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Young Graduate Trainee for Space Science Infra-red Detector Studies

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location:
  • Grade: F1 - Young Graduate Trainee - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Outer space and satellite technology
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2020-02-04

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Young Graduate Traineeship Opportunity in the Directorate of Science.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. Applications from women are encouraged.

Young Graduate Trainee for Space Science Infra-red Detector Studies

This post is classified F1.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands 

Our team and mission

The Future Missions Department is in charge of mission preparation activities (system definition studies Phases 0/A/B1 and technology development) and small missions implementation in the Science Directorate. The Payload Validation Section of the Department is in charge of specific mission-oriented validation activities, for science missions, aiming at reducing development risk in the implementation phase. The Section provides general support to the Directorate’s other Departments for specific validation activities, missions under development or during operations (see

One of the main Section activities is to validate payload instrument detector and detector readout electronic performances.

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity

The validation activities are primarily focused on detectors and electronics, typically for astronomy mission payloads. The support provided by the Section occurs at different phases of an ESA science mission:

•     during early precursor technology development (e.g. European near-infrared detection systems)

•     in the assessment/definition phase (e.g., ARIEL)

•     in the project implementation phase (e.g. Euclid and PLATO)

•     in the mission operations phase (e.g. GAIA)

Each validation activity encompasses the following tasks:

•     defining the activity: interaction with stakeholders (e.g. study, project or operations team, payload consortium, instrument developers scientist) for requirements specification, test plan definition and implementation schedule

•     designing the validation set-up (generally by tailoring existing set-ups to need)

•     commissioning and characterising the test set-up

•     performing the tests according to the test plan

•     data analysis and reporting

Verifying detector electro-optical performance including the impact of radiation is a key aspect of the preparation of future science mission instrumentation. This Traineeship opportunity will be focused on this aspect of the Section’s work, with particular emphasis on infrared detectors in the 1-8 micron waveband.

As YGT, your role will be to:

•     conduct a literature review of detector characterisation to understand how electro-optical tests are performed

•     write a dedicated detector test plan

•     specify and adapt the test set-up to accommodate the tests

•     learn how to operate the detector and electro-optical components of the test bench

•     measure electro-optical performance levels of near/mid-infrared detectors according to the test plan

•     analyse the data  and determine the electro-optical performance levels of the tested detector

Technical competencies
Knowledge of relevant technical domains
Relevant experience gained during internships/project work
Breadth of exposure coming from past and/or current research/activities
Knowledge of ESA and its programmes/projects
Behavioural competencies
Self Motivation
Continuous Learning
Cross-Cultural Sensitivity

You should have just completed, or be in the final year of a university course at Master’s level (or equivalent) in a technical or scientific discipline, preferably with specialisation in opto-electronics or equivalent.

Additional requirements

Hands-on experience of detector characterization and knowledge of space radiation effects upon detectors would be an advantage.

An interest in and knowledge of space science mission instrumentation is considered an advantage

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.

You should demonstrate good interpersonal skills and the capacity to work both independently and as part of a team.

During the interview your motivation and overall professional perspective/career goals will also be explored.

Other information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

The closing date for applications is  15 December 2019.

If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email


Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Nationals from Slovenia, as an Associate Member, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia as European Cooperating States (ECS).

Priority will first be given to candidates from under-represented Member States.

In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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