Advert. No. 2020_0041
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, within the Office of the Director General at its Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of

Media Officer


Vacancy closed on 19/10/2020

Deadline 19/10/2020

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced creative individual to work with a team of international, friendly and motivated professionals at the ESO Department of Communication to help further develop ESO's social media presence, support ESO's media and communication activities, and to deliver content for various outlets.

ESO's Department of Communication is responsible for all aspects of internal and external communication for the Organisation. It covers the whole spectrum of communications, including media relations, content production, public and local outreach, digital communication and internal communication, and engages 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. It also coordinates closely with the ESO Supernova - Planetarium & Visitor Centre for astronomy education activities. The Department is based partly at the ESO Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, and partly in Santiago, Chile.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Contributing to the management and development of social media channels, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube;
  • Contributing to shaping and implementing ESO's social media strategy to increase engagement with ESO's online communities;
  • Monitoring social media channels to actively engage with ESO's communities;
  • Planning and producing engaging content for ESO's online platforms, including ESO's public website and blog;
  • Supporting the production of print and other communication products through writing engaging copy and editing content;
  • Building close working relationships with online influencers, journalists and a wide range of stakeholders, both internal and external;
  • Supporting the Organisation's press and communication work, including by identifying newsworthy stories across ESO's sites, assisting with press conferences and visits and, when needed, aiding in crisis communication efforts;
  • Providing advice on working with journalists and social media use for ESO staff, including developing guidelines to support the use of social media across the Organisation and implementing training programmes.

The above responsibilities are not exhaustive and a flexible approach and willingness to adapt to arising needs is essential.

Reports to:

Public Information Officer, in the Department of Communication's Media Relations Team.

Key Competences and Experience

Essential Competences and Experience:

  • At least three years of experience in a media relations and social media role, ideally in a scientific and/or international organisation;
  • A passion for science and the ability to communicate confidently and clearly about complex scientific issues;
  • Experience in developing content for innovative social campaigns;
  • The ability to craft creative and engaging content and the drive to try out new formats and styles;
  • Excellent writing and editing skills;
  • Interest in and knowledge of the latest digital technologies and social media tools and trends;
  • A proactive, open and professional attitude and a team-player mentality;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Desirable Competences and Experience:

  • An astronomy background or experience working for an astronomy organisation;
  • An understanding that media relations and social media channels occasionally require work outside standard working hours.


Degree or higher level education in media, communications, astronomy or related sciences.

Languages Skills:

An excellent command of English is essential. Knowledge of German or Spanish is 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 daycare.

The contract is for a fixed term duration of three years, and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. There may be a possibility of extension(s) subject to individual performance and organisational requirements, in particular for the ELT Programme, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For any further information, please visit Please note that the contract policy and in particular the regulations concerning fixed-term and indefinite contracts are currently under review which may lead to changes in the contractual conditions applicable to this position.

Duty Station:

Garching near Munich, Germany.

Career Path: III


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and 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 (1 page);
  • CV (2 pages) and a social media portfolio (no more than 3 pages) with links to social media content developed by the applicant and examples of innovative social media campaigns;
  • Two writing samples (each no more than 2 pages long) that demonstrate the applicant's ability to communicate science to a wider audience (blog posts, magazine or newspaper articles, press releases, etc.).

Only complete applications, with all required materials in English, will be accepted.

Closing date for applications is 19 October 2020.

Interviews are expected to be held soon afterwards.

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, the United Kingdom and Chile irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, race or religion.

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