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 call for application has been closed.

The programme identifies early talents in following areas:

  • 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 one of the EPO’s working languages (English, French or German) at a minimum level of B1

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.

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 2021/2022 selection process

  • You can apply from mid-February to the end of March 2021.
  • We will evaluate all applications in April 2021. 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 2021.
  • You will be informed about the outcome of the selection procedure by the end of June 2021.
  • The programme will start in September 2021.