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Young Graduate Trainee for Near-Earth Asteroid Research

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location:
  • Grade: F1 - Young Graduate Trainee - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Environment
  • Closing Date: 2019-12-15

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Young Graduate Traineeship Opportunity in the Directorate of Operations.

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 Near-Earth Asteroid Research

This post is classified F1.


ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany 

Our team and mission

Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are small bodies in the Solar System which come close to Earth. Some may actually enter the atmosphere. If large enough, they can cause considerable damage. In February 2013 a roughly 20-m sized object broke up in the atmosphere above the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. The shock wave shattered windows and injured about 1500 people. A 500-kg fragment fell into a nearby lake – had it hit the city, it could have destroyed buildings. Our task is to discover these objects, monitor them, predict their orbits and generate warnings in case they come close to Earth.

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website: as well as and

Field(s) of activity

As a YGT, you will work with colleagues in the Planetary Defence Office in particular in the field of NEO observations. Tasks will encompass supporting proper archiving of already-obtained and future telescopic data; simulations of sky surveys with ground-based and space-based optical and infrared telescopes (based on theoretical NEO populations); development of computer scripts to support these activities (implementation of parallel programming for massive computation of virtual impactors).

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

You should have a good knowledge of orbital mechanics and mathematics in general, should be familiar with UNIX/LINUX operating environments, and with scientific programming (as, e.g., programming in Python).

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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