Advert. No. 2019_0005
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 Department of Communication in the Office of the Director General at the Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of

Public Information Officer


Vacancy closed on 15/04/2019

Deadline 15/04/2019

The Department of Communication is responsible for providing information about ESO's activities to the public in the Member States and beyond. It manages and performs public astronomy communication activities aimed at various target groups, including the media, the public, the ESO user community, industrial partners and decision-makers. The Department of Communication is based partly at the ESO Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, and partly in Santiago de Chile. It coordinates closely with the ESO Supernova ESO Supernova - Planetarium & Visitor Centre for astronomy education activities.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

You are responsible for managing the production of the ESO news items (press releases, announcements etc.), background information on the web and act as ESO's interface with the media.

The main tasks include:

  • Managing of press and organisational releases, announcements, and other news products;
  • Overseeing the integration of written and visual material in audiovisual products such as video podcasts;
  • Occasional press conferences and preparation of event-related outreach material (e.g. press kits);
  • Supporting external requests from journalists, scientists and the general public;
  • Establishing professional contacts and maintaining good relationships with key members of the media;
  • Overseeing the maintenance of ESO's most important background information web pages.

The tasks are not limited to the above and a flexible approach and willingness to adapt are required.

Reports to:

Head of the Media Relations Team in the Department of Communication.

Key Competences and Experience:

Essential competences and experience

  • Several years of proven experience working as a communicator of astronomy to the public;
  • Proven experience in project coordination (ideally in an outreach, news or marketing environment);
  • Familiarity with the media and their modus operandi;
  • Communicate clearly both orally and in writing and be able to work effectively in an international environment (incl. advanced presentation skills), collaborating with people from different countries and cultures;
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to anticipate/identify problems and provide workable solutions independently;
  • Be proactive, highly motivated and show the ability to work within the department both in a team and independently;
  • Be able to contribute ideas for improvements whilst following departmental procedures and workflows, and document new and updated procedures where necessary, to guide others.

Desirable competences and experience, which are not mandatory, but considered an asset:

  • Demonstrated excellent organisational skills and ability to work effectively and efficiently on a wide range of activities with tight deadlines in parallel;
  • Result-oriented attitude, ability to provide prompt and efficient service, and a flexible approach to shifting priorities.


You must have at least a master's degree in astronomy or physics or related fields. Support for own scientific research during a limited fraction of the time can be accommodated.

Language Skills:

The position requires a close-to-native command of the English language. German is highly desirable and Spanish language skills would be 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 day care.

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 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.

Applicants are invited to apply online at ESO Recruitment Portal. Your application must be completed in English and include a motivation letter and CV. Please also submit examples of your written popular science communication work (preferably in English).

Deadline for applications is 15 April 2019.

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, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion.

Contact us