Emerging Space Leaders (ESL) Grant Programme

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Former IAF Youth Grant Programme

In October 2008 the International Astronautical Federation approved a new initiative to actively engage, inspire and support the next generation of students and young professionals to prepare them to be the future leaders of the international space community.

As part of this initiative the IAF began a new programme to provide grants that enable students and young space professionals to participate in IAF activities, in particular the International Astronautical Congress (IAC).

Since 2009, the Youth Grant Programme, now called Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme (ESL Grants) enables each year 10 to 12 students and young professionals between age of 21 and 35 to participate in the IAC, as well as in the UN/IAF Workshop and the Space Generation Congress, both held the week prior to the Congress.

In 2014, the International Astronautical Federation signed an agreement with HE Space Children’s Foundation (HESCF), a Dutch non-profit Organization, which financially supports the ESL Programme by funding two additional students to attend the IAC.

2017 Announcement

Candidates may apply regardless of their home country or current residence. While all applications will be considered, the IAF through this programme seeks to encourage applications from candidates in nations with emerging space capabilities and interests who would otherwise not be able to attend an IAC. Successful applicants will be expected to present at least one paper (orally or in interactive/poster format), and/or to participate as panellist in the Youth Plenary.

The selection is made based on a point system (rating grid) taking following aspects into consideration:

  • Country of citizenship (5-20 points)
  • English Language Proficiency (0-15 points)
  • Abstract for Technical Session and Participation in the Next Generation Plenary (0-40 points)
  • Essay – Citizen of the Space Community (0-60 points)
  • Prior attendance at the International Astronautical Congress (1-5 points)
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