Traineeships at the ESPON Coordination Unit

The ESPON Coordination Unit is looking for two trainees for a period of 5 months to join our international team, preferably starting by mid-March/beginning April 2014.

The ESPON 2013 Programme

ESPON is a network providing policy support with European observation and evidence on territorial development and cohesion. The activities are implemented as a programme under the Structural Funds 2007-2013 and the objective of European territorial cooperation. The mission is to enhance European knowledge, data and indicators on territorial structures, trends, perspectives and impacts of sector policies which can meet policy demand related to EU Cohesion Policy and be useful for policy makers and practitioners around Europe.

The ESPON 2013 Programme is the second generation of ESPON. The budget of this programme amounts to around 47 million Euros in total. All 28 EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are partners in the programme, which is managed by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructures, Department for Spatial Development of Luxembourg. The European Commission is playing an active advisory role during the programme implementation.

Applied research projects and targeted analyses, defined by stakeholders and based on ESPON results, are carried through until end 2014 by contracted Transnational Project Groups composed of researchers and experts. A scientific platform for European territorial research is being further developed, including the ESPON Database, analytical tools and territorial indicators. The awareness and capitalisation of the comparable information on European regions and cities produced are being ensured through publications and events at European and transnational level.

The ESPON 2013 programme will be continued as a third generation of ESPON covering the period 2014-2020. You can find more detailed information about the ESPON 2013 Programme and the existing ESPON achievements and results on

The ESPON Coordination Unit

The ESPON CU will include 16 staff members and 2 trainees during the spring 2014 period.

The CU is located in Luxembourg - Kirchberg, 10-15 minutes by bus from the central train station and the city centre.

The job for the trainees

The ESPON CU offers a five-month period of training for young academics in the final stage of their university studies related to territorial development and planning, geography, regional economics, European studies, political science, financial management and/or other relevant fields.

The work in the CU is organised in three clusters each dealing with a key area of the implementation of the ESPON 2013 Programme: 1) Programme, Finance and Budget, 2) Capitalisation, Publication and Analysis, and 3) Project Development and Coordination.

One trainee will during the traineeship period be involved mainly in tasks related to the cluster on Capitalisation, Publication and Analysis (Traineeship A). The other trainee will mainly be involved in tasks of the cluster related to Programme, Finance and Budget Traineeship B).

The work in the Capitalisation, Publication and Analysis cluster will in the current final phase of the ESPON 2013 Programme implementation require enhanced efforts in communication and publication of ESPON results. This will include preparing and carrying out a high number of events, such as seminars, workshops and conferences, and producing a variety of publications (reports, territorial observations, fact sheets, posters, etc.).

The work in the Programme, Finance and Budget cluster includes a variety of organisational, drafting, reading and administrative tasks related to the high number of capitalisation and dissemination activities carried out during the last year of the Programme. In addition, a number of projects are directly implemented by the Managing Authority and the ESPON Coordination Unit.

Both trainees might as well be involved in other tasks related to the implementation of the ESPON 2013 programme. These may include (1) support to the Project Cluster assisting with the preparation of responses on project reports, (2) dissemination tasks related to the implementation of the communication plan, (3) support the organization and preparation of meetings, seminars and workshops.

Trainees at the ESPON CU will have the opportunity to attend European events with ESPON involvement taking place outside Luxembourg. An allowance of 1.000 Euro per month will be offered as an indemnity to support your living expenses while training at the ESPON CU.

Your profile

You are a student registered at a university during the entire period of the traineeship and carry a passport from Member States of the European Union or from Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein (full partners in the ESPON 2013 Programme).

Applicants should demonstrate:

  • Interest and (some) knowledge in relation to European cooperation in the field of EU Structural Funds, regional policy and/or spatial development and planning, geography, regional economics, European studies, political science, public administration, communications and/or other fields related to territorial development.
  • Motivation for learning and contributing to management, financial and administrative tasks, to content-related tasks related to project development and coordination as well as tasks related to communication and capitalisation on programme activities. 
  • Attention to detail and accuracy, capability to meet pre-defined deadlines, ability to quickly grasp new tasks and implement tasks and duties successfully.
  • An excellent understanding and fluency in spoken and written English and preferably good communication skills in other languages.
  • Strong personal skills, being keen team player, capable both of following instructions and of working on own initiative, consulting colleagues when needed.
  • A positive attitude, being open and capable of working in a multicultural team, contributing to a good working environment.
  • Good computer knowledge/skills, at least experience of working with Microsoft Office. 

For applicants interested in the traineeship related to the Capitalisation, Publication and Analysis cluster, motivation and experience in desk research (i.e. finding relevant information or literature and synthesising it) as well as flair and skills for lay-outing and mapmaking (Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and ArcGIS) will be key assets. Furthermore, with specific regard to the capitalisation activities, good writing/drafting skills and experience on promotional/marketing activities will be an advantage.

For applicants interested in the traineeship related to the Programme, Finance and Budget cluster traineeship, specific attention will be devoted to candidates with skills and flair for accountancy, administrative and auditing as well as to applicants with motivation and interest related to project management and financial management.

For both trainees, communication competences and experience in preparing presentations and organizing events will be considered an advantage.

How to apply

Your application shall include the following:

  1. A motivation letter in English – not longer than 1 page. Your motivation letter may include your response to the following questions: Why would you like to be a trainee at the ESPON CU? Which personal assets do you feel you can bring to the ESPON CU? Your expectations for the traineeship: what you hope to learn from it?
  2. Your Curriculum Vitae in English– not longer than 3 pages:
  3. A profile table duly filled-in (available below).

All the above mentioned documents are to be sent by e-mail to [email protected]

Please specify in the subject of the e-mail the following information: “Your First Name and Last Name – Traineeship you are applying for* - ESPON TRAINEESHIP APPLICATION”.

*Traineeship A: Capitalisation, Publication and Analysis cluster.
*Traineeship B: Programme, Finance and Budget cluster.

Deadline for submitting an application is 26th January 2014

You will be informed, by mid-February 2014, about the outcome of the selection. Please bear in mind that copies of your relevant university certificates and diplomas as well as a proof of being registered at your University will be necessary for the contracting, in case you are selected.

The ESPON Programme applies the principle of equal opportunities between men and women.

Further information

You can get further information about the job and the ESPON Coordination Unit by contacting Fernando Buitrago Rodríguez ([email protected]) or Elena Opinca ([email protected]).