Advert. no. 2023_0026
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 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, and on Cerro Armazones, the Organisation 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 the Integrated Operations (IOP) Programme, the La Silla Paranal Observatory opens a project position of an International Staff Member as a

Project Manager


Vacancy closed on 15/06/2023

Deadline 15/06/2023

In direct collaboration with the programme manager, the selected candidate will work with a team of programme engineers and operations experts on the development and execution of a multi-project plan to implement a process-based lean operations model for the entire operations structure of the VLT and ELT facilities.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Definition, systematic planning and controlled roll-out of various projects
  • Preparation of Contract documents
  • Conduct of tender processes
  • Supervision and control of contractors during the entire project
  • Analysis and control of financial and progress matters of projects
  • Reporting and presentation of project status and analysis

Reports to:

IOP Programme Manager

Key Competences and Experience:

  • Experience in conducting projects with different size and scope
  • Experience in scope development including budget schedule and timeline components
  • Strong organisational skills enabling a systematic work approach and effective time management
  • Critical and analytic thinking, allowing conduct of scenario analysis and fact driven decision making
  • Excellent communication skills conveying information to all stakeholders
  • Comprehensive reporting and result presentation
  • Understanding the project impact to the business landscape
  • Ability to resolve conflicts and to manage change
  • Ability to acquire the requisite subject matter expertise necessary to understand the project
  • Strong skills enabling project integration with cross functional objectives


University degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline, with further specialisation and experience in project management.

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:

The duty station will be on the ESO premises in Vitacura, Santiago de Chile. The post requires regular visits at the Paranal Observatory, located 120 km south of the city of Antofagasta, Chile. Occasionally, and depending on project needs, working periods on ESO premises will be organized. The work schedule in the Vitacura office describes a 40 work hours week in the regular 5/2 mode. Work missions to the Observatory site can extend up to 8 days, followed by 6 days of rest.

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 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 15 June 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. Please visit for further details.


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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