How to apply

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ESA / Education / Drop Your Thesis!

Interested in applying? You should then follow the following steps:

  • Identify and speak to the endorsing professor or academic supervisor who should preferably be your thesis or project supervisor.
  • Form a team of two to four students who fulfil the eligibility criteria and have an interest in working in a team as an integral part of their university syllabus.
  • Define your project, discuss it, and try to find references in the scientific literature about similar research projects.
  • Write an experiment proposal following the experiment proposal template (list of documents). Please closely follow the instructions below.
  • Ask your endorsing professor or academic supervisor to write a formal letter of endorsement in which he/she pledges his support to all the team members as well as your proposed project. More specifically, the endorsing professor or academic supervisor should clearly state that he/she supports the students’ application and that he/she accepts responsibility for their Drop Your Thesis! project.
  • Apply for the programme by sending to the experiment proposal together with the letter of endorsement in one zip file
  • Carefully read the condition to apply, and familiarise yourself with the ZARM Drop Tower documentation and the experiment proposal template (list of documents).

Instructions for the experiment proposal

The experiment proposal should focus on the scientific and/or technological objectives of the project - what the teams intend to investigate and why - and on the technical details that explain how they are going to implement their experiment.

Prior to filling out the experiment proposal template, teams should carry out some research of the scientific literature to see whether work has already been done on the same or similar topic. Literature references are essential in order to demonstrate that teams are fully informed about the current status of research in this field.

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.

The applicants must also explain in full detail how the proposed experiment is related to their theses. They should indicate which academic projects they are involved in and how their proposed experiment would be relevant to these projects.

The text of the proposal should be comprehensible to scientists of various fields and engineers with a general scientific background.

Once the experiment proposal form is filled in all its parts, send it to dropyourthesis @ together with the letter of endorsement in a single zip file.

Questions and contact details

If you have questions about the programme, please contact the Drop Your Thesis! team at: dropyourthesis @ When sending an e-mail, please include a clear and concise subject title.

Please note that the information detailed above is subject to change without prior notice.