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Young Graduate Trainee for GNSS Evolutions Satellite Navigation R&D Engineering

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

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Young Graduate Traineeship Opportunity in the Directorate of Navigation.

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 GNSS Evolutions Satellite Navigation R&D Engineering

This post is classified F1.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands 

Our team and mission

Many sectors of the European economy rely on precise Positioning, Navigation & Timing (PNT). The market for satellite navigation services is expected to be worth several hundred billion euros per year over the next years and a significant part of the economy is dependent on the availability of global navigation satellite signals. This includes transport, logistics, telecommunications and energy. Major socio-economic benefits are expected to be delivered by European Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), namely, Galileo and EGNOS – including direct revenues for the space, receivers, and applications industries, and indirect revenues for society at large such as more effective transport systems, rescue operations, etc. They also provide technological independence and generate related technological benefits for research, development and innovation.

The Galileo programme is EU funded and owned. ESA is entrusted with Galileo's deployment, design and the development of the new generation of systems and technical development of the infrastructure.

The GNSS Evolutions Programme & Strategy Division in the Department of Strategy & Programmes in the Directorate of Navigation is responsible for defining, consolidating and implementing innovative technology and supporting research & development for the next generations of European GNSS.

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA and ESA Navigation websites

Field(s) of activity

As a YGT, you will directly contribute to the future of satellite navigation R&D in Europe, through the assessment of innovative technologies for the European GNSS/RNSS systems of the future.

The activities will address aspects from specific technological proof-of-concept up to end-to-end engineering for the specific technologies under assessment, giving you the opportunity to gain insights into specialised topics while also maintaining an overall space system perspective.

Topics may cover one of the following:

  • satellite navigation payload technology and advanced concepts (on-board atomic clocks and timing subsystem, signal generation and digital signal processing, RF section (amplification, filtering and antenna), in-orbit flexibility, advanced manufacturing, photonics);
  • search-and-rescue advanced concepts;
  • communications: tracking telemetry & command, ground-to-space links, inter-satellite links, RF and optical links.
  • on-board orbit determination and time synchronisation;
  • model-based system engineering (MBSE) for complex systems;
  • other instruments/payloads supporting navigation and related scientific use (advanced laser retro-reflectors, VLBI transmitters, radiation and other space environment/space weather instruments, on-board accelerometers);
  • advanced concepts for robust and secure positioning and timing/synchronisation including hybridisation/integration with other PNT systems (LEO-PNT, terrestrial systems including 5G communications network terrestrial technologies, terrestrial beacon systems, sensors, etc.) considering critical applications such as autonomous vehicles, factories of the future, communication networks, energy sector, etc.;
  • disruptive concepts for satellite navigation in space, including ones at different orbits (e.g. highly elliptical, inclined geosynchronous, low Earth, high altitude pseudo-satellite), concepts and novel technologies leading to different capabilities (e.g. ranging-only services, message communication services), e.g. based on quantum communications, neutrino communications, advanced inertial sensors including gravity/magnetic field sensors, pulsar navigation, use of alternative frequency bands, etc.
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 Aerospace Engineering, Telecommunication Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics or other relevant 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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