Graduates: Young Graduate Trainees

Are you about to take your finals? Or do you already have your Master’s degree? If so, then you can apply to ESA as a 'Young Graduate Trainee' (YGT). This high-calibre programme lasts for one year and gives successful applicants an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the development and operation of space missions.

Who can apply?

Every year, we publish about 100 YGT job opportunities, aimed mainly at engineers and scientists, graduates in Information Technology, Natural or Social Science and Business.

To be eligible for the YGT programme, you must be:

  • A student in the final year of a Master’s degree at University or an equivalent institutes or have just graduated. Candidates are required to have completed their Master's degree by the time they start work at ESA. (Should you already hold a PhD, please have a look at our Research Fellowship programme, which will be in line with your background and level of qualification)
  • A citizen of one of the ESA Member States or from one of the European Cooperating States, Slovenia as an Associated Member State or Canada as a Cooperating State.

    ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. Applications from women are encouraged.
    If you need support with your application due to a disability, please email contact.human.resources@esa.int.

What we offer you

  • Gain valuable experience that can qualify you for the many exciting opportunities within Europe’s space industry, renowned research institutes and, of course, ESA.
  • A diverse and international environment
  • One year contract
  • Approximately €2,300 per month (exempt from national income tax in ESA Member States); the exact amount will depend on the location of the ESA Establishment
  • Expatriation allowance, plus an installation allowance on arrival for those not resident in the country to which they are assigned
  • Travel expenses at the beginning and end of the contract (including travel expenses for spouse and children if they reside with the trainee during the contract)
  • 2.5 days paid leave per month
  • Health cover under ESA’s Social Security scheme

How to apply

Opportunities go online once a year in mid-November, and stay open for one month. 

Before applying

  • Once published, you will be able to browse the ESA list of opportunities on our page here.
  • Select the one that best matches your interests and profile 
    Remember : you can only apply for one. If you apply to more than one opportunity, all applications you submitted will not be considered.
  • To apply, you first have to register and create your candidate profile with your CV and motivation letter.

Once you have applied, you will be able to track the status of your application.

After applying

  • Candidates are selected by the relevant tutor and recruitment interviews typically take place in March.  
  • The take-up-duty date is then made by mutual agreement and can be any time from May to September of that same year. 

All candidates will be informed of the outcome of their application by email. 

Throughout the year you may find that some additional YGT posts are published. So that you do not miss a single chance for your career at ESA, you can now sign up with us to receive job alerts.

Towards the end of the traineeship period, trainees are asked to submit a report on their activities and the accomplishments achieved during the year.

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