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SciSpacE Team Leader


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk-Binnen
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed


SciSpacE Team Leader

Job Req ID:  17364
Closing Date:  23 February 2023 23:59 CET/CEST
Establishment:  ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
Directorate:  Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration Progr
Publication:  Internal & External
Vacancy Type:  Permanent
Date Posted:  2 February 2023


Vacancy in the Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration Programmes.


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  



If successfully recruited for this post, you will, under the direct authority of the Research and Payloads Group Leader and with respect to delegated responsibilities and funds, be responsible for managing the ESA E3P SciSpacE science element and the assigned resources.
The SciSpacE element of the HRE Terrae Novae programme covers a wide range of platforms and destinations, such as ground-based research facilities, drop tower, parabolic flights, sounding rockets, ISS (and other future LEO platforms), Lunar Gateway, Moon and Mars.

This position places strong emphasis on intensive interaction and collaboration within the Research and Payloads Group, specifically the payload development and utilisation planning teams, as well as with several other Directorate-internal organisational units. Planning and delivering are performed by different teams: the utilisation planning team and the operational implementation teams.

In carrying out your duties, you will be supported by and manage a team of Science Coordinators, Project Scientists, Young Graduates and Internal Research Fellows. In addition, you will supervise and coordinate the activities of the support services of the team


  • Managing the team workforce, ensuring a positive and motivating working environment;
  • Distributing and assigning tasks to the team members, monitoring and managing performance and providing timely and regular feedback;
  • Maintaining and developing the expertise and technical competencies of the team members to meet current and future strategic needs, taking due account of their motivation, aspirations and professional development;
  • Supporting the Group leader and working closely with the other Research and Payloads Team Leaders in defining a mid- to long-term SciSpacE research strategy in close coordination with the scientific community, specifically the Human spaceflight and Exploration Science Advisory Committee (HESAC), and with the Member States as customers;
  • Preparing Science Management Plans and Announcements of Opportunity for open and targeted scientific and application-oriented research activities in full coordination with other Directorate-internal organisational units, as required and appropriate;
  • Preparing and maintaining the SciSpacE Roadmap and managing the short- and mid-term implementation, acting as a proxy for scientists in defining the end-to-end scientific requirements of individual experiments and payloads and documenting them in the Activity Requirements Document (ARD);
  • Organising and coordinating project scientist support for the payload development teams;
  • Providing project scientist advice and guidance to the Planning, Integration and Increment Management functions;
  • Organising and coordinating project scientist support for commercial research and utilisation projects as needed;
  • Fostering cooperation with other agencies and research organisations;
  • Systematically monitoring, reporting and evaluating the scientific accomplishments of the research activities, including ISS and non-ISS platforms;
  • Supporting the data archiving and dissemination activities;
  • Supporting the communication of outcomes from the Group’s research to stakeholders and the general public;
  • Supporting the development of a cross-Agency community of scientists and, where feasible, actively pursuing high quality research;
  • Providing Secretariat services for relevant working groups of the ESA science advisory structure (PSWG, LSWG, SSEWG, and others, or their successors);
  • Providing the overall coordination and monitoring of the Directorate Research Fellow recruitment campaigns and supporting D/HRE in the prioritisation of the radio frequency activities, in coordination with the SCI/HRE Science and Exploration Senior Advisor (SCI-A) and related HR services.

Technical competencies

Broad knowledge of scientific discipline, including strategic vision of the area Life, Physical, and Planetary science
Knowledge of international scientific community
Knowledge of (large) international scientific research collaborations, preferably using space-based techniques
Knowledge of space projects, including instrumentation and operations
Experience in supporting ESA programmes/projects and knowledge of their technical and programmatic requirements in relevant technical domains
Project and technical management

Behavioural competencies

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


A PhD in science or engineering is required for this post.

Additional requirements

Applicants for this position should have a PhD in a related scientific area with experience of programme or project management. In the selection, emphasis will be placed on sound knowledge of processes and challenges related to science management, space/science hardware development and human spaceflight. Further knowledge of, or experience of working in, space programmes of other national and/or international agencies would be considered a strong asset.


Applicants are required to have high-level communication and negotiation skills as well as a proven capability to establish and maintain professional networks at all levels, a strong focus on outcomes and results, and the ability to show their interest in innovation and creativity in research.


You should also have:

  • the potential to manage individuals or a team;
  • the ability to organise their activities and ensure a motivating work environment;
  • strong leadership capabilities, with proven relationship management and communication skills;
  • the ability to drive your team’s performance, developing your people by encouraging learning, delegating responsibility and giving regular and constructive feedback;
  • strong problem-solving skills to deal with day-to-day operational challenges, together with demonstrated planning and organisational skills;
  • strong result orientation with the ability to set priorities and present practical solutions both orally and in writing;
  • the ability to manage challenging situations proactively and constructively and to be customer focused.


People management experience would be an asset, as would 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 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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