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European Research Executive Agency
News article15 July 2021

Apply for a traineeship at the European Research Executive Agency

Trainee quote about her experience at the European Research Executive Agency

UPDATED - Are you looking for a challenging and career-enhancing experience in an international and dynamic work environment? Then apply by 31 January 2022 for a 5-months paid internship at the European Research Executive Agency (REA) in Brussels.

We are looking for motivated trainees with a background in:

  • External and internal communication
  • Human resources
  • Law
  • Economics
  • Project management (in particular with an expertise in the topics managed by the REA).

Registrations for the October 2022 Blue Book Traineeship session open on 5 January.

About the REA

We manage EU-funded projects in research, innovation and beyond. Our daily work has a profound impact on EU citizens’ lives and directly contributes to the implementation of the European Commission’s six priorities, including the European Green Deal and the NextGenerationEU recovery plan.

Meet our Trainees

Hear from our current trainees why they selected the REA and what they have learned and liked about their past five months with us!

Maria Saarela, Human Resources and Internal Communication

Maria Saarela

I was born, raised and educated in Finland, but spent most of my adult life in Spain. During the first 11 years, I enjoyed the vibrant city of Barcelona. I then moved for four years to the beautiful countryside near Cordoba, in the south of Spain.

I have worked for many years helping researchers to apply for and manage projects funded by different programmes of the European Commission. I was curious to get to know the people who make it all happen. Right before the traineeship, I was responsible for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) COFUND project in a biomedical research institute. Because of this previous first-hand experience with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, REA was my number one option. 

Arpad Fa, Secure Society Research

Arpad Fa

My adviser at REA, Valeria Bricola, described my background nicely: “You are a true son of Europe.” I was born in the multi-ethnic Vojodina region of northern Serbia, as part of the Hungarian and German speaking minority. I had a trilingual upbringing (German, Hungarian and Serbian). I spent my early childhood in Budapest before moving to Vienna. After finishing my studies in Amsterdam last year, I worked in Belgrade. 

I am very grateful to have joined REA’s unit Secure Societies. The work correlates with my academic background and previous work experience (law and research). At the University of Vienna, I did a double Master in Communication and Political Sciences, and I worked in Political Communication and Affairs. Following that, I graduated in International Security Law and Politics at the Amsterdam Vrije University. My studies helped me understand the present international political and communication landscape, and the interaction between international law and politics in the security field. I look forward to applying and broadening my expertise at REA. 

Tereza Maarova, Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions

Tereza Maarova

I am originally from Slovakia, although since the age of nine I have been moving around and have lived in France, Belgium, Singapore, the UK, the US and Tunisia. For more than four years now, I have been in Brussels, working as a project coordinator at IFOAM EU, the umbrella organisation for organic agriculture in Europe. 

Having had experience with developing and managing EU-funded projects, I was keen to gain a deeper understanding about the inner workings of the EC. The REA was particularly interesting as I most recently worked on Horizon 2020 projects. I was therefore very happy to become a trainee in REA’s unit MSCA European Postdoctoral Fellowships and have the opportunity to better understand how projects are evaluated and managed while also learning about the MSCA programme.   

Stela Konakchieva, Inclusive Society Research

Stela Konakchieva

Before coming to Brussels, I did European cultural identity studies within the European Studies programme of Sofia University in Bulgaria. 

I chose REA for my traineeship because I was interested in project management and in how scientific projects are selected for EU funding. The traineeship has been a nice opportunity to acquaint myself with the process and help me in my future professional aspirations. 

How to apply for a Blue Book Traineeship

The European Commission offers five-month paid traineeships twice a year in its Directorate-Generals, agencies and bodies. Applications are open for the next traineeship session which will take place from 1 October 2022 to 28 February 2023.

If you are interested in gaining first-hand experience and knowledge about the exciting, diverse projects and activities we manage, please select ‘European Research Executive Agency’ as your preferred Directorate-General (DG) for a possible internship with us.

Find out more on the EC Blue Book Traineeship website and consult our organisation chart.

We hope to welcome you soon to the REA family for a mutually rewarding time together!



Publication date
15 July 2021 (Last updated on: 5 January 2022)