Young Graduate Trainee in Security for EO Data Services

Updated: 2 months ago

Young Graduate 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.

This post is classified F1 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale .


ESRIN, Frascati, Italy 

Our team and mission

The ESA Ground Segment and Data Management Division is responsible for the data management of Earth Observation (EO) data through the design, implementation and operations of the Payload Data Ground Segments (PDGS) for a number of Earth Observation missions such as the Earth Explorer, Earth Watch, Third Party and Heritage missions in order to provide high-quality scientific data to the Earth observation community. 

The Payload Data Ground Segments are made up of several systems and industrial services deployed at a number of facilities and covering various functions such as data acquisition (from satellites), data processing, data access (provided to the data users) and data archiving. In order to best serve the needs of the Earth observation community, the Division is very active in seeking opportunities for innovation in terms of functionalities, services and technologies while securing the operational robustness of the Payload Data Ground Segments. 

Interested candidates are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity/research for the traineeship

The ESA Ground Segment and Data Management Division is responsible for providing data to the technical and scientific Earth observation communities. One of a number of services related to Earth observation data, the primary objective is to make the data discoverable and accessible to the scientific community. The ESA Earth Observation websites (e.g. ) are a gateway to a set of continuously evolving services aimed at offering access to the data in various forms, from download to manipulation and hosted processing. 

The Ground Segment, where the data is systematically generated and checked for quality, is being extended with the rollout of a collaborative platform deployed over cloud infrastructure where users can manipulate data, upload algorithms and finally share the outcomes, be they information, algorithms or processed data. 

As it is open to the public, this collaborative platform is exposed to several threats, and security plays a central role to ensure the required robustness of the environment and, at the same time, the integrity of the data exchanged. The platform must therefore provide authentication and authorisation mechanisms, and users must be given different levels of access to data and services (including restricted access or segregation of information, as necessary). 

Several platforms providing specific data-related services have been and are being deployed by several entities, including ESA worldwide. In order to maximise the potential of such platforms, there is an increasing need for interoperability and federation of authentication while at the same time ensuring the preservation of the information assurance properties, such as availability, confidentiality and integrity. 

As a Young Graduate Trainee, you will first familiarise yourself with Earth Observation missions, instruments and relevant data and acquire specialist knowledge of the Earth Observation Ground Segment for data access. 

You will then contribute to the identification of security risks, actively supporting the security risk assessment exercise regularly performed on the platform, and to the definition of requirements to mitigate such risks in order to ensure secure and efficient implementation and deployment of the collaborative platform for data exploitation. 

Your tasks will include:

  • identification of security risks affecting integrity, availability and confidentiality;
  • definition of ESA user scientific and technical requirements relevant to security aspects;
  • assessment of currently available tools/platforms for Earth Observation data and the related security risks and existing measures;
  • identification of the necessary steps required to ensure secure and efficient user management (i.e. role-based access control);
  • supporting discussions to facilitate the identification of the best solutions in the scope of federated authentication and platform interoperability;
  • presentation of project advancement and preparation of a final report showing the main results of the activity.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of relevant technical domains

Relevant experience gained during internships/project work

Breadth of exposure coming from past and/or current research/activities

Knowledge of ESA and its programmes/projects

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation

Operational Efficiency

Fostering Cooperation

Relationship Management

Continuous Improvement

Forward Thinking


You should have just completed or be in the final year of a master’s degree in a technical or scientific discipline with a significant IT component.

Additional requirements

Knowledge of security practices and frameworks (e.g. ISO 27005, NIST Cyber Security Framework). A background in software engineering and design is considered an asset. 

You should have good interpersonal and communication skills and should be able to work in a multicultural environment, both independently and as part of a team.

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.

During the interview, your motivation and overall professional career goals will also be explored.

Other information

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

For further information on the Young Graduate Programme please visit: Young Graduate Programme andFAQ Young Graduate Programme

At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities. Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace. The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us email .


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).

According to the ESA Convention, the recruitment of staff must take into account an adequate distribution of posts among nationals of the ESA Member States*. When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to candidates from under-represented or balanced Member States *. 

In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment conducted by an external background screening service. 

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

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