED
Due to recent events, the IAC has been postponed until further notice. Please see the full statement from the IAF. Once the new conference date is released, this sponsorship opportunity will be re-opened.

12-16 October 2020 – Dubai, U.A.E.   

Sponsorship deadline: 3 May 2020 (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 2020.


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 @


3rd Symposium on Space Educational Activities

Call for abstracts: CLOSED
Call for applications for sponsorship: CLOSED

16-18th of September 2019 – University of Leicester, UK -

Sponsorship deadline: 3rd June 2019

ESA Education will sponsor the attendance of a select few University students to attend the 3rd Symposium on Space Education Activities in Leicester, UK between the 16th and 18th of April 2019. For more details see the symposium 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).
Applications for sponsorship should be received before the 3rd of June.

To be eligible for sponsorship students must:

  • Have their abstract already accepted for the conference
  • Have participated in, or be currently participating in, an ESA Academy's (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 or Slovenia. 
  • Hold the nationality of an ESA member state, Canada or Slovenia. 
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 32 at the time of the conference

To apply, complete the online form.


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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