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ESPI Welcomes Three Students from Flinders University in Australia for Joint Traineeship

From left to right: ESPI Associate Manager and Lead on International Engagement, Marco Aliberti, Ellen Feeney, Eloise Clarke, Sailor Tyler, and Dr. Rodrigo Praino, Associate Professor of Politics and Public Policy at Flinders University.

In line with its commitment to fostering international engagement and following its Engagement activity line – as outlined in ESPI2040 – the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) is pleased to welcome three students from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia for a two-month traineeship at its new premises in Vienna. 

The traineeship has been jointly launched by ESPI and Flinders University as part of a broader collaboration between the two institutions. The traineeship allows Flinders University students, enrolled in the Outer Space Governance elective course, the chance to spend 8 to 12 weeks at ESPI’s office in Vienna and receive training on space policy matters, space law, and space governance, amongst other pressing topics. 

“I’ve always been interested in space in general (always wanted to be an astronaut!) and there has been a push towards broadening the sector back home for years. When I first applied to my current law degree, space law was one of the key phrases being thrown around, so I kept my eye out for when topics came up specifically related to space law (and policy).”

– Ellen Feeney

Such a traineeship also offers the students a chance to engage with ESPI’s diverse and interdisciplinary staff and on-site mentorship, promulgating ESPI’s vision and mission to serve as an active global forum and initiate educational activities within the realm of space policy.  

“I had two hopes in coming to Vienna. Firstly, to gain a better understanding of the diplomacy surrounding space capable states – especially Australia. Secondly, to meet people working in the space sector in all types of backgrounds, roles, and jobs so that coming to work each day was always exciting.  I believe working with ESPI has allowed me to gain a rich understanding of global space diplomacy and talking with the ESPI team and all their partners has shown me all the potential pathways into the Space sector. But most importantly, everyone on the team – me included – are always enthusiastic about coming into work.”

– Eloise Clarke

The three students currently completing their traineeship at ESPI are Ellen Feeney, Eloise Clarke, and Sailor Tyler, all of whom will engage in research activities related to a joint ESPI-Flinders University study on emerging security and defence issues in space. 

“We’re here to research, analyse and suggest counterspace policy for Australia, so that the country can ‘enhance its strategic position in space.’” 

– Sailor Tyler 

University of Flinders students Sailor Tyler (left), Eloise Clarke (middle), and Ellen Feeney (right) pictured with ESPI Research Fellow seconded by CNES Lucas Bersegol at ESPI’s inauguration event on 26 January 2024.

The collaboration between ESPI, the Space Power and Policy Applied Research Consortium (SPPARC), and the Jeff Bleich Centre of Flinders University was launched in early 2023 upon the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This MoU will allow for the conduct of joint studies on matters of common interest, research visits by experts from ESPI and Flinders University, and engagement activities including conferences and workshops both in Europe and in Australia. 

This joint initiative also has a lot to offer the students themselves. 

“ESPI and the work done here has definitely broadened possibilities for what I could do going forward. It’s not solely railroaded into specific areas; it really does embrace the multidisciplinary aspect of space. For me, whilst law in general is a big passion of mine, it really isn’t the be all and end all – it needs so much more, [including] more opinions, perspectives, ideas, to be able to grow and change. ESPI’s work has both supported what I had thought already but given me much to think about with my own goals.”

– Ellen Feeney

Ellen, Eloise, and Sailor officially started their traineeship at ESPI on 15 January 2024 and will conclude their traineeship on 1 March 2024.

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