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 earth observation, astrophysics, technology development, laboratory skills, optics, radiation, physics, engineering, materials, spacecraft tracking and operations, and sensors for real time monitoring.  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 HEI no later than September 30, 2019. 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”.

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;
  • 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

Research Offices should select up to five talented master’s graduates for nomination. Only graduates nominated by the Research Office should be granted access to the online nomination system. The link to the online system should only be shared with nominees by the Research Office.

Please refer to the 2019 IRC-ESA traineeship Call for Nominations document when the call is open.





Key dates

02 May 2019Pre-call notice
22 May 2019Open Online Nomination for Nominated Graduates only
14 June 2019Deadline for Nominees to Submit Nomination Form
21 June 2019Deadline for Referees to Submit Academic Reference Form
28 June 2019Deadline for Research Officer to Endorse Nomination
24 July 2019Interviews/selection of nominees
29 July 2019Nominees notified
August 2019Kick-off meeting and signing of contracts
1 October 2019Traineeship commences


For reasons of fairness to all nominees, queries must only be submitted from nominees to the research office at the nominee’s HEI. Frequently asked questions will be updated regularly on the Irish Research Council website. Nominees are kindly asked not to contact the Irish Research Council directly, unless there is a technical issue with the nomination form.

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