Advert. No. 2017_0046
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 Executive Office of the Director General at the ESO offices in Santiago de Chile, ESO is advertising the position of

Representative in Chile


Vacancy closed on 31/10/2017

Deadline 31/10/2017

The Representative in Chile formally represents ESO and its Director General in all matters and relations with Chilean governmental, regional and local authorities where ESO projects are located, as well as with the diplomatic missions representing ESO Member States in Chile. S/he also coordinates the representation of ESO's political and legal interests in Chile and promotes the positive relationship of ESO with Chile as a whole.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The selected candidate will be working closely with the Director General and the Head of the Executive Office of the Director General. The main responsibilities will include:

  • Establish formal contacts, maintain good relations, negotiate and send and receive communications to/from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as to other governmental, regional and local authorities in Chile;
  • Institutionally represent ESO and its Director General in Chile;
  • Liaise with the Directors of the La Silla Paranal and ALMA observatories, as well as with the departments of the various ESO Directorates in Santiago, in the coordination of common activities aimed at fostering communication and effectiveness among the various units;
  • Support ties with ESO Member States' diplomatic missions in Chile;
  • Coordinate and lead visits of heads of state, heads of government, ministers and other dignitaries invited to ESO premises in Chile. The selected candidate will have the responsibility of planning, arranging and executing these visits in coordination with the corresponding protocol department of the dignitaries visiting ESO premises and with the logistics departments or equivalent of the visited sites. The selected candidate will also coordinate with ESO's education and Public Outreach Department how to handle media for official visits of dignitaries;
  • Handle a variety of other visits to ESO premises of individuals or groups considered of interest to ESO;
  • Authoritatively represent and explain ESO's goals and achievements to his/her counterparts and to the public and visitors;
  • Gather information on political, economic and other developments in Chile (through public media, meetings with officials of the Chilean government, embassies, academic authorities, colleagues, dignitaries, persons of distinction in Chile and by observations) and report this back to ESO Headquarters in Germany;
  • Maintain frequent contact and cooperate with the representatives of other astronomical organisations operating in Chile;
  • Support ESO's programme of scientific cooperation with Chile, by facilitating links with the Chilean astronomical community, and through activities such as ESO's fund for the development of disciplines related to astronomy and technology in Chile, which is managed by the ESO-Government of Chile Joint Committee;
  • Monitor the evolution of the Organisation's international partners and prospective Member States' diplomatic missions and, in liaison with the Head of Legal and Institutional Affairs, deliver appropriate information and recommended actions, with a view to improving coordination and enhancing relations between Member States, and prospective Member States;
  • Direct and manage the Office of the ESO Representation in Chile and its personnel.

Reports to:

Head of the Executive Office of the Director General.


At least ten years of research experience as a scientist, having also worked in international relations or science diplomacy.

Key Competencies:

The successful candidate should have an alert and objective mind, have a careful, reserved temperament and have a balanced judgement. S/he should have an enquiring mind and must be able to take an objective and friendly interest in Chilean life, while maintaining strict neutrality on political matters internal to Chile. Diplomatic skills and discretion are key for this position. Moreover, the successful candidate:

  • Provides clear, concise and timely oral and written communications, identifies the key issues, examines options and proposes the way ahead;
  • Is able to build strong collaborative working relationships with people from different cultural backgrounds and disciplines;
  • Is capable of working in different activities, also in parallel and under pressure;
  • Is flexible in adapting to changes of requirements and priorities as well as of assignments;
  • Monitors progress of own work and delivers to agreed deadlines and standards.


University degree in a scientific or technical area. The maintenance of an up-to-date knowledge of astronomical research, particularly in those fields in which ESO is making significant contributions, would be an asset.

Language Skills:

The position requires fluency in the English and Spanish languages. Working knowledge of other languages would be an asset.

Remuneration and Contract:

ESO offers an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial support in relocating family members.

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:

Santiago, Chile with regular duty trips, mainly to the ESO sites in northern Chile and with occasional trips to ESO Headquarters in Germany.

Career Path: VI


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 via our recruitment portal Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and your CV.

Closing date for applications is 31 October 2017

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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