Advert. no. 2023_0002
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.


Support to ALMA operation and development is provided in Europe through the European ALMA Support Centre (EASC) within ESO's Directorate of Operation. ESO is advertising for the EASC the position of the

Head of the European ALMA Support Centre


Vacancy closed on 16/04/2023

Deadline 16/04/2023

The EASC provides technical off-site support to ALMA operations through its Technical and Software Support Departments. The EASC coordinates the European activities for ALMA developments and upgrades. The EASC provides Science Operations support to the user community and the ALMA Observatory through the European ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) and its distributed nodes. The EASC further works in close collaboration with the ALMA Programme Scientist at ESO, the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO), the Data Management and Operations (DMO) division and other ESO organisational units.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

As the Head of EASC you will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the EASC and will be the high-level contact point at ESO for all EASC-related and ALMA-related matters. You will collaborate with the JAO leadership and the equivalent regional ALMA Programme and Operations Managers of the other ALMA Executives (NRAO in North America and NAOJ in East Asia), and you will be a member of the ALMA Management Team (AMT). You will manage the European ALMA operations and development budget. You will also act as European ALMA Programme Manager for Europe's contribution to the ALMA development programme and support the ESO representation to the ALMA Board and the ALMA Directors Council. As member of the ESO Astronomy Faculty, you are encouraged and expected to conduct active astronomical research.

Reports to:

As a Division Head at ESO, you will report to the Director of Operations.

Key Competences and Experience:

To succeed in this role, we will expect you to be able to exhibit the following essential competences and experience:

  • A proven record of at least 15 years of active research;
  • A proven record of at least 10 years of experience in management and leadership in a scientific organisation, preferably international;
  • Demonstrable ability to collaborate with partner teams and institutions in joint projects and activities;
  • Established record of operations management, including budget and staff management;
  • Think strategically and take effective decisions and provide leadership;
  • Able to elaborate a vision of the future and set goals to achieve this but at the same time, have the flexibility to make timely and appropriate changes to plans as required;
  • Political intelligence and influence, being able to manage internal and external stakeholder relationships;
  • Builds strong and effective links within and outside the organisation;
  • Demonstrates initiative, pro-activeness and good negotiation skills;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Works effectively in an international and multi-disciplinary team environment.

Observational and technical experience in sub-mm radio astronomy would be an asset.


Basic requirements for the position include a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, physics or related fields.

Language skills:

The position requires a working knowledge of 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.

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, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. 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:

Garching near Munich, Germany

Duty travels to the ALMA Observatory in Chile and to the partner organisations will be expected, to attend meetings, perform monitoring of the operations, and to get feedback from users. In addition, various other travels for short meetings, reviews, and presentations are required.

Career Path: VII


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 16 April 2023.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

ESO Values

An important element in any successful employment relationship is harmony in values between an organisation and its people.

The ESO Values are:

ESO strives for excellence through innovation.

ESO provides outstanding services to its communities.

ESO fosters diversity & inclusion.

ESO believes in the key role of sustainability for its future.

Achieving the above are recognized as only possible on the basis of personal values and attitudes that we expect from our employees: respect, integrity, accountability, commitment, collaboration, and clear & open communication.

Applicants to any ESO role are asked to reflect on their affinity with these values and advised they may be asked about them if called for interview.


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, equitable and inclusive workforce.


No nationality is in principle excluded from employment at ESO, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of our Member States, host states and strategic partners: 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, ethnicity or religion.

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