Intern in the Science, Applications and Climate Department

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 30 Nov 2022

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

The Science, Applications, and Climate Department is responsible for ensuring scientific integrity of all missions at all stages of development and operation, and for excellence in science, applications, and climate research. The Department conducts a structured dialogue with scientific, public and private sector user communities and thereby establishes definitive requirements for future research and operational missions, as well as inputs for the Earth Observation system architecture. 

It undertakes a broad spectrum of R&D activities, from science through to pre-commercial development of new applications leveraging on latest Digital Platform technologies. It conducts airborne and ground-based campaigns to support all scientific aspects of mission preparation, development, commissioning, exploitation, and operations. The Department manages activities related to the Earth and Climate System and provides scientific and applications expertise to other EOP Departments. It develops educational activities in the Earth Observation domain, in cooperation with the Agency’s Education Office. It organises and manages an advisory structure for ESA Earth Observation programmes and missions (ACEO) and uses multiple formal and informal methods to gather advice from user communities and other stakeholders, as a key input for ESA’s Earth Observation strategy and future programmes.

The Enterprise Section in the Data Applications Division is responsible for stimulating, initiating and managing industrial developments of new EO applications. This covers the development stages from initial proof of concept to pre-commercial verification as fit for purpose. In addition, the team is active in developing measures to address structural blockages among different user groups that inhibit the use of Earth Observation based information as well as developing methodologies to effectively integrate EO derived information with non-EO data including IoT sensor networks, conventional in-situ measurements, mobile network data, commercially available social analytics and socio-economic information. Within these developments we make extensive use of platform-based environments (to ensure inter-operability and scalable use of cloud processing), innovative processing architectures (eg GPU based methods) and machine learning based data processing for feature extraction/identification (in particular using deep learning and random forest models), statistical inference and heterogeneous data fusion.

For further information visit our web site:

Field(s) of activity for the internship

Topic: Novel Applications from fusion of SAR and Optical/InfraRed data

The Copernicus Sentinel missions coverage and revisit capabilities provide a foundation for developing novel monitoring and analysis tools that were previously not feasible due to the costs or sampling gaps that would have been encountered. Integration with complementary missions (eg European commercial missions, Landsat, SAOCOM, Satellite Video etc) further extends these monitoring and analysis capabilities In addition, new processing methods are reaching a level of maturity that can support expanded monitoring (eg low light level feature detection, parallax based moving target detection etc). The scope of this internship will be to develop and verify a prototype methodology for combining different EO data to extract new information layers that can provide new insight into environmental processes, resource management or economic activity characterization. Examples may include characterization of operations in major economic sectors (eg cement production, steel production, vehicle manufacturing), resource management (eg mining and extractive activity characterization, waste management, water management, forest management), transport infrastructure monitoring (eg road/river traffic levels, port operations) or impact assessment (eg tourism impact assessment in Alpine or coastal areas, irregular construction activities etc). 

As an intern, you will be expected to develop methods for extracting information of relevance and combining different information layers to generate relevant indicators. Methods may include visual analysis using free and open tools such as SNAP and QGIS, re-use or extension of AI based methods for feature extraction (eg Convolutional Neural Net based methods) or classification (eg Random Forest methods) or methods based on industry standard tools such as MatLab. 

The project should complement the various analytic products available on the ESA RACE Dashboard ( ) which was initially intended to support Covid-19 impact assessment but which now provides a range of indicators on different human activities and their impacts. 

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: Some familiarity with the use of SNAP and QGIS. Additional familiarity with tools such as MatLab would be considered 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 .

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).

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