FAQ - Pan-European Seal Professional Traineeship 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 criteria mentioned in the GIG document. The university is free to adopt any criteria deemed appropriate. However, given the highly competitive nature of 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 a merit-based selection. Students are chosen based on their match with the EPOs requirements and needs, their competencies, and their relevant work experience.

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 finally selected from the university shortlist.

Are successful candidates provided with support to find accommodation?

No. The EPO does not directly provide support in sourcing accommodation, which ultimately is the responsibility of individual trainees for the duration of their traineeship. However, future trainees receive informal support from both previous trainees and their colleagues.

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, by the start of the traineeship.

What is the amount of the monthly traineeship grant?

The EPO will pay the trainee EUR 2000 per month subject to local taxes. You must declare any financial support received from other sources during your traineeship.

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 apply also with a bachelor’s degree?

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

Can previous graduates be shortlisted?

Previous graduates may be shortlisted provided that their application is received no more than two years after their most recent graduation, whether that be at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

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

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

Is it possible to begin the selection procedure earlier in the future?

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

What are the nationality restrictions for candidates?

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

What format should candidates submit their CVs in?

The EPO does not prescribe any specific format for the candidates’ CVs, but candidates should bear in the 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 are conducted exclusively in English.

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