University of Nottingham

SABRE Postgraduate Internship Programme 2016

Background and focus

Over the past two years, GRACE has developed a very successful summer internship programme.  We have been able to place some of the most talented post-graduate researchers from across Europe with companies in the space and satellite applications sector.  As a result, they have helped a wide range of companies to develop new products and services requiring their specialist skills and knowledge.

For 2016, we have updated and extended the programme to make it more responsive to the needs of industry and interns.  

The 2016 programme is made up of several calls for projects during the year.  We are looking for companies with a positive attitude to product and personal development; that are able to provide projects that challenge an intern with at least a first degree in a STEM subject, and give them experience of taking a major role as a specialist on a project


Selection to the 2016 programme is now complete.

Internship duration

We expect that projects should last 10 to 13 weeks*.  However, the length of the project will depend on the nature of the work and will be agreed before the internship commences. 

The timing of the start and completion of the project will be subject to the availability of a suitable postgraduate intern and the requirements of the project. 

(* based on a standard five-day working week of 7.25 hours per day)

Support from GRACE

GRACE will provide financial and any appropriate in-kind support for 10 to 13 weeks.  This will be agreed before the start of the project and may be reviewed if there are any significant changes to the project. 

Payment to the intern

The intern will be employed by The University of Nottingham at a rate of £10.03 (which includes holiday pay). 

Contribution from the company

The company will contribute £5.00 per hour, to be invoiced at the end of the internship.  If it is agreed that the project will be supported beyond the initial 10 to 13 week period, any balance will be paid on completion.

In addition, there will be an initial charge of £510 (inc VAT) for each successful project, to cover administration of the project and student selection.

Selection criteria for companies / projects

Selection will be according to the quality of the project and the availability of funding.

Companies will be selected according to the quality of the proposed project, and the ability of the company to provide appropriate supervision or mentoring of an intern to complete the project. GRACE will work with the company to co-mentor and provide any additional support needed; this may include access to specialist positioning and navigation test facilities, or academic support.

Selection criteria for interns

We are inviting postgraduates in STEM subjects to submit their CV and a covering letter that demonstrates their motivation and the type of work they would be most interested in undertaking.


  • Postgraduate, or student about to complete their first degree this summer 2016
  • Have an interest in working in the space industry

On your CV or covering letter, please specify:

  • Main topics studied at University
  • Work experience
  • Computer programming skills (including your level of competence) e.g. Matlab, Python C++

Each application will be assessed by GRACE staff to match applicants to suitable projects. The host company will make the final decision on who they believe would be the most suitable person to complete the project.

Benefits to the host company

  • Your company will be working with a highly motivated individual with up-to-date specialist knowledge, relevant to a project that will benefit the company commercially.
  • Completion of a project that you may not have had the skills or resources to carry out.
  • Introduction to someone who could have a long-term future with the company.
  • Develop the personal management and mentoring skills of existing members of staff.
  • Access to the GNSS positioning and testing facilities at the Nottingham Geospatial Institute.

Benefits to the intern

  • Introduction to working in the space industry with a company committed to supporting you.
  • Take part in a project that will both challenge you and make practical use of your existing knowledge and skills.
  • An opportunity to make friends and build a network with people in the space industry.
  • Build relevant experience and provide practical examples of your abilities for inclusion on your CV, including a reference from your host company.
  • Show your host that you can benefit the company on a permanent basis.

How to get involved

This scheme is open to EU companies, or companies that have a presence in the EU. 

For companies: Visit Internship application - employers

For interns: Visit Internship application - interns

For further details, download the document SABRE Postgraduate Internship Programme 2016 or contact the GRACE team at

FAQ documents can be downloaded here


  • Applications for the first call must be received by 19 Feb (small companies) and for the second call 29 April (all companies).
  • Applications for students can be received anytime during the year (however we advise you apply as soon as you can).


Email: Contact us