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Project Controller

Noordwijk-Binnen (Netherlands)

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk-Binnen (Netherlands)
  • Grade: A2/A4 - Grade band - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Accounting (Audit, Controlling)
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Administrative support
    • Banking and Finance
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-04

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Vacancy in the Directorate of Human & Robotic Exploration Programmes.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. Applications from women are encouraged.

Project Controller

This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.

ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands  


Your first assignment will be to the Lunar Gateway ESPRIT(*) Project, one of the two major European contributions to the Gateway, developed with NASA and other international partners.

You will hierarchically report to the Project Control Team Leader, in the Project Control Team, Programme Management Support Group of the Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration Programmes and your functional reporting will be to the project manager of the assigned project.

In your role you will be and direct interface of the project to the ESA corporate control, finance and procurement and with industrial contractors on all matters in their domains of activity.

You will support the project manager with respect to all activities related to project cost, schedule and risk as well as project management processes and administrative functions, and to providing the reporting to the Business Unit Controller as needed for the Directorate’s internal and external reporting.

You will assume key responsibilities in the preparation, procurement and monitoring of complex procurements, from tendering to contract closure, and in management, financial and planning aspects. This involves multiple interfaces inside and outside ESA, including negotiations with industrial contractors and a key role in supporting project manager(s) in the programmatic decision-making.

(*) The Lunar Gateway - ESPRIT Project (European System Providing Refuelling, Infrastructure & Telecommunications) is part of the Gateway Space Station, a small station orbiting the Moon and providing vital support for a sustainable, long-term human return to the lunar surface, as well as a staging point for deep space exploration. ESPRIT will provide the refuelling capability, docking port, cargo bay, windows and main system for communication with the lunar surface activities.


Typical project control duties and activities will include:

  • preparing, developing and maintaining the overall programmatic aspects of the project/missions, including space segment, payload, launch, ground segment and Agency-provided services. The programmatic aspects include cost, finance, schedule, logistics, configuration, documentation, progress control and geographical return, as well as general project administration;
  • implementing and operating planning and control procedures to provide full visibility over the progress of all activities using established procedures and information systems; this includes maintenance in the ESA ERP system of project-related data;
  • supporting inventory control and asset management for the assigned projects;
  • assisting in the preparation of tender documents with respect to cost, management and schedule / planning requirements and participating in the evaluation of proposals; preparing information required for subsequent contract negotiations and participating in all tasks related to the placing of contracts, including negotiations with industry;
  • supporting the closure of industrial contracts and the financial year closure exercise;
  • implementing, within the framework of the Agency-wide risk management policy, risk management procedures and identifying potential problem areas therein, proposing mitigation actions and preparing risk reports as required;
  • supporting the organisation of project reviews and participating in reviews in the areas of project control related responsibilities;
  • participating in the establishment and maintenance of the Directorate’s project control procedures and computerised information systems;
  • supporting the Project Control Team Leader as required.
Technical competencies
Understanding of the relevant ESA procurement regulations
Cost and financial regulatory framework, including accounting standards and auditing
Understanding of space system architectures
Project and risk management
Budgeting, cost control and resources and activities planning
Strong analytical and reporting skills
Behavioural competencies
Problem Solving
Systems & Broader Business Thinking
Relationship Management
Planning & Organisation
Self Motivation

A Master's degree in engineering or business administration is required

Additional Requirements

Applicants should have professional experience as a controller in a project or programme, preferably within industry or at an agency. Substantial experience is essential in the application of project management and control principles and advanced project control techniques, as well as in the preparation, negotiation and implementation of major industrial procurements. Engineering experience under a project/programme will be considered an asset.

Applicants should have a solid work background in the disciplines related to the above tasks, including cost control, resource and activities planning, project management, risk management and procurement regulations. Some knowledge and/or understanding of the financial regulatory framework, financial accounting, auditing techniques and space system architectures will be an asset.

Other information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.     

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.     

The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.

The closing date for applications is 04 October 2020.

If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email


Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada, Latvia and Slovenia.

According to the ESA Convention the recruitment of staff must take into account an adequate distribution of posts among nationals of the ESA Member States. When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to internal candidates and secondly to external candidates from under-represented Member States. (

In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment. 

Recruitment will normally be at the first grade in the band (A2); however, if the candidate selected has little or no experience, the position may be filled at A1 level.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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