See job eligibility requirements: Intern in the Science and Operations Department

European Space Agency (ESA)

Noordwijk, Netherlands 🇳🇱

Job Req ID:  16622

Closing Date:  30 November 2022 23:59 CET/CEST

Publication:  External Only

Vacancy Type:  Intern

Date Posted:  1 November 2022

Internship Opportunity in the Directorate of Science.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.



Our team and mission

The Science and Operations Department is responsible for ensuring that maximum scientific return, within applicable constraints, is maintained as an objective for the Directorate’s missions through their lifetime, by providing scientific oversight of the Directorate’s missions throughout their lifecycle, managing and being responsible for the operation of the Directorate’s missions once successfully commissioned, and curating the scientific data in their legacy phase, while establishing and maintaining the necessary science interfaces to the community. These responsibilities are discharged in full coordination with the Directorate’s Departments and Offices and, as appropriate, with the Directorate of Operations.

The European Space Agency maintains a world-leading Science Programme with missions in heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics and fundamental physics. Its mission is to ‘Empower Europe to lead space science’. The Department for Science and Operations, within ESA’s Directorate for Science, host the scientists and engineers that oversee the space missions from study to end of operations; it develops the science operation systems for the missions and operates the missions in space; it archives and curates their data during operations and beyond. Our main objective is to maximise the scientific output of the missions for the benefit of humankind. 

For further information visit our web site:

Field(s) of activity for the internship

You can choose between the following topics:

1) Topic 1: Spectral Analysis of Meteor Showers

One way to improve our understanding of the evolution of our solar system is to unravel parameters of comets and/or the dust the comets release. Within ESA’s Meteor Research Group, an autonomous meteor observatory is operated at the Canary Islands, named CILBO and have produced numerous scientific data.  Recently, we succeeded to combine all parts of the calibration pipeline and atomic ablation model into an automatic pipeline. The algorithm is based on the Bayesian Framework and requires long processing time on the ESA Science Grid computing system. 

As an intern, you will concentrate on algorithmic improvements and the extension of atomic ablation model and apply these on meteor spectra originating from dedicated meteor showers.

2) Topic 2: Fluvial history of rivers and deltas on Mars

By studying river and delta deposits on Mars, we can learn more about the planet’s past fluvial conditions. We aim to determine how long it took to develop the observed deltas, i.e. how long was there fluvial activity? How much fluvial water was there? And what was the discharge, velocity and water depth of these systems? In this project, we will investigate deltas on satellite data using GIS software (geographical information system) and we will attempt to reconstruct deltas using hudro-morphodynamic numerical modelling (spatial grid based) to investigate the conditions at the time of formation.

For the detailed topics descriptions please go to this web page:

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


You must have student status and be enrolled at university for the entire duration of the internship. You should preferably be in your final or second to last year of a university course at master’s level in a 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.

Educational knowledge:

1) Topic 1: Some knowledge – or at least curiosity – in spectral analysis, atomic physics, and Bayesian Framework would be an asset.

2) Topic 2:  

  • Interest in fluvial surface processes.
  • Background in one or more of the following fields: geomorphology, surface processes, hydrology, sedimentology or similar.
  • Knowledge of Matlab or Python is desired.
  • Experience with grid based modelling is an advantage.
  • Experience with GIS is an advantage.

Other information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email [email protected].

Internships can take place remotely, on-site or partially on-site depending on the pandemic situation, and in line with the relevant Establishment’s policy (e.g. possible Green Pass requirement) applicable at the time of starting the internship.


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 Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia, as Associate Member States, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria and Cyprus as European Cooperating States (ECS).