Advert. No. 2019_0002
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, and will host and operate the southern array of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, the world's largest and most sensitive high energy gamma-ray 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 (ELT), which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.



For its Contracts and Procurement Department, within the Directorate of La Silla Paranal Observatory, ESO is advertising the position of:

Procurement Officer


Vacancy closed on 31/05/2019

Deadline 31/05/2019

Within the Directorate of Administration, the Contracts and Procurement Department is responsible for and executes the procurement process. This is done within the framework of the Organisation's policy for awarding contracts for supplies and services, specified in the Financial Rules and Regulations and in the Procurement Rules and Regulations.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The successful candidate will become part of the Contract and Procurement Group in Santiago (Chile) and will be responsible for the management of the entire procurement cycle for a very broad range of goods and services, from items and services of common use for ESO sites in Chile to technical and scientific equipment and services for construction, operation and maintenance of ESO's Observatories. He/she will work in close collaboration with the users in the Departments and Project teams of ESO in Chile to identify and implement the most efficient procurement solutions in compliance with the procurement rules and regulations of the Organisation. The main focus will be on the lower value/fewer complex procurements. In particular he/she will:

  • Review and discuss with users' requests for purchases (including the requirements contained therein) to determine their adequacy and completeness and the appropriate procurement strategy;
  • Identify the suppliers capable to supply the requested goods and services;
  • Prepare the procurement documentation (Price inquiry etc.) and coordinate and document the procurement process through evaluation of the tenders, negotiation of the terms and conditions with the bidders, and award of the orders/contracts;
  • Participate in the follow-up of orders/contracts; and
  • Participate, as required, in the development of procedures and practices for procurements within the Organisation.

Reports to:

Supervisor Procurement Officers.


At least 3 years of experience in a procurement role or commercial function (or similar function), e.g. buyer, sales desk officer, procurement role (issuing orders), preferably experience in an international setting and/or in public procurement.

Key Competencies:

  • Positive, proactive and flexible attitude to look into solutions for the presented problems taking into account the boundaries;
  • Service and customer-oriented attitude;
  • Good communication skills, being able to clarify PR's and requirements with the user in a constructive way;
  • Ability to work in an organised and accurate manner;
  • Negotiation skills, being able to persuade the counterpart to agree on ESO favourable conditions at an operational level;
  • Ability to understand technical and operational issues at a general level - why is a product or service needed and what are the consequences if it is not on time - in the right quality or else;
  • Good judgment to know when the next higher level needs to be informed; and
  • Good knowledge of Ms Word and Ms Excel.


Technical studies ("Ingenieria en Ejecucion" or similar) in a Business or Commercial field. University diploma is considered an advantage.

Language Skills:

Full command of English and Spanish (written as well as spoken).

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family (if needed).

The initial contract is for a period of two years with the possibility of an indefinite extension, subject to evaluation. The title or grade may be subject to change according to qualification and the number of years of experience.

Career Path:



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.

Deadline for applications is 31 May 2019

No nationality is excluded, however non-Chilean applicants must have the pertinent working permit , according to Chilean regulations, at the time of the application.

The post is equally open to suitably qualified candidates irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion.

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