Advert. No. 2017_0010
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 ground-based astronomical observatory. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries.

ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in northern Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor (home to ALMA and APEX), and the ESO Headquarters are located in Garching, near Munich, Germany.

At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.

For the La Silla Paranal Observatory, and to provide further support for the E-ELT Construction, ESO is opening the following Local Staff Member position of:

Bilingual Secretary


Vacancy closed on 20/03/2017

Deadline 20/03/2017

The successful candidate will report to the Head of Logistic of the La Silla Paranal S/he will primarily provide secretarial and administrative support to the E-ELT Site Management and also undertake other secretarial duties and coordination activities assisting scientific, engineering, and visiting staff. Functions will include coordination and liaison with logistic and other units of the La Silla Paranal Observatory as well as other ESO's components and external counterparts.

The scope of work for this position is as follows:

  • Secretarial Assistance
  • General Administrative Support
  • Interpretation and Drafting

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Secretarial Assistance:

  • Processing and monitoring the status of incoming and outgoing correspondence,
  • Collecting information and facilitating the distribution of internal documents,
  • Arranging appointments and meetings,
  • Receiving visitors and delegations, and organizing visitors programs,
  • Placing and screening telephone calls and responding to routine requests for information.

Administrative Support and Responsibilities:

  • Preparing and following up purchase requests, travel arrangements, and shipments.
  • Organizing and maintaining other internal documents and reports library.
  • Maintaining a comprehensive and effective filing system including management of an electronic archive.
  • Create & organize the construction contract folders.
  • Write down, distribute and keep control of the minutes of meetings.
  • Write down, distribute and keep control of the official communications with contractors. Create and keep the Master Log Construction Documentation
  • Record the ESO staff presence on the E-ELT site in order to know the available resources on site.

Translation and Drafting of documents

  • Translating correspondence and other documents when required.
  • Drafting situation reports on routine matters, taking notes and write up minutes and documents as requested.

Other administrative and secretarial functions and ad-hoc projects as needed and delegated by the Head of LPO Logistics.

Key Competences and qualifications

  • Technical administrative studies or equivalent university education, with at least three years of prior professional experience in a similar post,
  • Demonstrated capacity to perform the described duties and responsibilities,
  • Possession of a valid Chilean driver's license for cars.
  • Experience in managing and maintaining multiple-issue secretarial and administrative tasks,
  • Self-starter with strong organizational, time management and office skills,
  • Ability to work under pressure in a remote area in an office with varied demands and competing priorities,
  • Client oriented with excellent communication and interpersonal skills including drafting ability,
  • Proficiency in English and in Spanish (both oral and written). Ability to work as a team player as well as independently,
  • Previous similar experience in a multicultural environment will be an advantage,
  • Knowledge and practice of Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) such a Navision will be an asset,
  • Good computer literacy (e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations),
  • Good command of Actual Trip software or willingness to learn how to use it.

Language Skills

Proficiency in English and in Spanish (both oral and written) which will be tested both orally and in writing.

Duty station and working schedule

Paranal Observatory. The working schedule will be 8x6, with 8 days on duty followed by a 6 days rest period with accommodation provided on site.

Remuneration and Contract

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary and comprehensive medical and educational benefits. Either the title or the grade may be subject to change according to qualification of the candidate and the number of years of experience. The initial contract will be a two-year fixed contract with the possibility of renewal, subject to evaluation.

Career Path



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 20 March 2017

No nationality is in principle excluded, however applicants, Chilean or of foreign nationality, must have the pertinent working permit, according to Chilean regulations.

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

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