Advert. No. 2017_0019
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 its Directorate for Science at its headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of:


Administrative Assistant


Vacancy closed on 24/05/2017

Deadline 24/05/2017

Within the Office for Science Garching, which supports, monitors and evaluates all ESO Garching scientists, the Administrative Assistant will perform administrative tasks required for the support of all science visitors, students and fellows, and for the organisation of the colloquia, seminars, workshops (including, i.e. the presentation of information on the Web), and generally supports the smooth running of the Office. There is one other Administrative Assistant within the Office for Science Garching.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Support incoming and outgoing students, fellows, and coordinate their settling in at ESO-Garching (hardware, facilities, information) in cooperation with Human Resources;
  • Coordinate, process and settle travel requests and accommodation for ESO-Garching fellows and students to attend conferences and collaborative visits to other institutes in coordination with the in-house travel agency;
  • Arrange trips and accommodation for those travelling to the various ESO sites in Chile (Paranal, La Silla, APEX, ALMA) in coordination with the logistics groups at the various sites with the ESO-Chile travel agency;
  • Provide specific administrative support for the Science Visitor programme, which caters for visits of duration typically between one and six months. This includes the preparation of the invitations to selected visitors on behalf of the Chair of the Visitor Selection Committee, the management of the office space and hardware, the welcoming, updating the relevant Web pages, arranging monthly payments of the visitor's living allowances and processing the final settlement of expenses at the end of the visit;
  • Provide relevant information and feedback to the other Office Administrative Assistant pertaining to fellows, students and visitors;
  • Provide administrative and organisational support to the organisers of the various Science talks series (e.g., Lunch Talks, Informal Discussions, Journal Clubs, Munich Joint Colloquia - JAC - series) and to the invited (mostly external) speakers;
  • Assist with the organisation of events related to fellows, students and visitors (IMPRS workshop, Excellence cluster activities, Astromundus programme);
  • Act as vacation replacement to cover other Administrative Assistants within the Directorate for Science.

Reports to:

Head of Office for Science, Garching


  • Five years of experience in a similar position providing support to many individuals, preferably in an international working environment.
  • Experience in organising meetings and travels with the ability to balance conflicting demands and prioritise workload is essential.
  • A good working knowledge of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc) is essential.

Key Competences:

  • Logical thinker with excellent organisational skills;
  • Ability to provide clear, concise and timely oral and written communications to colleagues at all levels and external contacts;
  • The ability to research, analyse, summarise and present information in a clear and logical manner is required;
  • Willingness to acquire new skills, keep up-to-date with the tools used in the daily work;
  • Adapt to new procedures and proactively identify and implement ways to optimise current processes and workflows;
  • Ability to work both on own initiative and within teams in an international and multicultural environment;
  • Result-oriented, proactive, highly motivated and creative - delivering prompt and efficient service on multiple concurrent projects under tight deadlines;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, discretion and diplomacy.


The successful candidate must have completed secondary school education and obtained an administrative diploma.

Language Skills:

The position requires fluent English, both written and oral. Basic knowledge of German and Spanish would be an advantage.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), medical and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating you and your family and the possibility to place your child/children in daycare. For any further information, please visit <>.

The initial contract is for a period of one year with the possibility of a fixed-term extension. The title or grade may be subject to change according to qualification and the number of years of experience.

Duty Station:

Garching near Munich, Germany

Career Path: II


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 24.05.2017

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

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

Contact us