Advert. No. 2019_0010
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

Web & Advanced Projects Coordinator


Vacancy closed on 31/03/2019

Deadline 31/03/2019

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. The Department of Communication coordinates closely with the ESO Supernova ESO Supernova - Planetarium & Visitor Centre for astronomy education activities.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

You will be responsible for the development and maintenance of the department's technical science communication infrastructure.

This will involve:

  • Developing and operating an in-house astronomical digital asset management system, currently based on the Django Web Framework (based on Python). This system stores astronomical metadata and data for more than 30.000 high-quality astronomical images, videos, press releases, brochures and other outreach related material in 20 different languages;
  • Maintaining and improving the web infrastructure for 6 major Django-based websites and 10 minor websites in collaboration with the ESO IT Department;
  • Project management of the Department of Communication's technical projects (e.g. mobile applications, astronomical image processing tools, etc.) including requirements definition and coordination;
  • Interface with the IT Department on the technical infrastructure (office computers, large network storage etc.) of the Department of Communication;
  • Supervision of external programmers (contractors) and potentially other members of the group in the future;
  • Mentoring of, and user support for, the Department of Communication's web content team;
  • Following departmental procedures and workflows, and to clearly document procedures where necessary to guide others.

Reports to:

Head of the Web Team in the Department of Communication.

Key Competences and Experience:

Essential competences and experience

The position requires proven experience in web development and project management in a fast-paced online environment and several years of working experience in the area of computer science, information technology, or a related field.

  • Experience with production Django/Python development (or similar);
  • Experience with Full-Stack development: from design and development, to testing, deployment and maintenance in production;
  • Experience with operating high traffic websites;
  • Experience with developing client-side web-apps with Javascript frontend and REST backend;
  • Experience with the following technologies and applications in production environments: a) Backend: Nginx, Docker, PostgreSQL, memcached, AMQP, REST APIs, Linux; b) Frontend: HTML5, ES6/ReactJS or similar, CSS;
  • Web-based user interfaces;
  • Management of web and software projects;
  • Database design and optimisation;
  • Result-oriented: delivering prompt and efficient service on multiple concurrent projects under tight deadlines;
  • Problem-solving: strong analytical and problem determination/resolution skills;
  • Proactive, highly motivated and able to work within the department both in a team and independently.

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

  • Experience as Linux System Administrator or operational software development;
  • Knowledge and interest in public science outreach and astronomy;
  • Work and communicate effectively in an international environment, collaborating with people from different countries and cultures;
  • Highly organised and good organisational skills.


Technical degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field.

Language Skills:

The position requires a very good command of written and spoken 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 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 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. Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV.

Deadline for applications is 31 March 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.

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