Emerging Space Leader (ESL) Grant Programme


Beza Tesfaye Zewdie, ESL 2015 at Space Generation Congress Gala Dinner

The International Astronautical Federation is pleased to announce the opening of applications for the Emerging Space Leaders (ESL) Grant Programme, dedicated to young people, young professionals, that provides opportunities for students and young professionals to participate in the annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC).



The young people selected to take part in the 2016 Emerging Space Leaders Grant Programme will participate in the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) scheduled to take place in Guadalajara, Mexico from 26 – 30 September 2016. The individuals selected will also participate in other activities held the week prior to and during the Congress such as the UN/IAF Workshop, the Space Generation Congress (SGC) or the Young Professionals Workshop and the Cross-Cultural Communications and Presentation Workshop (CCCPW).

Students and Young Professionals between the ages of 21 and 35 on 1 January 2016 with space-related career interests are encouraged to apply for the programme. Up to fourteen students and young professionals will be selected by the IAF to participate in the 2016 programme.

Who should consider applying?

  • Individuals interested in pursuing careers involving the development, application and use of space systems, space science research, the policy, legal, social and cultural aspects of space activities, international cooperation on space programmes and other similar subjects.
  • Persons who – for financial, sponsorship or other reasons – would not otherwise be able to attend an International Astronautical Congress. 

Note:  Candidates may apply regardless of their home country or current residence. While all applications will be considered, through this programme the IAF seeks to encourage the participation of young people in nations with emerging space capabilities and interests who would otherwise not be able to attend an International Astronautical Congress.

  • Young people who wish to meet and interact with other colleagues from around the world with similar interests.
  • Individuals who hope to utilise the knowledge and experiences they gain during the IAC in their own careers and in enhancing space and related activities in their home countries.

What does the grant include?

  • Round trip air fare between the candidate’s home country and Guadalajara, Mexico.
  • Support (in kind-services or funding) for local transportation, lodging and meals during the candidate’s stay in Guadalajara, Mexico.
  • Assistance with visa arrangements provided by the IAC Local Organising Committee and the Government of Mexico.
  • Registration to the 67th International Astronautical Congress as well as the Space Generation Congress and the UN/IAF Workshop.
  • Mentors will provide advice on presentations at the IAC and on activities before and during the IAC to help grant recipients benefit fully from the Congress and related meetings and meet with the grant recipients during the IAC.

Application Deadline: 6 February 2016 15:00 Paris Time / UTC + 1:00 

For detailed information, application process and requirements please download our “2016 IAF ESL Grant Programme – Handbook“.

Please contact eslgrants@iafastro.org shall you have any questions.