FAQ - Pan-European Seal Young Professionals Programme - for universities

Can my university adopt different criteria to those specified by the Office?

Yes. The EPO does not impose further criteria for the initial shortlisting process besides the minimum programme eligibility criteria. The university may adopt any criteria deemed appropriate. However, given the highly competitive nature of the selection process, universities are encouraged to adopt a process that ensures the most capable graduates are shortlisted.

Is it possible for the students to apply for a specific business area/field of work?

Yes. Candidates are welcome to express a preference in the application form or in their letter of motivation, and many choose to do so.

What makes a successful application?

Recruitment is an open competition and selection is merit-based. Students are chosen based on their match with the EPO’s requirements and needs, their competencies, interest and motivation and demonstrated academic excellence. We recommend candidates include all information relevant to the role they wish to pursue, such as the skills that would help them best fulfil that role, within their application.

Are there multiple rounds of selection?

Yes. The EPO operates multiple rounds of selection in order to optimise the allocation of candidates across the Office.

Will the university be notified if the shortlisted candidates are successful?

The EPO will share with the university only the name, surname and area of work at the EPO of the successful candidates who were ultimately selected from the university shortlist.

Are successful candidates given support with finding accommodation?

No. The EPO does not directly provide support with finding accommodation, which ultimately is the responsibility of the young professional for the duration of their employment. However, informal support from both current young professionals and their colleagues may be sought.

When should candidates complete the required online courses from the EPO Academy?

The relevant EPO Academy courses must be completed after a candidate’s interview and following their successful selection by the EPO, but before the start of the employment.

What is the amount of the monthly salary?

The EPO pays young professionals a basic salary corresponding to 67 per cent of the amount for Grade G1, step 04. Young professionals currently receive approximately EUR 2 000 net per month. In the second and third years of employment, the EPO pays young professionals a basic salary corresponding to the full amount for Grade G1, step 04. This basic salary is subject to applicable social security and pension contributions as well as yearly salary adjustments.

Co-funding by other programmes (e.g. Erasmus+) is not possible. Any income received from other sources during the course of the employment must be declared.

Can students be shortlisted from faculties outside of the scope of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with my university?

No. The Memorandum of Understanding defines the pool from which candidates can be shortlisted, and students of faculties not covered in the MoU cannot be shortlisted as candidates for the programme. If you wish to expand the scope of your current agreement, please reach out to the PES team at either the EPO or the EUIPO at any time.

Do I need a master’s degree, or can I also apply with a bachelor’s degree?

As a minimum requirement, to be eligible for the programme candidates should hold a bachelor’s degree by the start of the traineeship.

Can previous graduates be shortlisted?

Previous graduates may be shortlisted provided that they meet the minimum programme eligibility requirements.

Are master’s degree students who are due to hand in their thesis shortly after the programme begins eligible to be shortlisted?

Students are required to have completed their studies at bachelor’s level by September. Should the bachelor’s diploma still be pending, a provisional certification can be accepted.

Will it be possible to begin the selection procedure earlier in the future?

The programme’s timeline is determined by internal procedures at the EPO, and we are unable to accommodate an extended selection procedure.

Is there an age limit?

No. There is no age restriction for candidates applying to the EPO. However, member universities should bear in mind that the programme targets graduates at the beginning of their careers with no or limited professional experience.

What are the nationality restrictions for candidates?

Candidates shortlisted for the EPO must be a national of one of the EPO member states.

What format should candidates submit their CVs in?

The EPO does not prescribe any specific format for candidates’ CVs, but candidates should bear in mind the need to best present themselves.

Are candidates required to submit proof of language proficiency?

No. The EPO trusts candidates to accurately report their language proficiency at the time of application. However, candidates should remember that interviews and key events (e.g. IP Campus, Commencement Ceremony) are conducted in English.

Is there any time limit for graduates wishing to apply for the programme?

There are no hard rules or deadlines, but candidates are encouraged to apply within two years of graduation. regard but considering that Pan-European Seal Young Professionals programme is a graduate programme, the time between obtaining a degree and the entry into the programme should be adequate. Hence, two years may be a good direction.

Does a candidate have to be currently enrolled in university studies to be eligible for the programme?

No, enrolment at a university is not mandatory.

If a candidate gets rejected this year, can they apply again next year?

Yes, they can. Every year marks a new selection procedure, so any candidate can reapply as long as they meet the programme’s eligibility criteria and are shortlisted by their university.

If eligible candidates have already completed a traineeship at an European Agency/Office, will this prevent them from applying for the programme?

No, any previous traineeships will not negatively impact their application to the Pan-European Seal Young Professionals Programme at the EPO.

How should universities submit their shortlist to EPO and is the number of candidates limited?

Universities receive a link to the shortlist in the info package they receive from the EPO. There is no limit to the number of candidates that can be shortlisted. The quality of the applications is the crucial factor.

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