European Space Agency (ESA)

Young Graduate Trainee (Earth Observation Political Analysis and Management Engineering)

European Space Agency (ESA)

Job Description

Young Graduate Traineeship Opportunity in the Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes. ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. Applications from women are encouraged. Post Young Graduate Trainee for Earth Observation Political Analysis and Management Engineering This post is classified F1. Location ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands Our team and mission The System Architect Office is charged with establishing and maintaining a reference architecture for European Earth observation systems, encompassing all ESA EO missions (Earth Explorers, Sentinels, meteorological, third party) and taking account of European, national and commercial systems. The Office conducts system-of-Systems Engineering analyses to assess the scientific, technological, industrial and operational synergies between different EO missions and relevant non-space systems with the goal of maximising the return and increasing the attractiveness of investments in future EO missions. The Office maintains and updates the end-to-end CSC system requirements based on EU and Member States’ user requirements. Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website: Field(s) of activity Europe has acquired worldwide leadership in Earth observation which covers scientific, application and commercial sectors. EO is indispensable for applications where Europe has the ambition to act as a global player such as Climate Change, UN Sustainable Development Goals, etc. and for services that affect the daily lives of us all.  The EU’s Copernicus Programme and Eumetsat’s Meteorology Programmes – both implemented in collaboration with ESA – together with ESA’s Envelope Programme and national EO initiatives constitute the backbone of the European leadership worldwide, achieved mostly with public investment. Policy decisions are linked to the technical Design of a complex, publicly-funded space system as an external constraint. Governments and the public sector finance the research & development of EO satellites, purchase and operate them and procure services provided by EO space systems. The great level of government involvement coupled with the high technical complexity require the integration of both the technical and the political aspects as the system is conceived. Namely, policy decisions impact EO system architecture objectives that are successively reflected in the technical requirements of the system. Those requirements in turn drive programme cost, performance, schedule and risk which are parameters of primary importance to policy-makers. The interactions of policy with the system design cannot be treated as traditional technical constraints and require a new framework in which the political-economic and technical aspects of system design interact. As a YGT you are expected to support the Office’s endeavours in this field by analysing the interactions between the political, technical and operational domains for EO in Europe and by investigating the potential role private actors can play in this eco system. This can be accomplished in three steps:
  1. analyse the interactions between the political, technical and operational domains for the Copernicus Programme from its inception up to today as a case study

  2. extrapolate the Copernicus case to an ideal holistic European EO programme that encompasses Copernicus, ESA EO programmes, Eumetsat and national missions, each of them maintaining their known governance

  3. analyse and identify paths for the potential role of European industry in this holistic scenario.

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 Communication Continuous Learning Cross-Cultural Sensitivity Teamwork Education 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, e.g. political science with a general scientific/technological or business Administration background. 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
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