SGAC – ECSL Competition

Supported by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) and the European Center for Space Law (ECSL)

Following the announcement for the opening of the application window for the 2020 Summer Course, it is with deep regret that the ECSL has ultimately decided to cancel its annual Summer Course on Space Law and Policy, initially set to take place in Lisbon, Portugal from 17 – 28th August 2020. For this reason, this competition is now closed. Read more here.


SGAC is excited to announce an opportunity for a student or young professional to attend the 2020 ECSL Summer Course on Space Law and Policy, which will be taking place online. The SGAC ECSL Competition seeks to provide an opportunity for students and young professionals of nationalities that are often under-represented in such events to take part in the ECSL Summer Course.

What is the European Center for Space Law (ECSL)?  

The European Centre for Space Law (ECSL) was established in 1989 under the auspices of the European Space Agency (ESA) and with the support of a number of pioneers in this field. It is founded on the basis of a Charter, last amended in 2009.

Current members of the ECSL include professionals working in a wide range of areas within the space sector, lawyers, university professors and students.

Among other things, one of the main objectives of the Centre is to provide a forum for all those wishing to participate in constructive dialogue related to space law, and to encourage interdisciplinary exchange among members.

More information about ECSL is available here: 

What is the ECSL Summer Course on Space Law and Policy?

One of ECSL’s most successful activities is the ECSL Summer Course on Space Law and Policy, which is open to students of all levels of study, as well as a few young professionals already working in the space or space-related sectors. The course is now in its 28th year and boasts a large family of alumni around the world.

During the two-week course, participants attend intensive lectures and seminars given by leading university professors and space industry practitioners concerning the international and domestic legal and policy frameworks governing space activities and applications. The main objective of the Summer Course is to stimulate participants’ interest in this particular field of law and policy and to provide them with a basic, solid knowledge upon which to build or enhance their professional career or carry out further academic research

Next Summer Course dates: 17 – 28 of August 2020.

The Summer Course is scheduled to take place August 17-28, 2020. It was planned that the summer course would take place in Lisbon Portugal, but this is subject to travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 crisis, so there is a strong possibility the event may be moved to an online format.

More information about the ECSL Summer Course is available here:

What are the objectives of this Competition: 

  • To promote the importance of Space Law and Policy to the SGAC network
  • To offer the opportunity to a student or young professional from emerging country to attend the ECSL Summer Course on Space Law and Policy

Competition and Award

There will be 1  winner for this competition. 

The author of the winning paper will:

  • Be selected to attend the ECSL Summer Course on Space Law and Policy
  • Have the attendance fee for the event waived
  • Have accommodation covered (if the event can take place in Lisbon as originally planned)

How to Apply?

The award will be selected by the SGAC and ECSL to award a student/young professional nationals of one of the countries listed at the end of this call. to attend the next ECSL Summer Course. 

Participants are asked to submit a 3 pages max essay (~1500/2000 words).


The essay must be focused on the following question:

  • Why does space law matter today?

To apply, please submit your complete application using the Scholarships Submission Form. Your submission should follow the guidelines below.



  1. The scholarship is open for all students and young professionals with nationality from one of the countries listed at the end of this call.
  2. All participants shall be SGAC members between the ages of 18 to 35 inclusive (up to the day of their 36th birthday) on August 28 2020.
  3. Scholarship organisers and judges are not eligible for this award.
  4. Winners should not receive support from any other source to attend the next ECSL Summer Course, SGAC should be informed and a solution will be sought.


  1. All submissions shall be made by June 22, 2020, 23:59 GMT. Any submissions after the deadline will not be considered.
  2. The essay shall be submitted via the Scholarships Submission Form. You will need to be logged in as an SGAC member to access the submission page.
  3. The language of all submissions shall be English.

Responsibilities of the Winners

  1. The winning author shall:
    1. Attend the entire ECSL Summer Course
    2. Follow the course rules as decided by ESCL
    3. Submit a short report (2 pages excluding pictures) and a short video (1 minute) describing his or her experience at the ECSL Summer Course for inclusion on the SGAC website and the ECSL web page, newsletter or social media and that of our partners
    4. The winning author will be required to take out travel third party civil liability insurance in the case that the even does take place in Lisbon, Portugal


The fee for the ECSL Summer Course on Space Law and Policy will be covered by the ECSL.

Copyright and Intellectual Property

  1. By submitting an entry, applicants agree to permit SGAC and all affiliated organisers to mention their names, affiliations and headshot picture in connection with the scholarship.
  2. Copyright of the submitted entry shall remain with the contestants. However, by submitting an entry all contestants agree that SGAC and all affiliated organisers are granted non-exclusive reproduction rights regarding all submitted documents. SGAC and all affiliated organisers may also present ideas and findings generated by this scholarship at relevant conferences.


  1. Organisers shall not be responsible in the event that ECSL Summer Course is cancelled.
  2. Organisers shall not be responsible in the event that the award winner fails to attend the ECSL Summer Course or is unable to under extenuating circumstances; in that case the award offer shall become void.
  3. Organisers shall not be responsible in the event that the award winner cannot obtain any necessary travel documents; if they are required but not obtained, the award offer shall become void.


Entries accepted

22 May 2020

Submission Deadline

22 June 2020

Review Period

22 – 30 June 2020

Winners announced

1 July 2020

ECSL Summer Course

17 – 28 August 2020


The essays will be judging based on the following aspects:

  • Relevance to the topic
  • Originality
  • General quality of writing including the ability to communicate ideas and the clarity of the writing


For any questions, please refer to SGAC Scholarships Coordinators ([email protected]).

If you or your organisation is interested in providing talented students and young professionals with the opportunity to share their work and ideas with the global space community, please contact SGAC Scholarships Coordinators (contact above).


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