Your mission:

Have you (almost) completed your degree studies? Are you inspired by space exploration and keen to pursue a career in this exciting field? If so, perhaps you should take a closer look at the German Trainee Programme. Organised by DLR, it offers you the chance to work shoulder to shoulder with experts from the 20 member states of ESA - keeping your finger on the pulse of Europe‘s space programmes. Over a period up to 24 months, you will actively contribute to the latest research and/or technology projects. This is complemented by a generous scholarship. What better way to launch your career in international space business? The next GTP commences on 01.02.2015.

The Mission Science Division is responsible for supporting preparatory research and the development and implementation of future concepts for Earth Observation satellite missions as part of ESA's Living Planet Programme (Earth Explorer, Earth Watch/Copernicus, and operational Meteorological satellite missions), with the objective of achieving specific scientific goals in environmental, climate research, and Earth system science. In support of this activity, the Division is responsible for the definition and supervision of relevant supporting scientific studies and acts as a focal point for interactions between ESA and the Earth Observation scientific and user communities, and provides scientific support during design, development and early operations of ESA Earth Explorer (ADM-Aeolus, CryoSat, EarthCARE, GOCE, SMOS and Swarm), Operational Meteorological (MetOp-SG) and Copernicus missions (Sentinel-1 to 5).

Depending on the qualification and background, the trainee will be involved in one of the sets of supporting science or geophysical retrieval/algorithm studies which will be performed (e.g., using simulated data, looking at cloud statistics in combination with coverage, specifically looking at sun-glint observations, using the end-to-end simulator, using data from airborne campaigns, etc.).

Opportunity 1 - Copernicus Sentinel-4
Sentinel-4 is an operational satellite mission providing atmospheric composition data covering Europe with a fast (hourly) revisit time. The Sentinel-4 Ultra-violet Visible Near-infrared (UVN) spectrometer will fly on the geostationary Meteosat Third Generation-Sounder (MTG-S) platforms. Key features of the instrument are the spectral range from 305 nm to 500 nm with a spectral resolution of 0.5 nm for the UV visible, and 750 nm to 770 nm with a spectral resolution of 0.12 nm in the Near-Infared. The primary objective of the Sentinel-4 mission is the observation of the diurnal cycle of tropospheric species including NO2, O3, HCHO, SO2, and aerosols.

Opportunity 2 - Earth Explorer Candidate Mission CarbonSat
One of two candidate missions for Earth Explorer 8 is CarbonSat. Its primary mission objective is the quantification of CO2 and CH4 sources and sinks from the local to the regional scale for i) a better understanding of the processes that control the carbon cycle dynamics and ii) an independent estimate of local greenhouse gas emissions (fossil fuel, geological CO2 and CH4, etc.). This will be achieved through high spatial resolution passive sensing and a good global coverage in combination with inverse modelling techniques.

Applications received until 7th September 2014 will be considered.

Your qualifications:

  • German citizenship is absolutely necessary
  • applicants should have just completed (conclusion not older than two years) or be in their final year of a university course at Master’s level in (Geo) Physics or related scientific discipline
  • knowledge of a computer programming language, like, e.g., IDL, MatLab or Perl, is an asset
  • experience in radiative transfer modelling (RTM), spectroscopy, or atmospheric remote sensing would be an asset
  • candidates must be fluent in English or French, the official languages of the agency

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Disabled applicants with equivalent qualifications will be given preferential treatment.

German Trainee Programme

February 2015

12 up to 24 months

attractive scholarship


Contact person :

Larissa Seidlez

Strategy and International Relations

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German Trainee Programme

Career opportunities

As a child she dreamt of adventures in space; as a teenager she attended space conferences; she went on to become a trainee at ESA; and today she is a...

Kick Off Meeting for the German Trainee Programme 2010