European Space Agency Traineeship Scheme


The Irish Research Council-European Space Agency Traineeship is a scheme organised jointly by the Council and the ESA. The Council fully funds science, engineering and technology graduates to undertake traineeships in ESA centres across Europe. Trainees have the opportunity to gain practical experience in high-tech space activities such as space science, earth observation, telecommunications, navigation, mission control and operations, and human spaceflight. Nominees must be of Irish or ESA member state nationality*, resident for three of the past five years in Ireland, provide evidence of completion of a master’s degree in an eligible Irish higher education institution no later than 30 September 2018. The call is competitive and the final decision on granting the traineeship is made by the ESA.

Traineeships begin in October of each year. Traineeships last for one year with the view to extend for a second year pending on performance and agreement by all parties. Trainees will be based at ESA stations throughout Europe, as described in the “IRC-ESA traineeship opportunities” document and “IRC-ESA traineeship call for nominations 2018”.

What we offer

The Irish Research Council-European Space Agency Traineeship will consist of the following:

  • a monthly stipend of €2,160;
  • a one-off relocation reimbursement of €2,160, payable after the first month;
  • annual health, accident, risk and travel insurance that covers the trainee for the duration of their traineeship; and
  • trainees may take annual leave up to a total of 30 working days, in addition to the official holidays of the host country.

How to nominate

Nominations are only accepted via research offices from a candidate’s higher education institution in Ireland. Higher education institutions may nominate up to five candidates. Please refer to the “IRC-ESA traineeship 2018 call for nominations” document when the call is open.


Nominations openApril 2018
FAQ deadline 14 May 2018
Nomination deadlineNoon (Irish time) 30 May 2018
Interviews/selection of nominees26 June 2018
Nominees notified of final outcome6 July 2018
Kick-off meeting and signing of contractsAugust 2018
Traineeship commencesOctober 2018


Please note that the timings provided here are indicative and may be subject to change.

If you do not find the answer to your query in the call documentation, you should contact the research office in your proposed institution which will provide information and clarification on the call. Research offices can send any queries they are unable to clarify to


*This is a condition set down by ESA under the partnership agreement.