EPO – Internships in Science & Engineering

internshipsEvery year, the EPO offers a limited number of three to six-month internships to engineering and science students who hold the minimum requirement of a technical bachelor’s (or equivalent level) degree.

This is a unique opportunity to discover one of the world’s leading patent offices and to work in a truly international environment. Interns work side by side with examiners who tutor them throughout the internship. They carry out complex re-classification work on patent applications and receive training relating to patents and other areas of IP, and various aspects of an examiner’s work.

Technical fields: mechanical engineering; chemistry; electronics; electricity; physics; computers

As an intern, you will

  • receive training relating to IP in general, the patent granting process and classification systems, and the tools used by examiners
  • re-classify patent applications under the supervision of an examiner
  • get an insight into the latest R&D trends
  • report on your experiences to your tutor and the MERCI team

The next internships will start on 18 January 2016, this date is compulsory.

The EPO makes a contribution towards living costs (on condition that you do not receive financial support from any other source). It does not cover any other expenses. Interns must provide evidence of health insurance on the day of their arrival.


You must:

  • be a national of one of the EPO member states
  • Hold a technical bachelor’s or a technical master’s degree (or equivalent qualifications) at the date of application, preferably in one of the above mentioned technical fields.
  • Indicate on your CV or motivation letter 3 to 5 CPC classes or sub-classes of your field of competence (See EspaceNet > http://worldwide.espacenet.com/?locale=en_EP), as well as a “project number” if applicable
  • Have a very good knowledge of technical English.
    Knowledge of technical German and/or technical French is an advantage.
  • Provide evidence of your own health insurance.
  • Your  degree should have been obtained no more than 2 years prior to the date of application or you should still be enrolled at a University.
  • Working hours: per default 40 hours/week.
    If this is not possible, please indicate in your CV/motivation letter the number of hours that you are available, minimum requirement is 20 hours a week. Full time presence is required during the initial training and follow-up training days.
  • Duration: per default 6 months.
    Please indicate on the application form if you are only available for a shorter period, minimum requirement is 3 months.

How to apply

Apply online

Application procedure for the session starting on 18 January 2016 is  now  open and will close on 16 October 2015.

In the application form  (Select Other placement),  under the tab „Training area“ go to Vacancy No. and from the drop down menu select Science & Engineering January 2016 plus preferred location.

Your CV and motivation letter should be written in one of the 3 official languages and should clearly indicate the following:

  • The period that you are available. Per default this is a period of 6 months, 40 hours/week and starting on 18 January 2016.
  • The educational/vocational technical training you have completed  and the degree or qualification you have obtained.
  • Provide details on the subjects of your main studies.
  • Provide details on your language skills.

Applications which are not filled out completely will be rejected without further evaluation.

After submitting your application you will see a confirmation web screen. You will not receive a separate confirmation notification by e-mail. You will be informed about the outcome of the selection procedure within 6 weeks after the deadline for applications has passed. If you are shortlisted, you may be required to submit further supporting documents (e.g. a university diploma). There will also be an interview with an examiner, most likely via Skype or telephone.

Please note that EPO operates a strict policy of pre-employment screening for new staff. Before the screening process commences, you will be asked to give your written consent. Screening is pre-requisite. Those who do not give their consent will therefore not be considered.