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Science Operations Scientist


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Baltimore
  • Grade: A2 - Grade band
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2022-05-30

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Vacancy in the Directorate of Science.


ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.


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


ESA Office, Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), Baltimore, Maryland, USA



The European Space Agency maintains a world-leading Science Program with missions in heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics and fundamental physics. The Department for Science and Operations (SCI-S), in ESA's Directorate of Science, hosts the scientists and engineers that oversee the space missions from study to end of operations; it develops the science operations systems for the missions and operates the missions in space; and it archives and curates their data during operations and beyond. Our main objective is to maximize the scientific output of the missions for the benefit of humankind.
As part of its collaboration with NASA on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), ESA is providing scientists who will join the ESA Office at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScl) and be deployed for different functions to support HST science operations. As Science Operations Scientist, you will ensure that the HST science instruments (COS, STIS, WFC3 or ACS) obtain high-quality astronomical data, that calibrations are optimized to allow scientific interpretation of the data, and that the HST user community has the information and documentation needed to optimize scientific use of the HST instruments.


Specific tasks for this post include:

  • Instrument performance verification and optimization, including generating calibration plans and proposals, performing advanced analysis of calibration data, reviewing calibration products, and making them available to operational system or support instrument anomaly investigations.
  • Investigation of techniques for improving the scientific output of the science instruments, including algorithms and requirements for data analysis systems and calibration pipelines.
  • Service to the user community which includes general user support and contact scientist responsibilities, providing technical coordination to users on all aspects of their programs, ranging from proposal implementation through data analysis.
  • Generation of technical reports and user documentation, and ability to provide reports and presentations, on all areas related to the science instruments.
  • Support, as required, to the ESA Office leadership at STScI for a variety of tasks related to the interface with the European astronomical community.

In addition to the above duties, you are expected to continue to carry out a robust, active and independent research program, preferably aligned with the scientific capabilities of HST, JWST and/or other ESA missions and to actively contribute to scientific life in the ESA Science Department and at STScI.

Technical competencies

Experience in supporting scientific missions/projects
Hands-on experience with reduction and calibration of imaging and/or spectroscopic astronomical data
Experience in Scientific software development
Knowledge of the relevant international scientific and users’ community
Active researcher in a relevant field of space science

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


A PhD or equivalent qualification in astronomy, physics or a related discipline is required for this post.

Additional requirements

You should also have:

  • Established collaborations with European and international scientists, and the potential to expand these in the future externally and within ESA;
  • The potential to manage individuals or teams of diverse expertise and backgrounds;
  • The ability to manage challenging situations proactively and constructively and to be customer focused.

People management experience is an asset, as is international experience, i.e. outside your home country, as well as experience in diverse functional areas relevant to ESA activities.

Other information

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

For further information please visit: Professionals,What we offerand FAQ  


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.


At the Agency we value diversity and welcome people with disabilities.  Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support in the workplace.  The Human Resources Department can also assist during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us email [email protected].


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, Lithuania 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 or balanced 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 conducted by an external background screening service. 


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.

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

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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