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Graduate programme

The ECB's Graduate Programme is aimed at attracting talented recent graduates with a postgraduate degree in one of a broad range of disciplines and a keen interest in central banking. A PhD is an advantage, although graduates with a Masters degree are also encouraged to apply.

The two-year programme constitutes a unique development opportunity for participants and gives them valuable work experience and an insight into the ECB’s tasks and working methods. Participants also gain an overview of the policy-making processes at the ECB. Each participant is assigned an experienced staff member who will act as a mentor and provide support, advice and guidance. A Graduate Programme Committee assesses the successful completion of the programme for each participant.

The Graduate Programme is one way of starting a career at the ECB. However, we do not automatically offer contracts to successful participants at the end of the programme. Graduates can apply for vacancies that are advertised both internally and externally while they are in the programme.

Programme content

Participants will be given two challenging one-year assignments in two different business areas of the ECB, allocated on the basis of their field of expertise and in line with the organisational needs of the Bank. They will contribute fully to the work of the divisions to which they are appointed. Participants are expected to write a project paper which will form the basis of their appraisal in the second year of the programme.


Participants in the Graduate Programme will have access to a tailor made training programme which includes a number of in-house and external training opportunities, such as area-specific technical training and training on writing skills, IT, personal and interpersonal skills, task and information-oriented skills and languages.

The terms and conditions governing the Graduate Programme can be found in Annex IIa of the Conditions of Employment.

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