Intern in the Copernicus Space Office - Copernicus Applications and Users

Updated: 5 months ago

Internship 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. 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

This position is based at the ESA Centre for Earth Observation (ESRIN) - Frascati, Italy

Under the direct authority of the Earth Observation programmes, the Copernicus Space Office is responsible for programmatic activities relevant to Copernicus and performs the lead role for the strategic and coordination activities related to Copernicus. He acts as interface with the European Commission for Copernicus. The Copernicus Space Office is the interface for ESA’s Copernicus activities within and outside ESA, it ensures their coordination by the implementing departments and ensures the oversight of the Copernicus Space Component (CSC).

The tasks of the Copernicus Space Office include, in particular:

  • Monitoring the Agency’s Copernicus activities and ensuring their coordination;
  • Ensuring cooperation with the Commission in the implementation of Copernicus by interfacing the DG DEFIS Earth Observation Unit and other Commission services, and the ESA Directorate of European, Legal & International Matters;
  • Coordinating the implementation of the Agreements with the EU/Commission on Copernicus (Copernicus Agreement, EU-ESA FFPA and Contribution Agreement) in collaboration with the ESA-EU Matters Committee, including the reporting obligations to the Commission and ESA Member States, and support negotiations for any amendments conducted under the lead of D/ELI;
  • Initiating and coordinating ESA CSC Programme planning;
  • Preparing Copernicus programmatic documents and supporting the necessary negotiations with the Commission, ESA Member States and other partners involved in the CSC;
  • Coordinating, in close cooperation with the relevant departments and offices, the preparation and maintenance of the CSC Long Term Scenario document, including security aspects;
  • Coordinating the recording and traceability of CSC related risks ESA internally and towards the Commission;
  • Making proposals for the use of resources allocated to the CSC Programme based on inputs from the Departments, and preparing decisions for D/EOP as and when required;
  • Coordinating the implementation of Copernicus activities resulting from the European Space Policy and related programmatic decisions on Copernicus;
  • Supporting the implementation of Copernicus outreach and communication activities in the frame of the EOP communication strategy prepared and managed by EOP-C;

among others.

For further information visit our web site:

Field(s) of activity for the internship

You can choose between the following topics:

1) Topic 1: Support to ESA Sentinels socio-economic benefits analyses 

As part of the proposed internship, you will support the efforts of the Office to maintain and grow the evidence for the benefits generated by the Sentinel missions in view of feeding strategic advocacy efforts, supporting the implementation of Copernicus communication activities and contributing to the strategy, preparation of the evolution of the Copernicus Space Component.

Your tasks will include, in particular:

  • Through desk research, (remote) attendance to conferences and interviews, gather a comprehensive oversight about significant users and uses of Copernicus Sentinels data. In particular, You will analyse and report on case studies of exploitation of Copernicus Sentinels data within selected users communities and application areas. Note that the selection of the application areas can be agreed with the Agency also taking into account the relevance for your own interests and area of expertise (e.g. green transition, environmental compliance…). 
  • Support the Office Copernicus User Expert in tasks related to the assessment of socio-economic benefits generated by the use of Copernicus Sentinels data and in relationship with existing initiatives such as the Copernicus4Regions and the Sentinel Benefits Study , with a view to consolidate and enlarge them to e.g. include perspective assessments for the Sentinels Expansion missions and especially in the frame of key relevant EU and international policies.

With the proposed internship, you will acquire a general understanding of Copernicus applications and derived benefits in an international framework and you will acquire a forward-looking perspective on the future of the Programme.


2) Topic 2: Support the set-up of a strategy for community benchmarking of EO data access platforms

As part of the proposed internship, you will support the efforts of the Office to develop community benchmarking practices related to assess the performances and the fitness-for-purpose of different Sentinels data platforms, with a view to contribute to the strategy, preparation of the evolution of the Copernicus Space Component. 

Your tasks will include, in particular:

  • Validate, analyse and expand the Sentinels Data Access Worldwide Benchmark SW Suite and the Reference Site  (login/password: benchmark/benchmark)
  • Design and execute additional own practical analyses of ESA data access platform/s to provide recommendations for ESA benchmarking practices, including in perspectives related to the new data access concepts such as e.g. Destination Earth.
  • Support the definition of strategies to further the uptake and the improvement of the currently developed practices, including in interaction with students and practitioners from different space agencies as appropriate and feasible.

With the proposed internship, you will acquire an overview and a general understanding of the main functionalities related to EO data access from available major platforms. You will familiarize with practices and performance assessments in the EO community and gain an in-depth hands-on experience on innovative benchmarking practices for EO data access, in an international and open environment.

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.

Additional Requirements:

1) Topic 1:

  • Knowledge and background in Copernicus and in one or more EO data application areas is an asset

2) Topic 2: 

  • SW development skills as needed to quickly execute tests with the Benchmark SW Suite and to elaborate add-ons are required

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] .


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, Croatia and Cyprus as European Cooperating States (ECS).

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