Advert. No. 2020_0018
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 (COMM) in Santiago, Chile, ESO is advertising a Local Staff member the position of:

Outreach Officer Chile


Vacancy closed on 30/06/2020

Deadline 30/06/2020

ESO is looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic Outreach Officer who will be responsible for engaging members of the Chilean public and local communities in the fascination of astronomy carried out by ESO.

You will join ESO's Department of Communication (COMM), which is responsible for all aspects of internal and external communication for the Organisation. We provide information about ESO's activities, with the mission of increasing the awareness of ESO, astronomy and the impact of the Organisation on society in its Member States and Chile. We cover the whole spectrum of communications, including media relations, content production, public and local outreach, digital communication and internal communication, and engage with a broad range of audiences ranging from scientists and the astronomy community over decision-takers and industry partners, to journalists and members of the public. The Department comprises 20 staff with a range of complementary expertise ranging from astronomy, writing, image processing, video production, publishing, web production and design to event organisation. COMM is based partly at the ESO Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, and partly in Santiago, Chile. We are an international, friendly and motivated team with ties to scientists and professionals throughout ESO and to the broader science communication community.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The Outreach Officer will be in charge of devising and delivering strategies to intensify ESO's outreach to and engagement with local communities including media, students, school children and other members of the general public.

Responsibilities include:

  • Planning, coordinating and implementing ESO's public outreach activities and exhibitions in Chile.
  • Developing concepts for events, exhibitions and ESO's visitor centres at the Paranal and La Silla observatories, as well as producing and maintaining corresponding contents and outreach materials.
  • Hosting media visits at the Paranal, La Silla and ALMA observatories.
  • Seeking opportunities to increase ESO's visibility in Chile and to establish strategic alliances, for example with outreach organisations, such as science centres, planetariums and museums in Chile
  • Supporting the ESO Representative in Chile with outreach requests by local or international authorities, the science community and universities.
  • Managing and expanding a network of internal volunteers that contribute to and participate in outreach activities.
  • Supporting the Press Officer and the Community Coordinator in the promotion of ESO's image through social media, especially toward Chilean followers.

Reports to:

Head of Communications Chile.


Three years of experience in science communication and outreach. As our ideal candidate, you will be educated to degree level (or equivalent), ideally in a scientific subject, design or communication, with experience in outreach and public engagement in a science-based environment.

The following skills would be an asset:

  • Ability to conceive, implement and evaluate successful outreach activities.
  • Experience of planning, organizing and delivering public engagement events.
  • Abilities and experience with graphic design and digital media.
  • Knowledge of, and interest in, science and astronomy.
  • Experience producing written, graphic or audiovisual contents in English and Spanish to communicate astronomy or other physical sciences to the public.
  • A good understanding of and aptitude for social media.
  • Some insight into the workings of the Chilean science community and a good understanding of Chilean public audiences.

Key Competences:

  • Proactive, open and friendly attitude and excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Creativity.
  • Good organisational skills and result-oriented attitude.
  • Passionate about science and enjoy explaining it to a wide range of audiences.
  • Transparency, being a good team player.
  • Comfortable working to deadlines.
  • Ability to provide clear, concise and timely written and oral communications for different audiences.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively in an international environment, interacting and collaborating with people from different countries and cultures.
  • Strong MS Office applications skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).


University degree either in in science (preferably astronomy/astrophysics or a related field), graphic design, or communication (preferably audiovisual or multimedia).

Language Skills:

ESO is an international organization where the official language is English. It is required that the candidate has a good command of written and spoken English.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary, comprehensive maternity-parental, educational, and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating the candidate's family, where applicable. Please see a summary at The initial contract is for a period of two years with the possibility of extension, subject to evaluation.

Duty Station:

The position will be based in the ESO Vitacura premises located in Santiago, with regular visits to the ESO Observatories in northern Chile as well as occasional visits to the ESO Headquarters in Germany. The working schedule is from Monday to Friday .

Career Path:



If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit for further details. Non-Chilean applicants to this role must reside in Chile and have a pertinent working permit, according to Chilean regulations, at the time of their application.

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

Applicants are invited to apply online at Applications should include a motivation letter and CV in English. References may be required. Interviews will be held in English.

Deadline for applications is 30 June 2020.

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