Advert. No. 2017_0039
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) in the Directorate for Science at the Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of

Education Coordinator


Vacancy closed on 02/09/2017

Deadline 02/09/2017

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 Education Coordinator will be in charge of implementing the education strategy for the ESO Supernova (ES). He/she will work on the development of enquiry-based educational materials suitable for children ages 4 to 18, linked both to school curricula and to the topics presented at the planetarium shows and astronomy exhibition of the ESO Supernova. The educator will be the day-to-day contact person for the schools, responsible for the teacher trainings taking place at the centre, and the creation of network of teachers. The main tasks include:

  • Support the ESO Supernova Coordinator in the implementation of the education strategy for the ESO Supernova and ESO/ePOD in general;
  • Attract the necessary support for the educational activities (manpower, funding);
  • Coordination of the educational team (educational Volunteers);
  • Implement the ESO Supernova training plan for the in-house team of Educators delivering the educational activities at the ES (workshops, educational guided tours, etc);
  • Develop concepts and content for workshops and exhibition tours linked to German and European school curricula;
  • Provide educational guidance for the production of educational planetarium shows;
  • Develop content for educational materials supporting the planetarium shows and exhibition content;
  • Deliver the workshops and planetarium shows as part of school visits to the ES;
  • Assist with organisation and delivery of teacher trainings;
  • Maintain a database/network of teachers linked to the centre, and of schools in Germany and Europe, in collaboration with the ePOD Community Coordinator;
  • Act as day-to-day contact person to the schools/ teachers, Education Partners and the state education department;
  • Manage the bookings of school visits;
  • Drafting of the educational news from the ESO Supernova and educational Newsletter Editorial;
  • Support the ESO Supernova Coordinator with the evaluation programme, and by collecting feedback from the teachers, evaluating the impact of the visits on children and writing reports on the activities;
  • Deputise for the ESO Supernova Coordinator during periods of leave;
  • Any other duties as requested by the ESO Supernova Coordinator and the Head of Department;
  • Be able to work full-time, five days per week (and occasionally on weekends and during public holidays remunerated as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations).

Reports to:

ESO Supernova Coordinator


  • At least five years of astronomy education experience, for instance offering enquiry-based astronomy-related workshops;
  • Comprehensive understanding of primary and secondary education system in Bavaria, Germany and Europe (desirable);
  • Excellent public speaking skills, with experience of working with a wide range of audiences in a range of settings;
  • Demonstrable experience of teaching or public engagement in schools, museums, science centres or university outreach departments.

Key Competences:

  • Strong and effective organisation skills, high-level commitment, discretion and diplomacy;
  • Clear, precise and engaging communication style, both in written and oral form;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent organisational and time-keeping skills;
  • Ability to build strong and effective links both with other internal 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 ways of working;
  • Contribute ideas for improvements and developments;
  • Ability to balance conflicting demands and priorities, and to work under time pressure;
  • Flexibility in adapting to changes of requirements and priorities;
  • Efficiency in working both on own initiative and within teams in an international and multicultural environment.


Educated to degree level with a BSc in astronomy, astrophysics or physics, or education with a solid knowledge of astronomy. Desirable: A relevant post-graduate qualification (e.g. PhD or MSc) in Education, Astronomy, Science Communication, Engineering or Science

Language Skills:

The position requires fluency in both German and English.

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: IV


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 02.09.2017.

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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