Career opportunities

German Trainee Programme

Please note:

The Corona crisis influences the way we all work. Being at the home office is not ideal to start your new job at ESA. In order to avoid this situation we are putting the new GTP vacancy notices on hold until we can ensure normal working conditions.

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 will work in interdisciplinary teams of scientists from the 22 ESA member states, some of them world leaders in their field.

You need to fulfil the following requirements:

  • German citizenship
  • A technical or science university degree, Master's degree (completed no more than two years ago) or a PhD
  • Alternatively – depending on the specific vacancy – also an economics or law degree
  • Very good command of English – knowledge of another foreign language, especially French, is an advantage
  • Ready to work in an international environment

We fill up to 12 GTP positions every year. The trainee receives a monthly bursary from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for the 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.

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 on its career site 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) including citzenship. Please make sure you take a close look at our ‘More information’ section in ‘Downloads’.

The selection process

If we like your application, we will invite you to an interview in Cologne with DLR and ESA experts in 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 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 of 2600 Euro from DLR. In addition - and depending on your location - DLR will support you at the beginning of your traineeship with a one-off grant for relocation.

As a GTP trainee at ESA, an experienced ESA tutor will supervise you throughout your trainee period. DLR will also continue to support you. At the mid-term and end of the trainee period, DLR will ask you to provide a written report.

Information for applicants


Jessica Gaitskell
Project Management Space Administration

Phone: +49 228 447-140

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