Advert. no. 2021_0007
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 Executive Office of the Director General at the ESO offices in Santiago de Chile, ESO is advertising the position of:

Representative in Chile


Vacancy closed on 29/05/2021

Deadline 29/05/2021

The Representative in Chile formally represents ESO and its Director General in all matters and relations with Chilean governmental, regional and local authorities where ESO facilities and observatory sites are located, as well as with the diplomatic missions representing ESO Member States in Chile. S/he also coordinates the representation of ESO's political and legal interests in Chile and promotes the positive relationship of ESO with Chile as a whole.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The selected candidate will be working closely with the Director General with the support and oversight from the Head of the Executive Office of the Director General. Her/his main duty will be to foster the relationship with Chile by consolidating and moving forward the engagement between ESO and Chile. In close coordination with the Director General, the DG Executive Office and ESO Directors, the Representative is responsible for proposing, implementing and monitoring ESO's strategy in Chile aimed to secure the necessary conditions for ESO's long-term operational success in the country. Furthermore, her/his main responsibilities will include:

  • Establish formal and informal contacts, maintain and further promote the already existing excellent relations with Chile, negotiate and send and receive communications to/from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as to other governmental, regional and local authorities in Chile;
  • Institutionally represent ESO and its Director General in Chile;
  • Liaise with and provide operational support to the Directors of the La Silla Paranal and ALMA observatories, as well as with the departments of the various ESO Directorates in Chile;
  • In coordination with the ESO Office for Science, engage with the stakeholders and astronomical community in Chile with the goal to support ESO's programme of scientific cooperation with Chile, through activities such as ESO's fund for the development of disciplines related to astronomy and technology in Chile;
  • Work together with ESO's Communication Department regarding strategic communication to Chile, with the aim to strengthen ESO's brand and to jointly communicate the values, mission and vision of the Organisation among the Chilean stakeholders and the diplomatic missions of the Member States;
  • Promote ESO's visibility by arranging high-level visits to ESO premises in Chile. The selected candidate will have the responsibility of planning, arranging and executing these visits in coordination with the relevant departments at ESO and the corresponding departments of the dignitaries visiting ESO premises. The selected candidate will also coordinate with ESO's Communication Department how to handle media for official visits of dignitaries;
  • Gather information, advising and reporting to the Director General and ESO Directors on political, social, environmental, economic and any other relevant dimension potentially impacting ESO's activities in Chile;
  • Maintain frequent contact and cooperate with the representatives of other astronomical organisations operating in Chile;
  • Support ties with ESO Member States' diplomatic missions in Chile;
  • Monitor the evolution of the Organisation's international partners and prospective Member States' diplomatic missions in Chile and deliver appropriate information and recommended actions, with a view to improving coordination and enhancing relations with the Member States, and prospective Member States;
  • Manage, with the support from the ESO Regional Relations Officer and in coordination with the La Silla Paranal Observatory and the ESO Office for Science in Chile the different cooperation agreements with Chilean government, institutions and other partners in the country, following up their implementation and impact;
  • Direct and manage the Office of the ESO Representation in Chile and its personnel.

Reports to:

Head of the Executive Office of the Director General

Key Competences and Experience:

Essential Competences and Experience:

  • Evidence of an objective and enquiring mind, together with a reserved temperament and balanced judgement;
  • Diplomatic skills and discretion;
  • Proven capacity of providing clear, concise and timely oral and written communications, identifying the key issues, examining options and proposing the way ahead;
  • Proven experience in building strong collaborative working relationships with people from different cultural backgrounds and disciplines;
  • Capability of working in different activities, also in parallel and under pressure;
  • Flexibility in adapting to changes of requirements and priorities as well as of assignments;
  • Experience in monitoring progress of own work and delivering to agreed deadlines and standards.
  • Friendly attitude towards engaging with Chilean society at large, while maintaining strict neutrality on political matters internal to Chile.

Desirable Competences and Experience:

  • At least ten years of professional experience in scientific, technical or other areas related to astronomy;
  • Having worked in international and culturally diverse environments.
  • The maintenance of an up-to-date knowledge of astronomical research, particularly in those fields in which ESO is making significant contributions, would be an asset.
  • Familiarity with the Chilean socio-political and scientific environment.


University Degree preferably in Natural Sciences, Engineering or equivalent qualification, preferably in an astronomy-related area.

Language skills:

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English and Spanish languages. Working knowledge of other languages would be an asset.

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 if needed.

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance ( between their professional and private life. ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support (, creating a work environment and policies which allow staff to balance their professional and private responsibilities through flexible working arrangements and financial support for families.

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. For any further information, please visit ESO's conditions of employment. 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:

Santiago, Chile with regular duty trips, mainly to the ESO sites in northern Chile and with occasional trips to ESO Headquarters in Germany.

Career Path: VI


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 and CV. 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 29 May 2021.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce.

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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