Advert. No. 2015_0005
Working at ESO

Are you interested in working in areas of frontline technology and in a stimulating international environment? Do you feel your profile matches our requirements? Learn more about our current vacancies and apply online. Read more..

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in the Atacama Desert region of Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. The ESO headquarters are located in Garching, near Munich, Germany. ESO is the focal point for Europe's participation in the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) consortium, which is operating a large submillimetre array in the Chilean Andes. Construction of a 39-m European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) is also currently underway at ESO.


For its Directorate for Science at its Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of

ESO Supernova Coordinator


Vacancy closed on 13/03/2015

Deadline 13/03/2015

ESO Supernova Coordinator

The ESO Education and Public Outreach Department (ePOD) is responsible for providing information about ESO's activities to the public in the Member States and beyond. ESO ePOD manages and performs public astronomy communication activities aimed at various target groups, including the media, the public, educators, the ESO user community, industrial partners and decision-makers. ePOD is based partly at the ESO Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, and partly in Santiago de Chile. These existing outreach activities and the new ESO Supernova - Planetarium & Visitor Centre (ES - will make ESO an exciting global centre for astronomy outreach and education.

The Coordinator of the ES will lead the day-to-day operations of the facility and ensure the fulfilment of a set of key performance indicators (KPI) for the facility (visitor count, K-12 visitor count, visitor satisfaction, uptime for planetarium, exhibition displays etc).

Main Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Manage the ES activities;
  • Support the Head of Department in the development of the top-level education and outreach strategies for the ESO Supernova and ePOD;
  • Manage and prepare the schedules of the activities (shows, talks, public/corporate/partner events etc.);
  • Support the ES technical infrastructure needs (incl. booking system, administrative systems, production systems), its promotion/marketing needs, audiovisual production needs;
  • Supervise staff, contractors, and volunteers, including hiring and evaluations and management of staff schedules;
  • Develop opportunities for media communication and events, and implement them;
  • Support the Head of Department for the budgeting and accounting of the ES operations;
  • Evaluate the ES performances, including via KPI statistics;
  • Support the Director of Administration with development of funding proposals associated with operations, show production and upgrade projects;
  • Represent the ES at key national and international relevant conferences (ECSITE, IPS, CAP, etc.).


  • Coordinate the maintenance of exhibition equipment and other equipment in the facility;
  • Coordinate the production of marketing materials, incl. writing of the English texts;
  • Organize and communicate opportunities for viewings for various target groups incl. ESO staff;
  • Coordinate the necessary training of staff incl. presenters, guides, receptionists and volunteers by overseeing the production of relevant guidelines.


  • Lead the development and innovation of programmes, technologies and activities in the ESO Supernova;
  • Work within the framework of current learning, science communication and public engagement theory and practice in all areas of development and delivery;
  • Partner with institutions involved in further/higher education, astronomical research, the space industry and planetarium sector to secure collaborations and obtain support for key projects;
  • Work closely and collaboratively with the Planetarium Lead Presenter & Producer and the wider team in the development of planetarium shows and supporting resources, ensuring an integrated offer for all target audiences.


The basic work schedule is 40h/week, but requires significant flexibility within the 40h/week, in particular:

  • Be available to work some public holidays, weekends and evenings, to support the 6-day-a-week facility operations including telephone support;
  • Deputise for the Planetarium Lead Presenter & Producer when he/she is on leave or duty trips;

Reports to:

Head of Education and Public Outreach department.


  • Minimum five years of experience in communicating astronomy to the public in a scientific outreach, news or marketing environment;
  • At least three years of experience in K-12 astronomical education;
  • At least three years of experience managing education and public outreach programmes in astronomy;
  • At least three years of experience of relevant work in a planetarium incl. production of fulldome planetarium shows;
  • Desirable: Good understanding of primary and secondary education in Bavaria, Germany and Europe.

Key Competences:

  • Creative thinker with the proven ability to inspire creativity in others, with a real passion for science education and public engagement;
  • Effective and committed team player;
  • Excellent written communication skills with experience in producing materials for different audiences;
  • Excellent interpersonal and cultural skills (for development of cultural event/programmes);
  • Excellent organisational and time-keeping skills; ability to design and follow departmental procedures and workflows;
  • Result-oriented, proactive, highly motivated, and creative; delivering prompt and efficient service on multiple concurrent projects under tight deadlines;
  • Strong MS Office applications skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).


  • Educated to MSc degree level in Science Communication, Education, Astronomy, Natural Sciences or Engineering;
  • Desirable: A PhD qualification in Science Communication, Education, Astronomy, Natural Sciences or Engineering.

Language Skills:

  • As the facility is bilingual, the position requires fluency in English and working knowledge of German.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family and the possibility to place your child/children in day-care.

The initial contract is for a period of three years with the possibility of a fixed-term or indefinite extension based on technical and managerial achievements. The grade may be subject to change according to qualification and the number of years of experience.

Duty Station:

Garching near Munich, Germany

Career Path: IV


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit ( for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV.

Closing date for applications is 13 March 2015.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

Although recruitment preference will be given to nationals from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom) no nationality is in principle excluded.

The post is equally open to suitably qualified female and male applicants.

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