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Directorate: Research, Technology and Innovation Directorate (RTI)
Contract type: Trainee
Group: N.A.
Grade: N.A.
Indicative starting date: 01/09/2020
Security Clearance: SECRET UE/EU SECRET
Management of staff: N.A.
Closing date for applications: 15/05/2020

The selection of candidates will follow the EDA Staff Recruitment Procedure. Candidates must apply for this post via the EDA website - vacancies. Please note that to make an EDA on - line application you will need to create your EDA profile using a valid e - mail address and a password.


The European Defence Agency was established on 12 July 2004, and is governed by Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1835 defining the statute, seat and operational rules of the European Defence Agency. The Agency has its headquarters in Brussels.

The main task of EDA is to support the Council and the Member States in their effort to improve the Union's defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as it currently stands and as it develops in the future.

The Agency is structured into four directorates. The Corporate Services Directorate (CSD) and three operational directorates: Industry, Synergies and Enablers (ISE); Capability, Armament & Planning (CAP); Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI).


The Agency is an “outward-facing” organisation, constantly interacting with its shareholders, the participating Member States, as well as with a wide range of stakeholders. It works in an integrated way, with multi-disciplinary teams representing all of the Agency’s functional areas, to realise its objectives. Its business processes are flexible and oriented towards achieving results. Staff at all levels need to demonstrate the corresponding qualities of commitment, flexibility, innovation, and teamworking; to work effectively with shareholders and stakeholder groups, formal and informal; and to operate without the need for detailed direction.


The Research, Technology & Innovation Directorate (RTI) promotes and supports defence research at EU level. Based on the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA), developed together with the Member States, the Directorate coordinates and plans joint research activities and the study of technical solutions to meet future operational needs.

The RTI Directorate provides support to Member States and to the European Commission for the Preparatory Action for defence research, including its implementation, and the research dimension of the European Defence Fund. The RTI directorate also ensures the promotion of innovation in defence and the exploitation of synergies at EU level with civil research in dual-use technology fields.

The RTI Directorate comprises two Units and an RTI Coordination Team, with the following key tasks

  • The EU-funded Defence Research Unit: upstream, implementing and downstream support linked to defence researchactivities funded by the EU budget under delegation by the European Commission;
  • The Technology & Innovation Unit: facilitating the work of the Capability Technology Groups (CapTechs), the Energy & Environment Working Group; development and management of ad hoc research activities based on sectoral Strategic Research Agendas;
  • The RTI Coordination Team: coordination of the RTI Directorate’s contributions to EDA’s transversal activities (such as CDP, CARD, PESCO, and KSA); overview of the Agency’s research portfolio; provision of outlook for research activities and technology watch.


4.1. Project description and tasks/duties

The Trainee R&T Coordination Support will work in the RTI Coordination Team which is responsible for transversal and cross-directorate tasks. The team is involved in several vertical as well as horizontal activities such as OSRA, CARD, Ad- HoC research projects, Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in Defence as well as the organisation of conferences and events within the remit of the activities of the RTI Directorate.

The Trainee will

  • Support to the secretarial tasks of meetings and workshops related with OSRA tool-chain implementation for innovation monitoring and technology identification;
  • Support the organisation of conferences and events organised under the auspices of the RTI Directorate;
  • Perform desktop research on topics related to the Capability Technology areas of the agency or on any other emerging topic;
  • Support the preparation of operational meetings with experts as well as political meetings with Member States;
  • Support any other activities assigned to the RTI coordination team.

A typical day includes

  • Participating to Unit/EDA meetings or project meetings;
  • Performing desktop research on topics for which the candidate is comfortable with;
  • Drafting minutes/operational conclusions from meetings;
  • Drafting reports and other material related to EDA work strands;
  • Be involved in research and innovation activities;
  • Keeping databases and EDA ECP’s up to date;
  • Support to the organization of operational and political meetings.

4.2. Project outputs/Outcomes

The selected trainee will be involved in the only scheme of defence research prioritisation officially validated at EU level and related supporting activities. This could be an excellent basis for future work in European bodies, in national administrations or in industry involved in defence research.

4.3. Learning outcomes

The selected trainee will get more familiar with the way of working of EU bodies and will gain knowledge in defence research prioritisation and organisation as well as in research portfolio management.

4.4. Technical/soft skills to be acquired

  • Drafting of policy papers;
  • Organisation of international meetings and events;
  • Working in EU environment and organisation of defence research.


Applicants must satisfy the following requirements by the deadline of this call for applications:

5.1. Eligibility criteria

  • be a national of a Member State participating in the Agency;
  • be entitled to his/her full rights as a citizen;
  • produce the appropriate character references as to his/her suitability for the performance of his/her duties;
  • be physically fit to perform his/her duties;
  • have a thorough knowledge of one of the languages of the participating Member States and a satisfactory knowledge of another of these languages to the extent necessary to discharge his/her duties;
  • hold, or be in a position to obtain, a valid Personnel Security Clearance Certificate (national or EU PSC at SECRET UE/EU SECRET level);
  • have completed at least the first (minimum three-year) cycle of a higher education course (university education) andobtained a full degree or its equivalent by the closing date for applications.

Traineeships shall be open to applicants who have not previously undertaken a paid or unpaid traineeship or any kind of employment in another European institution or a body and which lasted for more than six weeks.

No age limit is imposed on the candidates for traineeships; however, traineeships are as a matter of priority offered to recent graduates.

Only diplomas that have been awarded in EU Member States or that are the subject of equivalence certificates issued by the authorities in the said Member States shall be taken into consideration. In the latter case, the authority authorised to conclude contracts of employment reserves the right to request proof of such equivalence.

Completion of any obligations imposed by law concerning military service is not a prerequisite to apply for a traineeship; however, these obligations may not interfere with the completion of the traineeship.

Personnel Security Clearance Certificate (PSCC) means a certificate issued by a competent authority establishing that an individual is security cleared and holds a valid national or EU PSC, and which shows the level of EUCI to which that individual may be granted access (CONFIDENTIEL UE/EU CONFIDENTIAL or above), the date of validity of the relevant PSC and the date of expiry of the certificate itself. Note that the necessary procedure for obtaining a PSCC can be initiated on request of the employer only, and not by the individual candidate.

5.2. Essential criteria

(a) Academic requirements: Bachelor or Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Engineering/Science-related domains or in International Relations, Political Science, or European Studies;

(b) Linguistic requirements: Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English (level C1/C2);

(c) Technical skills:

  • IT literacy particularly in MS Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook);
  • Knowledge of Microsoft SharePoint;
  • Familiarity with database management.

5.3. Desirable criteria

  • Knowledge in R&T/R&D management;
  • Exposure to an international environment;
  • Experience in event management at any level;
  • Previous experience working in a team.


Trainees must exercise the greatest discretion regarding facts and information that come to their knowledge during the course of their training. They must not, in any manner whatsoever, disclose to any unauthorised person any document or information not already made public. They will be required to make a declaration of commitment to act independently in the Agency’s interest and to make a declaration in relation to interests that might be considered prejudicial to their independence. They will continue to be bound by the obligation of confidentiality and professional discretion after the end of their training. EDA reserves its legal right to terminate the traineeship and to pursue any person who does not respect this obligation.


The traineeship is offered for a 1-year period. Trainees are awarded an allowance of 1.220,78€ per month. Upon presentation of the proper justification, disabled trainees may receive a supplement to their allowance equal to a maximum of 50% of the amount of the allowance. The objective of this extra payment is to help disabled trainees to cover extra expenses such as transport, the cost of special accommodation etc. which might be required due to their disability.

Health and accident insurance is mandatory. Trainees shall be responsible for organising their own insurance against accident along with health cover and any insurance required for family members for the duration of the traineeship.

Trainees whose place of origin is more than 50km from the place of employment are entitled to a reimbursement of travel expenses incurred at the beginning and end of the traineeship. Travel allowances are paid at the end of the training period, provided the trainee has completed a minimum of 6 months of the traineeship.

In exceptional cases only, trainees may be sent on a mission provided that the mission is of a technical and not ofa representative character. The authorisation shall be granted by the Director of the respective Directorate. For the reimbursement of these mission expenses, the general procedure of reimbursement provided in EDA’s Staff Regulations will apply.

For further information on financial matters, read the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on the EDA website:

Admission to a traineeship does not confer on trainees the status of temporary agents or other servants of the European Union nor does it entail any right or priority with regard to future engagement in the Agency. Trainees cannot benefit from any privileges and immunities granted by the host country to temporary agents or other servants of the European Defence Agency.


The EDA is an equal opportunities employer and accepts applications without distinction on the grounds of age, race political, philosophical or religious conviction, sex or sexual orientation and regardless of disabilities, marital status or family situation.


Candidates may not apply for more than 2 trainee profiles and are requested to indicate an order of preference in their motivation letter.

Candidates must submit their application electronically solely via the EDA website. Applications by any other means (hard copy or ordinary e-mail) will not be accepted. Applications must be submitted no later than midnight on the date of the deadline. Candidates are reminded that the on-line application system will not accept applications after midnight (Brussels time, GMT+1).

The Agency defines its requirements for each call and successful candidates are selected on the basis of the educational background, qualifications, competences, and motivation. EDA’s Human Resources Unit assesses compliance of applications with the eligibility criteria. The respective Directorates/Units assess applications against the selection criteria and shortlist a number of candidates that meet the requirements. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a telephone interview. Following the interviews, the Directorate/Unit will select the trainee who most closely meets the requirements of the specific profile.

If offered a traineeship, candidates will be requested to supply documentary evidence in support of the statements made in their application. Candidates are requested not to send any supporting or supplementary information until they have been asked to do so by the Agency.

Please note that once you have created your EDA profile, any correspondence regarding your application must be sent or received via your EDA profile. For any prior inquiry, please refer to the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, or send an e-mail to


Please note that EDA will not return applications to candidates. The personal information EDA requests from candidates will be processed in line with Regulation (EU) N° 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) 45/2001 and Decision No. 1247/2002/EC.

The purpose of processing personal data which candidates submit is to manage applications in view of possible preselection and recruitment at EDA. More information on personal data protection in relation to selection and recruitment can be found on the EDA website:

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About The Job

Brussels , Belgium
Contract type:
No Experience Required
Project Management

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