Conditions to apply

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ESA / Education / Drop Your Thesis!

Students who would like to participate in the Drop Your Thesis! programme must comply with the following criteria at the time of the application:

Conditions for participation

One important condition is that the experiment be an integral part of students’ syllabi. This can be achieved through bachelor, master or PhD theses, a research programme or any form of project supported by the applicant’s university. 

At the time of the application, the student teams must be able to show ESA's Education Office that they have their universities’ support through a letter of endorsement from an endorsing professor or academic supervisor from each university. 

Teams should be composed of two to four students all of which must fulfil the eligibility criteria. At least one, and preferably two, team members should comply with the condition of involvement in the syllabus (see above). The final number of team members that can personally assist and participate in the execution of the experiments at the ZARM Drop Tower (should the team be selected) will depend strictly on the requirements of the experiment itself and is subject to acceptance from the review board, who may decide to reduce the size of the team. 

The initial composition of the team cannot be changed throughout the programme. If, for exceptional reasons, changes are absolutely necessary they will be subject to the approval of the review board.

The proposals submitted by the student teams will be evaluated based on the fulfilment of all the required steps. Please read the how to apply page carefully.

Endorsing professors

Overall endorsing professor

The teams will have to be supported by one of their professors or academic supervisors, whose role will be to supervise the work of the students. This person must belong to the same institution of at least one of the students, is expected to endorse the entire application and development process of the team, and will bear responsibility for the experiment. If the team does not have a PhD student in it, the endorsing professor must also attend the entire experiment campaign.

Additional  endorsing professor

If the team consists of students from different universities, all students from an university different than that of the overall endorsing professor need to show that they have the support from their university as well. Hence they also need an endorsing professor or academic supervisor.

At the moment of application, each endorsing professor will have to provide ESA's Education Office with a Letter of Endorsement. In this letter they should state the names of their students and that they bear responsibility for their involvement in the programme.

Selection criteria

In order to assess the experiment proposals, the review board will take into account various criteria such as the scientific or technological merit, the relevance of microgravity for the proposed research, its novelty, the level of involvement of the project in the students’ syllabi and others. The selection will be performed in a single step.

Please note that the conditions detailed above are subject to change without prior notice.

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