Advert. No. 2020_0042
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 ESO's Department of Communication, within the Office of the Director General at its Headquarters in Garching, ESO is advertising the position of

Head of Creative Team


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Deadline 21/10/2020

We are looking for an experienced and motivated professional for ESO's Creative Team, who combines leadership and creative conception with a passion for hands-on design work and content production. You will direct and guide a team of five experienced in-house visual artists, designers and a video producer and actively contribute to the conception, design and production of inspiring and innovative astronomy content across various channels.

ESO's Department of Communication is responsible for all aspects of internal and external communication for the Organisation. Our goals are to spread excitement and knowledge about the wonders of the Universe, inform about new discoveries and developments in astronomy, technology and engineering and raise awareness of ESO and its impact on society. Our Department 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 through decision-makers and industry partners, to journalists and members of the public. We also coordinate 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:

  • Defining and developing a creative content strategy and overseeing its implementation by ESO's Creative Team;
  • Further developing the ESO brand and the Organisation's visual identity;
  • Directing in-house and external creative professionals and managing a team of visual artists, designers and video producers;
  • Supervising the team's workflow, assigning project workloads, and monitoring deadlines and budgets;
  • Developing concepts and briefs for projects, including thematic campaigns, animations and illustrations in web, video and print, layout and merchandise, and overseeing them to completion;
  • Producing artwork, designs and layouts for web, printed publications, presentations, posters and exhibition material as required;
  • Reviewing and approving designs, artwork, videos, photography, and graphics developed by internal and external creative professionals and contributing to the evaluation of the impact of products and campaigns;
  • Working closely with other members of the Department of Communication, scientists and other stakeholders throughout the organisation to identify their creative content requirements;
  • Advising the Head of Communication on strategic issues and ESO's communication strategy.

Reports to:

Head of the Department of Communication

Key Competences and Experience

  • You have experience leading, motivating and managing a team of creative professionals and at least five years of creative direction experience;
  • You are experienced in developing and implementing clear brand and creative strategies, concepts and briefs and applying them across multiple platforms;
  • You enjoy the combination of giving guidance to others with hands-on design and content production;
  • You have the ability to manage multiple projects, working to tight deadlines and remain flexible through revisions while keeping attention for detail;
  • You are naturally interested in design and audiovisual production and keep abreast of new techniques, software and methods. You have experience working with graphic design and web design software (e.g. Adobe Creative Cloud);
  • You enjoy working in a team and interacting with colleagues and communicate equally well with senior leadership, developers, scientists and creative staff;
  • You are highly creative and have a great understanding of current design and audiovisual trends and how to define new standards;
  • You are excited by the idea of developing innovative ways to communicate about astronomy;
  • You are familiar with the latest trends on visual communication using social media and other online platforms.


Degree or higher level education in graphic design, communication or related subject.

Language 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, 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: V


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, CV and a portfolio of relevant work. Within your CV, please provide the names and contact details of three persons familiar with your work and willing to provide a recommendation letter upon request. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.

Deadline for applications is 21 October 2020.

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

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