The SCI-S Trainee Project


Young student scientists and engineers regularly participate in trainee programmes which take place at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC), Madrid, Spain, and the European Space Research & Technology Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, The Netherlands, where they contribute to the Cluster, Euclid, Gaia, Herschel, Integral, Juice, JWST, Planetary, Science Archives, SMOS, SOHO and XMM-Newton missions, and to teams such as CESAR, Galileo Science Office and Space Situational Awareness, amongst others.

Trainees from universities all over Europe are involved.

About us

The Science and Operations Department (SCI-S) is responsible for ensuring that maximum scientific return is maintained as an objective for the Directorate’s missions through their lifetime. We are providing scientific oversight of the Directorate’s missions throughout their lifecycle, are managing and responsible for the operation of the Directorate’s missions once successfully commissioned, and are curating the scientific data in their legacy phase.  We are further establishing and maintaining science interfaces to the community and the public.

SCI-S Department is substructure into the:

  • Science Division (SCI-SC)
  • Mission Operations Division (SCI-SO)
  • Operations Development Division (SCI-SD)
  • Data Science and Archive Division (SCI-SA)
  • Mission Support Office (SCI-SX)

The Science Division (SCI-SC) is the home of the Study and Project Scientists who provide the cradle-to-grave scientific oversight of the Directorate's missions. These scientists ensure that the maximum scientific return is maintained as an objective throughout all mission phases.

The Mission Operations Division (SCI-SO) is responsible during the operations phase (from completion of in-orbit commissioning to the end of post-operations) for the overall management and the execution of the science operations of the Directorate’s missions, including the post-operational phase.

The Operations Development Division (SCI-SD) is responsible for the development of tools and infrastructure for the science operations of the Directorate’s missions. It provides input concerning the resources required for science operations and is responsible for all activities associated with the pre-launch definition and implementation of the scientific operations of these missions, including the development of the necessary tools.

The Data Science and Archive Division (SCI-SA) is responsible for the provision of data science and archive systems, as well as the technical IT services in support of missions throughout their lifecycle. SCI-SA is further responsible for the management of the data from missions in legacy phase, as well as of their scientific exploitation.

The Mission Support Office (SCI-SX) is responsible for the provision of management and engineering services, and cross-project technical solutions to the Department’s activities throughout all their phases.

Training Opportunities

Go to the Training Opportunities page to see what projects are on offer and when you can apply.


The SCI-S Trainee Project is part of the ESA Student Placement scheme and is organised and funded by ESA Human Resources and the Science Operations Department, in collaboration with the Space Science Faculty and the ESA Education Office.