Advert. No. 2017_0037
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 ELT Programme Office at the Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, ESO is seeking to replace the position of

ELT Programme Administrative Assistant


Vacancy closed on 31/08/2017

Deadline 31/08/2017

The successful candidate will assist the Head of ELT Programme Office in the fulfilment and execution of duties, taking responsibility for the overall administrative activities of the Programme Office. In addition, this position will provide administrative support to the other members of the ELT Project Office.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Day-to-day administrative assistance to the Head of the Programme Office including scheduling and organising of travels and meetings both in house and abroad, in liaison with external partners, and preparation of reports;
  • Organisation of ELT related meetings and conferences including travel, hotel bookings and catering of ESO staff and external participants;
  • Taking, drafting and distributing minutes of meetings including following up of the action items;
  • Organising duty travels and trainings for the members of the ELT Project Office;
  • Drafting, editing, proof-reading and distributing correspondence, reports and technical documents;
  • Supporting the management of the ELT Document Archive including document numbering, storing and distributing documents as well as maintaining the document list;
  • Supporting the daily administrative operations of the Programme Office: purchase orders, shipping requests, leave requests, mail and telephone inquiries;
  • Liaison with Human Resources and other administrative departments (Contracts & Procurement, Facility Logistics and Transport);
  • Maintaining the ELT Intranet website;
  • Provide coverage and support during the absence of other administrative assistants;
  • The tasks are not limited to the above and a flexible approach and willingness to adapt are required.

Reports to:

Head of ELT Programme Office


Applicants should have several years of experience in running an executive office, or similar responsibilities, preferably within an international working environment. Experience in organising meetings and managing a busy work load within strict deadlines is an asset. A very good knowledge and experience of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft office is essential (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, etc.). Experience with Enterprise Resource Planning and documentation management system(s) is highly desirable.

Key Competences:

  • Strong and effective organisation skills, high-level commitment and discretion:
  • Clear and precise communication style, both in written and oral form;
  • Ability to build strong and effective links both with other teams and with external partners;
  • Willingness to acquire new skills and keep up-to-date with the tools used in the daily work, as well as to adapt to new procedures and identify means to optimize the daily workflows;
  • Contribute ideas for improvements and developments to the team work;
  • Ability to balance conflicting demands and priorities, and to work under time pressure;
  • Efficiency in working both on own initiative and within teams in an international and multicultural environment.


Completed secondary education including an administrative diploma as a bilingual secretary or equivalent professional training.

Language Skills:

High proficiency level in English and German both written and oral is essential. Good knowledge of Spanish is an advantage.

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.

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 the ESO homepage for further details.

Please apply online via our ESO Recruitment Portal. Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV.

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 the United Kingdom irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion.

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