Advert. No. 2017_0034
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.


ALMA Operation at ESO is provided through the ESO ALMA Support Centre (EASC) within the Directorate of Operation. For the EASC ESO is opening the position of the



Head of the ESO ALMA Support Centre


Vacancy closed on 31/08/2017

Deadline 31/08/2017

Responsibilities and Working Environment:

The EASC provides technical off-site support to ALMA Operations through its Technical and Software Support Departments. The EASC organises and manages upgrades and development of future ALMA hardware, software and infrastructure. The EASC provides Science Operations support to the user community and the ALMA Observatory through the European ALMA Regional Centre and its distributed network of nodes. The EASC further works in close collaboration with the ALMA Programme Scientist and the ALMA outreach progamme at ESO and JAO.

The EASC, comprising about 30 staff members at ESO, provides the framework and organisational structure for ALMA Operation within ESO and requires a high-level management by the Head of the EASC.

The Head of EASC is responsible for the day-to-day management of the EASC and is the high-level contact point for all EASC related matters. S/he is the equivalent to the leaders of the North American and East Asian Operations Centres and as such participates in all tri-lateral ALMA meetings of the Heads of ALMA Operations Centres. The Head of EASC is a member of the ALMA Management Team and attends meetings of the ALMA Board and ALMA Budget Committee. The Head of EASC is a member of the ESO Management Team and attends meetings of European Science Advisary Committee (ESAC) and the Scientific Technical Committee (STC). The Head of EASC further manages the European ALMA operations and development budget.

The Head of EASC has the status of a Division Head at ESO and reports to the Director of Operations.

Professional Requirements:

Basic requirements for the position include a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, physics or related fields; a proven record of scientific leadership and at least 10 years of experience in international scientific collaborations. Observational and technical experience in sub-mm radio astronomy would be an asset. Substantial management and leadership experience within a scientific organisation, preferably international, is also required. Excellent communication skills and a very good knowledge of English are essential.

The Head of EASC is a member of the ESO Astronomy Faculty and is encouraged and expected to conduct active astronomical research.

Key Competences:

  • Thinks strategically, takes effective decisions and provides leadership;
  • Able to set goals and has a vision of the future, is flexible and makes timely and appropriate changes to plans as required;
  • Seeks to understand the perspective of key decision makers and partners - thinks through their needs and interests to identify their agenda;
  • Builds strong and effective links within and outside the organisation;
  • Demonstrates initiative, pro-activeness and good negotiation skills;
  • Works effectively in an international and multi-disciplinary team environment.

Duty Station: Garching near Munich, Germany

Duty travels to the ALMA Observatory in Chile and to the partner organisations in North America and East Asia will be expected to attend meetings, to perform monitoring of the operations, and to get feedback from users. In addition, various other travels for short meetings, reviews, and presentations are required.

Starting Date: As soon as possible.

Career Path: VI

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 further information, please view ESO's conditions of employment.


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

Applicants are invited to apply online via our ESO Recruitment Portal. Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter, CV containing a publication list with a research statement. Also required are the names and contact details of three scientists familiar with your work and willing to provide a recommendation letter. Referees will be automatically invited to submit a recommendation letter. However, applicants are strongly advised to trigger these invitations (using the web application form) well in advance of the application deadline.

Closing date for applications is 31.08.2017.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

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

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

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