German Aerospace Center (DLR) - German Trainee Programme


Government International Organizations

Location (s):

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Spain


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.


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 22 ESA member states, some of them world leaders in their field.

Every year we announce around 10 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 Anica Huck, who started her career as a trainee at ESA in Frascati, working as geographer at the ground segment, and now continues her career as an ESA engineer. “The DLR-Traineeship opened up many doors for me. During my time at ESA I gained a practical insight into the Ground Segment - the work, which is done on earth for the satellite missions -  and the European space policy. The direct transition from GTP-Trainee to ESA-Staff allows me to work in a creative environment.”

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) including date of birth and citzenship. Send the documents to 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 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.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

You need to fulfil the following requirements:

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


Deadline: The application period is open for one or more cycles a year

Cost/funding for participants:

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 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 DLR asks each trainee to provide a written report on the experience gained throughout the GTP.

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