Science Highlight




ARC Astronomer position at ESO (closed)

deadline for applications: 4 February 2019

 (now closed)


For its ALMA Regional Centre at the Headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany, ESO is opening the position of ALMA Regional Center Astronomer.

The ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) department at ESO provides the interface between the European ALMA Users Community and the ALMA observatory in Chile. In collaboration with a network of ALMA Regional Centre nodes distributed throughout Europe, the ARC supports European ALMA users with the preparation of ALMA proposals and provides post-observation user support. Furthermore, it is involved in the operations of ALMA, and helps build tools for users and the observatory, etc.

The ARC is looking for an astronomer with a strong and active research profile. The ARC Astronomer will contribute to core ARC duties, and in particular to those related to user support tasks, such as providing expert assistance to ALMA users by staffing the ALMA Helpdesk and preparing PI observations. The post holder should have a strong interest in maximizing ALMA's science output through conducting expert user support and operations support tasks.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform general ARC duties which includes Helpdesk support, observation preparation, and quality assurance;
  • Contribution to Astronomer-on-Duty shifts in Chile;
  • Actively participate in ARC Staff Meetings and other ARC/ALMA activities;
  • Proactively propose improvements of existing documentation/processes and suggest new methods to increase quality and efficiency of ARC services;
  • As a member of the ESO Astronomy Faculty, you will be expected and encouraged to conduct a strong personal research programme and to participate actively in the scientific life of ESO and interact with other parts of the wider organisation;
  • The tasks are not limited to the above and a flexible approach and willingness to adapt is required.


Reports to: 

The post holder reports to the Head of the ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) Department. The ARC is a department of currently 14 people and is part of the ESO ALMA Support Centre (EASC) division.


Key Competences:

  • Knowledge of astronomical radio interferometric observing and data analysis;
  • Excellent cross-disciplinary communication skills both oral and written;
  • Precise documentation skills;
  • Effective and committed team player;
  • Excellent organisational and time-management skills;
  • Flexibility in adapting to changes of requirements and priorities as well as of assignments.



A PhD degree in physics, astronomy or closely-related discipline.



We seek an astronomer with:

  • Experience in the analysis of radio/millimetre astronomical data and understanding of the concepts of handling data/projects of large observatories;
  • A demonstrated research record and continuing research programs in astronomy or astrophysics.


Language Skills:

The position requires a good 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 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 is 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 http://www.eso.org/public/jobs/conditions/intstaff.


Duty Station:

Garching near Munich, Germany. The post holder may be requested to make occasional duty trips to the Joint ALMA Office in Santiago, and the Operations Support Facility in northern Chile.


Career Path: V



If you are interested in working in areas of frontline technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit http://www.eso.org for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at http://jobs.eso.org/. Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter, CV containing a publication list and a research statement. Also required are the names and contact details of three referees familiar with your work and willing to provide a reference letter. Referees will be automatically invited to submit their letter, however, applicants are strongly advised to trigger these invitations (using the web application form) well in advance of the application deadline.


Deadline for applications: 4 February 2019


Start Date: As soon as possible


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