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Project Controller


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Harwell
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Accounting (Audit, Controlling)
    • Administrative support
    • Banking and Finance
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2022-09-29


Vacancy in the Directorate of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications.


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.


ECSAT, Harwell, United Kingdom  



The Telecommunications and Integrated Applications Directorate supports innovation to boost the competitiveness of European industry in the global space market. This involves a wide range of activities from space-based technology, systems, and products for telecommunications development to the down-to-Earth application of space-based services. These activities require engagement with a wide range of industrial, academic and institutional partners.

The Project Control and Management Support Section provides project control and management support services to all operational units in the Directorate as a part of the TIA internal matrix. Each Project Controller also supports the professional development of the Section through continuous improvement regarding the controlling and management of support processes, digitalisation, management reports including dashboards, transparency, efficiency, cooperation and knowledge sharing.

Reporting to the Head of the Project Control and Management Support Section, you will closely cooperate with identified managers implementing projects and/or activities and will interface directly with ESA corporate control, finance, and procurement, and with the industrial contractors for all matters in their domains of activity.

The Project Controller holds key responsibilities in the preparation, procurement and monitoring of complex procurements, from tendering to the closure of contracts, and for management, financial and planning aspects. You will have multiple interfaces within and outside ESA, including negotiations with industrial contractors, and will play a key role in supporting the Project Manager(s) with programmatic decision-making.


Typical project control duties and activities include:

  • preparing, developing and maintaining the overall programmatic aspects of the projects/missions/activities. The programmatic aspects include cost, financial matters, work breakdown structure, 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 on the progress of all activities using established procedures and information systems; this includes maintenance in the ESA ERP system of project-related data;
  • active monitoring and forecasting (forward thinking) is expected, identifying and reporting trends, deviations from plans, potential problem areas and proposing remedial actions in coordination with the Project Manager. Compliance with budgetary provisions and financial regulations is also expected;
  • 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 of project control-related responsibilities;
  • providing inputs for periodic reporting to project management and the Business Unit Controller.


Specific duties include:

  • preparing and maintaining cost plans covering industrial and operating (including workforce-related) costs, ensuring solid aggregation of cross-cutting areas such as Generic and Strategic Programme Lines;
  • advising TIA project managers and external ESA partners, including industry, on project control best practices, methods, processes, and procedures;
  • participating in the definition, maintenance and improvement of project control procedures and controlling systems, including digitalisation;
  • supporting the Head of the Project Control & Management Support Section and Senior Financial Controller in the execution of their duties;
  • supporting preparation of AC and IPC papers as well as Programme Board status reports, and assisting in the preparation of work plans.

Technical competencies

Understanding of the relevant ESA/EU procurement regulations
Cost and financial regulatory framework, including accounting standards and auditing
Budgeting, cost control and resources and activities planning
Expert knowledge of SAP based ERP systems and related queries
Strong analytical and reporting skills
Project and risk management
Understanding of space system architectures

Behavioural competencies

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


A master’s degree in engineering or business administration is required for this post.

Additional requirements

You should have previous professional experience as a controller of a project or programme, preferably at Agency or industry level. Experience in another function in finance, controlling and auditing will be considered a (key) asset. Some knowledge and/or understanding of space systems architecture will also be considered an asset.

Substantial experience is essential in the application of project management and project control principles and advanced project control techniques, as well as in the preparation, negotiation and implementation of major industrial procurements. Engineering experience in a project or programme will be considered an asset.

Knowledge of computer systems and information/planning/coordination tools (e.g. esa-p, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project) is essential. Familiarity with modern dashboard tools will be considered an asset.

You should be able to work autonomously, effectively and cooperatively in a diverse and international team environment and be able to define and implement solutions in line with team and individual objectives and deadlines. You should possess strong written and oral communication skills and be rigorous and disciplined when working on demanding tasks. You should also have good analytical, organisational and reporting skills, with a proactive attitude to problem-solving.

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 we welcome people with disabilities.  Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace.  The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance 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.