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Space Placements Industry Spin FAQs

What is SPIN?

The Space Placements in INdustry scheme seeks to provide project placements within companies and research organisations for registered students wishing to undertake a short-term placement within the space sector. It is recognised that all high tech industry sectors need bright and motivated graduates, particular from STEM disciplines in order to grow their business areas, and the space sector is no different. Through SPIN, the sector is ensuring that the brightest and best people are encouraged to focus their attention on space for their careers.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We were extremely impressed with the fantastic resilience all our host/employers and SPINterns have shown last year despite the challenges around Coronavirus. This summer if it is still appropriate then we recognise that placements can be remote. We ask that all host organisations ensure that they have robust support mechanisms in place in regards to equipment, security, and connectivity and have considered the ‘keeping in touch’ implications this may have.

We will stay in regular contact with both the SPINterns and the host organisations to see how it’s going for both of you, so please make sure that we have your correct contact details

If you have any questions, please contact


The scheme is open to UK university registered students (at the time of application) who are enthusiastic about working in the space industry. Whilst Aerospace Engineering or Physics are key topics to the ‘upstream’ sector, Electronic, Mechanical and Systems Engineering are also important; numerate and computer-savvy natural scientists and geographers are sought after in the ‘downstream’ or ‘satellite-enabled’ sectors, and all organisations are interested in those with AI and software engineering skills and will require people with business related skills.

Swiss or EU students who were already studying in the UK on the 31 Dec 2020, must ensure they have applied for the EU Settlement Scheme (and have it approved and in place with confirmation from the Home Office) before the deadline of 30 June 2021. For those overseas students studying in the UK on a Student Visa, you must be able to submit evidence of your right to work during the university vacation.

The SPINternship does not meet the criteria for the Skilled Worker Visa route, so unfortunately if an applicant is not based in the UK prior to 31 December 2020, they will not be eligible for this programme.

You should also be aware that most organisations will not be in a position to sponsor visa applications for short-term workers. If you are in any doubt as to whether you will require a visa, please refer to the UK Visas and Immigration website. We are unable to facilitate this.

Employer Benefits

  • Carry out a piece of work or project that you otherwise would not have time for
  • Identify potential employees for the future
  • ‘Try before you buy’ and save your company significant recruitment costs
  • Be part of the feedback loop to universities on the skills you would like to see in your employees of the future
  • Influence the future choices the candidate will make

SPINtern Benefits

  • A paid work placement that will give you a very tangible experience to add to your CV
  • Unique induction event which will give you a perspective of the active and vibrant space sector in the UK
  • Showcase event which will enable you to promote yourself and the skills you’ve learnt to a wider community of potential employers
  • Learn first-hand the skills that employers really want

SPIN Induction Event

The Induction Day will be held on 26 June 2021. This is likely to be a virtual event, but details will be confirmed nearer the time.  It is open to SPINTerns Host/employer organisations and University tutors.  The event gives an exciting overview of all the activities and opportunities in the UK Space Sector.  It is also an opportunity to conencet with fellow SPINterns and learn about other organisations in the sector.

SPIN Poster and Showcase Event – IMPORTANT

It is a requirement of the programme that every SPINtern produces a poster (details will be confirmed nearer the time) of the project during their placement. The Employer should ensure this is completed during their time in their organisation.  The poster will be displayed at the Showcase Event which is usually held in the Autumn (details to be confirmed nearer the time).  During the Showcase event SPINterns are also required to give a 2 minute pitch about their project (poster).  This is a fantastic opportunity to really demonstrate what the SPINtern has achieved during their placement and practice the skills they’ve learnt which will be very valuable to future employers.

For Employers, what happens?

  1. Grant funding may be available from the UK Space Agency to support your SPIN placement.
  2. Employers identify and scope a project advert ensuring that it follows best practice guidelines to attract a good selection of candidates
  3. SPIN will advertise it for 4 weeks, inviting those eligible to apply through an online form with CV
  4. SPIN will collate all applications before delivering them to the host employer
  5. Supervisor selects potential candidate(s) using their usual criteria, and agrees terms directly with the SPINtern. Supervisors are asked to inform the SPIN office as soon as a candidate has accepted and should inform all unsuccessful candidates within 4 weeks.
  6. Projects should run for at least 8 weeks at a mutually agreed time. We strongly encourage the host to attend the Induction Day with their SPINtern, on 15th June 2020, at the Satellite Applications Catapult, Harwell. We hope to facilitate streaming of the event for those not located close enough to Harwell.
  7. You should ensure that the poster and presentation that the SPINtern prepares and produces with your support for the Showcase Event in autumn 2020, is compliant with your own objectives.

How long should placements be?

At least 8 weeks, but any length that suits the host organisation is acceptable as long as it works for both parties. NB we have found that some candidates completed their projects more rapidly than was anticipated, so it pays to have a supplementary role “in the back pocket”.

What is a “Project”?

Projects can vary from organisation to organisation. It may be a piece of research or a small project that would otherwise not be done. It may be working as part of a team, or something more independent. The more time spent scoping the project at the beginning, the easier it is for the SPINtern to hit the ground running, and less support the host will need to provide throughout the project.

When should the project be carried out?

The Induction Day is on 26  June 2021 and so it is often easy to start on this dates as long as it works for both of you. In some circumstances, projects may be made available at different times of the year, please discuss with Kathie Bowden if this is the case

Will the SPINterns be paid?

Yes, these are paid placements and our guide is £1500 per month which should enable the SPINtern to travel to their place of work, and potentially live away from home.

Is there any funding available to support companies?

Funding will be made available through a competitive grant process and a link will be made available here as soon as the Call opens.

Intellectual Property

All parties agree to abide by the intellectual property rights, security clearances and any required documentation as set out by the host of the placement.

Health and Safety

The host will ensure that they meet all legislative and insurance requirements for hosting the student, including adequate supervision and training.


All host employers are asked to provide the successful candidate with an informal review at the end of their placement, with advice on how they could improve their CV, and a reference for their CV if requested.



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