Many spaceflight careers start with three initials: GTP
Are you fascinated by spaceflight and want to carry out genuinely cutting-edge research? With the German Trainee Programme, or GTP, we give you the opportunity to work on current space projects at the European Space Agency (ESA). Satellite operations, robotics, manned and unmanned spaceflight, Earth observation and mission analysis are just some of the exciting areas of work in which our trainees have taken on demanding tasks.
Vertical take-off for young researchers
As a trainee at ESA, you will gain your first professional experience in research, planning and development. You are in the best place to do so. You will work in interdisciplinary teams of scientists from the 20 ESA member states, some of them world leaders in their field.
You need to fulfil the following requirements:
Every year we announce around 15 GTP positions. You will receive a monthly bursary from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for the total duration of employment – 12 to a maximum of 24 months. You will be based at an ESA site in Germany, France, Italy, Spain or the Netherlands. This is a great opportunity to achieve a successful career in the spaceflight sector – all you have to do is decide where you want your mission to take you, as did Virginie Hager, who started her career as a trainee at ESA in Noordwijk, working on the Automated Transfer Vehicle 2 (Johannes Kepler) for the ISS, and is an ESA engineer. "Every area of spaceflight technology is exciting, but it was always my goal to be involved in manned spaceflight! I have been able to make my dream come true via the trainee programme."
Turn your enthusiasm for spaceflight into a career: your application
Open German Trainee Programme positions with a technical or natural science scope, sometimes also for those with an economics or law degree, are generally announced by DLR once a year in July/August for employment starting in February of the following year. You may apply for a maximum of two positions. By the time you start working at ESA you should have earned your degree – not at the time of your application. The application should be in English, and consist of a motivation letter and your CV (Europass format). Send the documents to GTP@dlr.de. Please make sure you take a close look at our ‘More information’ section in ‘Downloads’.
The selection process
If we are convinced by your application, we will invite you to an interview with DLR and ESA experts in October/November. The relevant ESA department will also be involved in deciding whether or not you´re accepted to the GTP. The successful candidates will be announced in December and will receive their contract at a kick-off event. Usually, on-the-job training at ESA will start in February/March of the following year.
Getting serious: terms and remuneration
The contract can only be signed if you provide the following: Master certificate, medical certificate, health, accident and liability insurance policies.
Throughout the two-year trainee programme, you will receive a monthly bursary ranging between 2390 to 2430 Euro from DLR, depending on where you’ll be based. In addition – and again depending on your location – we will support you at the beginning of your traineeship with a one-off grant for relocation and travel expenses, including the return trip.
As a GTP trainee at ESA, an experienced ESA tutor will supervise you throughout your trainee period. DLR will also support you and would like to be informed of the work you are performing. At the mid-term and end of the trainee period we ask each trainee to write a report on the experience gained throughout the GTP.
Dr. Olivia Drescher-Schwenzfeier
Scientific head of the DLR Executive Board office in Berlin
Phone: +49 30 67055-476
Strategy and International Relations