Advert. No. 2017_0020
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 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 education and Public Outreach Department (ePOD) within the Directorate for Science at the Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of

Administrative Assistant


Vacancy closed on 07/06/2017

Deadline 07/06/2017

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 ( makes ESO an exciting global centre for astronomy outreach and education.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The Administrative Assistant supports a group of approx. 10 ePOD staff in Garching and is the first point of contact for external requests for information on ESO. Administrative assistance within the Directorate for Science is often shared between different assistants to obtain a good coverage.

  • The main tasks include:
  • Ownership of the ePOD Administration workflows;
  • Handling of procurements for ePOD/Garching (including requesting offers from German-speaking suppliers);
  • Provide logistics support for ePOD/Garching (transfer requests for shipments, travel logistics, department calendar, etc.);
  • Occasional event and project coordination (such as the ESO Open House Day, workshops, press conferences, media visits etc.);
  • Internship support;
  • Provide budget assistance and coordination of payments;
  • Manage the ESO Partner Benefits (recurring benefits, welcome benefits and ESO Supernova benefits for partners);
  • Providing administrative assistance to ePOD (including room bookings, interface with Contracts & Procurement and HR, internal mail distribution, subscriptions, visitors and volunteers' logistics);
  • Manage ESO Science Outreach Network administration new agreements, web information, organise the yearly meeting etc.);
  • Additional administrative tasks related to the ESO Supernova, as needed.

Reports to:

Head of ePOD


  • You should have at least 5 years of relevant experience in the field of administrative assistance, incl. the use of an ERP system;
  • Advanced user knowledge of Word and Excel.
  • The following experience and skills would be an asset:
  • Expert experience with Microsoft Navision;
  • Google docs and spreadsheet experience;
  • Administrative experience within an international environment;
  • Experience in project coordination;
  • Database management;
  • Event or exhibition management and concept development;
  • Science outreach experience;
  • Interest in science.

Key Competences:

  • Very good organisational skills and ability to work effectively and efficiently on a wide range of activities in parallel, from small routine tasks to larger projects;
  • Communicate clearly both orally and in writing and ability to work effectively in an international environment, collaborating with people from different countries and cultures;
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to anticipate/identify problems and provide workable solutions independently;
  • Be proactive, highly motivated and able to work within the department both in a team and independently;
  • Contribute ideas for improvements and developments to the working of the team and department;
  • Be able to follow departmental procedures and workflows, and to document new and updated procedures when necessary, so that colleagues can also follow consistently.


You must have completed secondary school education and formal training in the commercial or administrative field. A secretarial/administration diploma is preferred.

Language Skills:

The position requires a very good command of the English and German language. Spanish knowledge is an asset.

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 daycare.

The contract is for a fixed term duration of three years, and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. There is a possibility of extension(s) subject to individual performance and organisational requirements, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For any further information, please visit <>.

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 7 June 2017.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

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.

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