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Young Graduate Trainee for Space Environments and Effects

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location:
  • Grade: F1 - Young Graduate Trainee - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Outer space and satellite technology
  • Closing Date: 2019-12-15

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Young Graduate Traineeship Opportunity in the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

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 Environments and Effects

This post is classified F1.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands 

Our team and mission

The Space Environments & Effects Section supports the development of ESA missions and programmes by investigating the space environments within which they will operate, assessing likely effects and defining mitigation methods. Environments addressed include: high-energy radiation from radiation belts, solar-particle events and cosmic rays; plasmas encountered in planetary magnetospheres, the solar wind and artificially-generated charges and fields on spacecraft; micro-meteoroids and non-trackable debris as well as planetary atmospheres. The Section initiates and manages related technology R&D activities. See its web page ( for more details.

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity

The Section addresses a number of challenges, which are excellent possible research areas;  two examples of fields of activity are given below.

  1. ESA has over a number of years been involved in the development of models for the high-energy radiation fluxes encountered during Solar Particle Events (SPEs). These events are typically concentrated during solar maximum (high activity) periods during each solar cycle – which last an average of 11 years. SPEs can have various effects on spacecraft, ranging from radiation doses affecting components, effects on solar cells, various types of Single Event Effects, instrument noise and effects on astronauts. SPE models are developed for specification of the environment in space for use in the spacecraft design processes, but also for forecasting radiation storms for use in spacecraft operations and human spaceflight activities. As part of this research effort, you will analyse various existing SPE models and compare them to available radiation environment data from in-orbit radiation monitor instruments. Deficiencies in existing models will be identified and solutions proposed.
  2. In-orbit space debris is a steadily growing concern for ESA, other space agencies and industry. While ground-based radars can track debris above about 1 cm in size, allowing collision-avoidance manoeuvers, particle populations below this size-range can only be measured in situ and analysed by numerical models, requiring risk-mitigation by design (shielding). In addition to human-made particulate populations, micrometeoroids have been identified in recent interplanetary missions as significant contributors to mission risk, especially in the planetary protection domain. There are existing, ongoing and planned activities to develop dedicated instruments to monitor space debris and the micrometeorite environment, and to improve related environment models and impact risk assessment and effects tools. As part of this research effort, you will evaluate and utilise the existing European data sources, investigate and develop the different modelling approaches and contribute to the design efforts for future instrumentation in the domain.
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.

Additional requirements

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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