How to apply for the Pan-European Seal Professional Traineeship Programme

The Pan-European Seal Professional Traineeship Programme offers a unique opportunity to launch your career and gain valuable insights into what it's like to work in a dynamic, multicultural environment. Read on to find out everything you need to know to apply for the next round of the Pan-European Seal Programme at the European Patent Office, including application requirements and the selection process timeline. To learn more about the traineeship programme itself, have a look at our programme page.

The programme offers traineeship opportunities in following areas below. The next application round will start in February 2023

  • Science and engineering (including IT)
  • Human resources and business administration
  • International relations and communication
  • Economics and finance
  • Law


Can I apply?
Before you apply, please check that you fulfil the Pan-European Seal Programme requirements:

  • Your name has been put forward by a university that is a member of the Pan-European Seal network
  • You are a national of one of the EPO member states or EPO extension states
  • You hold a bachelor's/master's degree or are currently enrolled for PhD studies in a relevant field
  • You obtained your degree no more than two years prior to the date of application
  • You have knowledge of English at a minimum level of B1, knowledge of  one of the other EPO’s working languages (French or German) would be a benefit

How do I apply?
Your application should be made online and must include:

  • a letter of motivation expressing your reasons for applying for an EPO traineeship
  • your up-to-date CV
  • your degree certificate (a provisional declaration may be submitted pending the conferral of your degree)

You meet all the requirements and have all relevant documents ready? Then choose one of the areas listed above and submit your application.

Important: Please note that you may apply for only one vacancy within the Pan-European Seal Programme, so be sure to indicate your area of choice in your application. However, this does not mean that you cannot be considered for other areas within the Office. If a suitable candidate cannot be found within the specific vacancy, then candidates from other areas may also be contacted.

Upon the completion of the selection process, your name, surname, field of study and the EPO area of work will be shared with the university that shortlisted you as an eligible candidate for the Pan-European Seal Professional Traineeship programme.


I've submitted my application, so what's next?
If you are selected, you will be invited to take the following e-learning courses and upload the certificates of completion to your application page:

If you are curious to find out more about the EPO and IP in general, you are welcome to dip in and out of our course modules whenever you have the time.

Timeline for the 2022/2023 selection process

  • You can apply from 15th of February until 15th of March 2022.
  • We will evaluate all applications in April 2022. Please keep in mind that the EPO reserves the right to select shortlisted candidates according to their profile and the Office's business needs.
  • If pre-selected by the EPO tutor designated for your chosen area, you will be invited to a virtual interview during April and May 2022.
  • You will be informed about the outcome of the selection procedure by the end of June 2022.
  • The programme will start on 15th of September 2022.

In case you get selected, please note:
Selected trainees who will receive a traineeship agreement from us will undergo a so called a pre-employment screening procedure which is applied prior to their start in the Office. The aim is to certify the correctness of the educational background stated in the application form.
Also, in the pre-employment screening you shall be ready to submit a certificate of good conduct.