Universiteit LeidenZegel Universiteit Leiden

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) & Eligibility Criteria

These are the list of the frequently asked questions (FAQ) that we have received over the past years. The same FAQ have been attached to our auto-replies. If your question(s) has not been answered in this page, please .


  1. Who is eligible for LEAPS 2024?

    The candidate:

    • Must have completed at least two years of a bachelors degree (at the time of application)
    • Must not be accepted onto a course that results ultimately in a PhD (at the time of application)
    • Should either be enrolled in a university degree or should have graduated from their most recent degree after January 2022
    • Must be available for all of the ten weeks (June 10, 2024 - August 16, 2024)
    • For ESA projects (denoted by 'ESA' in the title), in case of equivalent qualifications, preference will be given to nationals of or applicants currently residing in one of the following ESA Member States, Associate Member States, or (European) Cooperating States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

  2. I am from country X , can I apply?

    LEAPS is open to all nationalities. See FAQ 1 for ESA projects.
  3. I do not have an academic background in physics or astronomy, can I still apply?

    Yes, but be clear in describing how your skills and knowledge match the projects you have selected.

  4. I am a PhD student already, can I apply?


  5. I am doing a 4 year undergraduate, honours, or research masters, can I still apply?

    Yes, as long you have completed two years at the time of application.

  6. I am doing an integrated bachelors and masters, can I still apply?

    Yes, as long you have completed two years at the time of application.

  7. I am a 1st year undergraduate, can I still apply?


  8. I just got my masters degree, can I apply?

    Yes, as long as you graduated after January 2022 and you have not been accepted into a PhD programme.

  9. I am not currently enrolled at a university as I am taking a gap year, can I still apply?

    Yes, as long as you graduated after January 2022 and you have not been accepted into a PhD programme.

  10. I was unsuccessful in LEAPS in a previous year. Can I re-apply?

    Yes, if you satisfy the eligibility criteria listed in FAQ 1.

  11. I have exams or interviews during LEAPS, can I still apply?

    Yes, but you are required to be in Leiden for the entire duration of the programme.

  12. Can I apply for an ESA/ESTEC position if I have already had ESA funding before, e.g., ESAC Trainee?


  13. Do I need to be in the Netherlands for the entire duration of the project?


  14. Grades & Transcripts

  15. I can't get an official transcript from my University, what should I do?

    Because many universities do not issue official transcripts to students who have not yet graduated, unofficial transcripts are acceptable. Please scan and upload the transcript to the application website.

  16. Do I need an *official* translation of my grades transcript?

    If you can obtain an officially translated transcript which is also free, then yes. If not, please send a copy of the original, and a copy of your own translation into English.

  17. Should I convert my grades to GPA or something else?

    If not included in the transcript, please provide a grade scale (ensure that the scale covers both the minimum and maximum grades, along with the pass-level grade).

  18. The grades for my ongoing coursework will not be available until after the deadline, what should I do?

    Please provide the most recent transcript that you have.

  19. Letters of Reference

  20. Can I submit more than one letter of reference?

    No. Be sure to select a referee who can vouch for your potential as a researcher and not just comment on your grades.

  21. My reference letter writer made an error or their link does not work. What should I do?

    Ask your referee to try copying the full link into the browser. If this still does not work, send an e-mail to the address given at the end of this FAQ.

  22. Has my referee uploaded my reference letter yet? My referee did not get confirmation of uploading their letter.

    Please ask your referee directly if they have prepared and uploaded your reference. If the upload has worked, your referee will have received a confirmation email (make sure they check their SPAM folder). If you have taken these steps and there are still problems, please send an e-mail.

  23. Where should my referee email their letter? Can I send you my reference letter from my referee myself?

    Your referee will receive instructions on how to upload your reference letter when you enter their email address into the system. We do not accept the reference letters directly from the candidates.

  24. Can I ask a PhD student to write my reference letter?

    If this person knows your work and potential for research very well then this is acceptable.

  25. Timeline

  26. What is the deadline to apply for LEAPS 2024?

    You can submit your application until 23:59 (CET) on February 1, 2024.

  27. What is the deadline for sending the reference letter for LEAPS 2024?

    The letters can be sent until 23:59 (CET) on February 5, 2024.

  28. What are the precise start and end dates for LEAPS 2024?

    LEAPS 2024 will run from June 10 - August 16 for 10 weeks.

  29. Is there an interview stage in the application process?

    Yes. Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held virutally in February - March, 2024.

  30. When will you make offers?

    We expect to announce the outcome of the selection process and issue first offers by mid-March, 2024.

  31. Applying & Application Materials

  32. Are late applications accepted?

    No, late applications will not be accepted. The online submission system will close and you will not be able to upload your application. We encourage everyone to start early to avoid last minute troubles with the system.

  33. Can I apply by email?

    No. We only accept submissions via our online applications system available here. Application are carried out through the application form.

  34. If I am on a 4-year undergraduate masters course, what do I put in the BSc/MSc expected dates?

    Please list the date you expect to receive your final degree, i.e., the end of the 4 years for an undergraduate masters.

  35. Should my statement describing my interests have a specific structure?

    No specific structure is required. Be sure to highlight how your skills and interests apply to your chosen projects and list examples of other projects in which you have been involved. However, please follow the page restrictions (A4, 12pt font, margins: top and bottom of 1 inch, and left and right of 1.25 inches). Not following these restrictions will result in a rejection of your application.

  36. What should I do if I have uploaded the wrong document?

    You can re-open your application and replace the documents up until the deadline.

  37. Projects

  38. Do you accept more than one student for a given project?

    No. Each project is for one student only.

  39. English Proficiency

  40. Do I need an exam like TOEFL, GRE, or IELTS to prove my English proficiency?

    No. Your English will be assessed from your cover letter and during interviews (for shortlisted candidates).

  41. Accomodation & Travel

  42. Do I need a visa to come to the Netherlands if I am selected for LEAPS 2024?

    Please check this to find out if you need a visa.

  43. Do you provide any support if I need a visa for LEAPS 2024?

    Yes, we will provide you with an official letter that you can use for your visa application. Please note, we will not apply for a visa on your behalf.

  44. Do I need to purchase my own health insurance for the duration of LEAPS 2024?

    No. We will arrange health insurance for all the LEAPS students.

  45. What is provided in terms of accommodation facilities e.g. cooking equipment, towels, etc?

    Students will be housed in self-catered accommodation which will have a fully stocked kitchen. Details of the specific accommodation will be sent to the selected applicants. Leiden has plenty of grocery and hardware stores for purchasing food and additional necessary items.

  46. How can I travel within Leiden and across the Netherlands?

    You can travel all around Leiden and the rest of the country (on buses, trams, trains) using an OV-chipkaart that you can buy at any train station. Click here to know more.

If your question has not been answered in this FAQ, please with your question.