Science Operations Scientist

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, June 10, 2022
Archive Date: 
Friday, July 22, 2022
To event remaining 23 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
The European Space Agency (ESA)
Department Name: 
Vacancy in the Directorate of Science
Villanueva de la Cañada
Job Announcement Text: 

ESA is looking for a Science Operations Scientist

ESAC, Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain

The European Space Agency maintains a world-leading Science Programme with missions in heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics and fundamental physics. The Department for Science and Operations (SCI-S), within ESA's Directorate for Science, hosts the scientists and engineers that oversee the space missions from study to end of operations; it develops the science operation systems for the missions and operates the missions in space; it archives and curates their data during operations and beyond. Our main objective is to maximise the scientific output of the missions for the benefit of humankind.

BepiColombo is a cornerstone mission of the ESA’s Horizon 2000 long-term science plan and Europe's first mission to Mercury; it is a joint mission between ESA (responsible for the Mercury Planetary Orbiter, MPO) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency – JAXA (responsible for the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter, MMO), executed under ESA leadership. Launched on 20 October 2018, it is on a seven-year journey to the smallest and least explored terrestrial planet in our Solar System. After delivery into their respective science orbits, the two spacecraft will start their nominal science mission of a duration of one Earth year. The BepiColombo Science Ground Segment, based at ESAC (Madrid, Spain), is responsible for the science operations of the MPO spacecraft.

As Science Operations Scientist you will be part of the BepiColombo Science Operations Centre reporting to the BepiColombo Mission Manager and will coordinate the science planning activities throughout the various mission phases. In particular, you will be the main scientific interface for science operations with the BepiColombo stakeholders in the science community, ensuring that their science goals are properly translated into operational requirements, and fulfilled throughout the implementation and execution of the mission’s science operations. cy maintains a world-leading Science Programme with missions in


Your responsibilities will include:

  • coordination of the high-level science planning activities performed by the BepiColombo Science Working Groups and the Science Ground Segment, on behalf of the BepiColombo Science Working Team and Project Scientist;
  • coordination of the interactions between the Science Operations Centre and the instrument teams for science operations matters, making sure that the instrument science planning and calibration requirements are properly formulated and understood by the development and engineering teams;
  • coordination of the joint science activities between the two BepiColombo Mercury orbiter spacecraft, in close collaboration with JAXA;
  • contributing to the assessment of the quality of the scientific products and supporting the overall evaluation of the mission’s science performance;
  • interfacing with the BepiColombo Project Scientist for all science planning matters and supporting the development of strategic/long-term science planning for optimising the science return within the mission’s constraints;
  • supporting outreach activities promoting the BepiColombo mission and its science.

In addition to the above duties, you are expected to continue to carry out research in planetary sciences and actively contribute to the scientific life of the Department.

Technical competencies

Experience in defining, setting up and/or operating space science facilities

Experience in coordinating internal/external stakeholders on scientific projects

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 in planetary sciences, astronomy or physics is required for this post.

Additional requirements

One or more of the following would be additional assets for the position:

  • Experience in science operations in the context of interplanetary missions;
  • Experience analysing the science performance of interplanetary missions;
  • Experience with the Agile development methodology, preferably in the role of Product Owner;
  • Proficiency with at least one scripting or programming language (IDL, Python, Matlab, Mathematica);
  • Experience with media and outreach activities;
  • Experience with contracts involving scientific institutions and instrument teams.

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

For more information, please click on Apply

Closing date for applications is 19 July 2022

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Selection Deadline: 
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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Job Req ID: 15019