TRAINING: Applications open for ESA Young Graduate Trainee (YGT) Programme

ESA’s YGT Programme offers young graduates the opportunity to gain valuable on-the-job experience in the development and operation of space missions in an international environment. Deadline for applications: 28 February 2022.

ESA's high-calibre YGT Programme lasts for one year and is a launchpad for many exciting professional opportunities within Europe’s space sector, renowned research institutes or, of course, ESA itself.

Every year in February, ESA publishes around 100 YGT opportunities in science and engineering, information technology, natural and social sciences and business.

Who can apply?

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

  • A student in the final year of a Master’s degree at university or having just graduated.
  • A citizen of one of the ESA Member States, including Latvia.

Please note that basic eligibility pre-screening questions regarding nationality and degree are asked on completion of the ESA online application form.

YGTs are required to have completed their master's degree by the time they start work at ESA. Should you already hold a PhD or be about to complete one, please have a look at ESA's Research Fellowship Programme, which is more in line with your academic background and level of qualification.

What does ESA offer?

  • A unique professional experience as part of a team of scientists, engineers and business professionals from all over Europe, working together on inspiring space missions in an international, multicultural and friendly environment.
  • A great opportunity to gain extensive experience that could open doors to a career within Europe’s space sector.
  • A one-year contract (with possible extension for a second year) with 2.5 days paid leave per month.
  • Excellent employment conditions, including a monthly salary exempt from national income tax in ESA Member States.
  • Travel expenses reimbursed at the beginning and end of the contract.
  • Expatriation allowance and/or an installation allowance on arrival if you move from another country. Excess luggage costs are also reimbursed.
  • Comprehensive health cover under ESA’s social security scheme. Please note that Young Graduate Trainees do not contribute to ESA’s pension scheme and may wish to opt for alternative solutions.

More about life at ESA

Find out everything you need to know about life at ESA and work-life balance on our pages.

For more information about ESA sites, check out the ESA establishments.

What is it like to be a YGT at ESA? Watch the 2019 video interviews of ESA Young Graduate Trainees to find out more about our YGT programme and life at ESA.

Recruitment process

  1. Explore our Young Graduate Trainee opportunities here.
  2. Select the opportunity that most interests you and fits best with your academic background and aspirations. Due to the high number of applications received each year, we can only accept a maximum of two applications per person. Should you apply to more vacancies, all your applications will be disregarded. If your profile is well-suited to another position, we will share it with the hiring manager.
  3. Register and create your candidate profile with your CV and motivation letter.
  4. Apply! You will be able to track the status of your application throughout the process.

Throughout the year, additional YGT posts may be published. Be sure not to miss a single chance to launch your career at ESA by signing up 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.

ESA YGT recruitment timeline:

February – March: Publication of YGT opportunities on Careers at ESA
March – May: Pre-selection and interviews of shortlisted candidates
June: Outcome of interviews and final selection made by ESA
September October: Take up duty for successful candidates

Tip: set up a job alert to be informed as soon applications are open!

More information: Young Graduate Traineeship FAQ


More about career opportunities at ESA: here!


Source: European Space Agency