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Contracts Officer


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk
  • Grade: Junior level - A2 - Grade band
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Procurement
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
  • Closing Date: Closed


Contracts Officer

Job Req ID:  17214
Closing Date:  9 February 2023 23:59 CET/CEST
Establishment:  ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
Directorate:  Directorate of Commercialisation, Industry and Pro
Publication:  Internal & External
Vacancy Type:  Permanent
Date Posted:  19 January 2023


Vacancy in the Directorate of Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement.


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.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands  



Contracts Officers work in the Procurement Department in the Directorate of Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement. This opportunity will in principle be for the Procurement Service in charge of Earth Observation activities in ESTEC (mainly Space Segment of Earth Observation Missions).

As an ESA Contracts Officer, you would have the crucial role of supporting the Project/Programme Managers in conducting all procurement and contractual aspects of ESA projects for satellite development contracts. You would also have the responsibility of ensuring that procurement activities are executed in compliance with the legal and industrial policy requirements as set out in ESA’s Procurement Regulations.

You are considered as part of the team of your assigned project, but with an independent hierarchical reporting line to the relevant Head of the Procurement Service. This secures the appropriate level of independence to ensure impartiality, transparency, and compliance with the procurement/tendering and contracting process.


Your duties will include implementing key aspects of ESA’s (project specific) procurement strategies in full compliance with ESA’s Procurement Regulations, focusing on the following:

  • Full compliance with all procurement activities assigned to you adhering to ESA’s rules, regulations, policies, and strategies; effectively implementing internal control, proper design and functioning of a client-oriented procurement/tendering and contracting process;
  • Timely and efficient preparation of the various elements of the relevant procurement and contract documentation;
  • Providing guidelines which embed and apply the relevant, up-to-date legal and industrial policy measures throughout the procurement/tendering and contracting process;
  • Organising and coordinating all stages of procurement, including the issuing of the Invitation to Tender, ensuring proposals are duly received, evaluating them and negotiating contract conditions with the selected contractors;
  • Promoting awareness and understanding of ESA’s procurement/tendering and contracting processes to the relevant stakeholders;
  • Monitoring the performance of the contracts including the negotiation of all amendments;
  • Dealing effectively with all administrative, contractual, legal, and industrial issues arising, involving regular and direct interaction with the industrial counterparts;
  • Building a trusting and value-added relationship with the Project Managers/Technical Officers and their respective teams, advising them on all procurement-related matters.

Technical competencies

Good knowledge of and experience in contract, procurement or international business law gained either in industry or public administration
Good understanding of intellectual property issues
Experience in tendering and contracting processes
Ability to critically assess technical tender documentation and to draft tailored contract conditions
Knowledge of the European and/or international business sector (institutional, commercial and/or industrial), preferably in the space sector
Good understanding of the economic and financial aspects of contracts
Negotiation skills

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Effi ciency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


A master’s degree in law, economics or from a business school is required.
Good academic knowledge in contract law, procurement law and/or international business law is also considered important.

Additional requirements

Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written;

  • Customer focus with sound judgement in solving problems;
  • Discretion and integrity is paramount;
  • Ability to interact with multiple international actors and to work collaboratively in a team to achieve organisational goals;
  • Operational efficiency including excellent planning and organisation skills and the ability to manage several tasks efficiently in parallel;
  • Openness to change and flexibility in a fast-paced environment; ability to reflect on experience and adapt your approach accordingly;
  • Consistent performance, even under pressure;
  • Ability to grasp new and large/complex concepts quickly;
  • Ability to understand and formulate contractual/legal texts in both French and English;
  • Ability to understand issues of a technical and management nature;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office tools (Word & PowerPoint).

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


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, Slovakia 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.

This vacancy is now closed.
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