Trainees

At the European Medicines Agency (EMA), we believe that great young minds add important value to our work. In return, they learn new skills and get a valuable work experience.

We run a yearly traineeship programme covering the areas of medicine regulation, life sciences, healthcare, chemistry, information technology, pharmaceutical law, human resources, finance, communications, public relations and library and information science.

You can find further information about the programme in the menu below.

  • A ten-month traineeship at the Agency’s premises in Amsterdam (1 October - 31 July)
  • A full-time traineeship (40 hours a week) or a part-time traineeship (80% or 50% combined with Erasmus+ or similar programme or a PhD)
  • A monthly stipend of €1,360 for a full-time traineeship (reduced accordingly for 80% or 50%) and a travel contribution upon joining and leaving the Agency
  • A mentor responsible for establishing individual learning goals, supervising the trainee and monitoring their progress on a regular basis
  • Guidance on career and development
  • A development programme including learning about the Agency’s mission and activities, attending regular workshops, participating in meetings and access to Agency-wide competency development opportunities

  • An open-minded approach to working in a multicultural environment
  • An interest in learning about the Agency’s working methods
  • To contribute to the Agency’s daily work with a fresh perspective
  • A proactive attitude

  • An interest in your background and ideas
  • Support and guidance from your mentor throughout the programme
  • The possibility to contribute to the Agency’s mission
  • Helping you to grow professionally
  • Creating learning opportunities for you
  • Mentorship from world-class specialists

Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply for the Agency’s traineeship programme, you must:

  • Be an EU or EEA national
  • Be a recent university graduate (not longer than 12 months after graduation) or a university student on an Erasmus + or a similar programme or a PhD student (to be eligible for traineeship programme 2020, you must have graduated between July 2019 and July 2020).
  • Have a thorough knowledge of English (at least level C1) and a good knowledge of another official EU language (at least B2), as per the Common European Framework for Languages.
  • How to apply

    Our traineeship opportunities for the programme 2020/2021 are now closed for applications. However, you can create a candidate profile at any time and use it to pre-fill any future applications.

    For guidance on how to use the EMA Careers portal, see EMA Careers user guide.

    Make sure you fulfil all eligibility criteria stated in the vacancy notice. If you don't meet the criteria, EMA cannot progress your application.

    Make sure you complete your candidate profile and application form as fully as possible, paying particular attention to the pre-screening questions and the ‘professional qualification’ section of the application form.

    During the first stage of the assessment of your application, EMA uses your answers to pre-screening questions to assess how you match the requirements of the advertised position.

    You can log into the candidate portal at any time to track the progress of your applications.

    EMA communicates with candidates via email, so please check your inbox and spam folder regularly.

    Tips for your application

    The application form includes questions asking you to confirm you meet all the eligibility criteria. If you answer ‘no’ to any of these questions, EMA will not be able to progress your application.

    Substantiate your answers to the pre-screening questions by describing all your relevant qualifications and experience (if applicable), even if already mentioned in other sections of your application form.

    Tailor the description of your skills to the requirements listed in the vacancy notice.

    Make sure your answers are concise and respect character limits.

    Check your grammar and spelling before submitting your application.

    Make sure you submit your application before the closing date. EMA cannot accept applications submitted after the closing date.

    What happens after I applied?

    We will assess your application to see how well you meet the listed requirements. This will take approximately 2-3 weeks.

    Candidates that best match the profile will be invited for a short remote interview with a hiring manager. They may also be asked to complete a written test. For information on how to prepare for these assessments see EMA's guidance on how to prepare for assessments .

    If you are successful, we will inform you again and send you a contract with a starting date of 1 October.

    If you want to more about our programme, read Traineeship Programme rules.

    We have also compiled Frequently Asked Questions to help you.

    You can always contact us.

    • Meet Jason Hayes, Irish, Internal Audit Officer at EMA, trainee in 2016

      "During my traineeship I improved my IT skills, learned auditing techniques, project and quality management. I now use these skills during audit and consultancy engagements, drafting corporate documents and liaising with external bodies.

      EMA is a fantastic organisation to undertake the traineeship. My team was very supportive and helped motivate me towards goals.

      Enjoy the experience and the city of Amsterdam!"

    • Meet Isabel Araujo Fernandez, Spanish, Clinical Assessor in Paris, trainee in 2018

      "I wanted to be part of the authorization of new drugs that would be available to all Europeans. The traineeship helped me to improve my communication skills in a foreign language and to gain confidence when speaking to big audiences in person and through teleconference. After the traineeship, I got a job as a clinical assessor for European procedures at a national regulatory agency.

      Do not miss the opportunity to live such an enriching experience!"

    • Meet Alessandra Lolato, Italian, Master Data Manager at EMA, trainee in 2018

      "As a trainee, I joined a Data Management Service which provides a single source of validated master data that supports regulatory activities throughout EU. 

      The thing I liked most of my traineeship was the international work environment and to have been in contact with so many bright people from all over Europe. We felt so honoured to have had such a great opportunity!"

    • Meet Juan José Fernández Romero, Spanish, EU Policy Advisor in Brussels, trainee in 2018

      "As a trainee, I was part of the Internal Corporate Relations team where I further elaborated on my communication, writing and organisational skills. After my traineeship, I got a job in Brussels as an EU Affairs Policy Advisor applying the skills that I had acquired and continuing to develop professionally.

      My colleagues made for the best working environment I've ever experienced. Plus, all the trainees used to get together as a family that still lasts up to today."