Project Scientist

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Government Agency
European Space Agency ESTEC
Street Line 1: 
Keplerlaan 1
2201 AZ
Job Announcement Text: 

ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands  
Job Category: Scientific/Technical Staff

The European Space Agency (ESA) is seeking a Project Scientist. This is a staff position within the
Science Division in ESA’s Directorate for Science.
The postholder will initially be appointed as the ARIEL Study Scientist. They will become the Project
Scientist upon the mission’s final approval, which is expected in November 2021 and will play a
central role in ensuring the scientific success and legacy of this exciting mission. ARIEL is a mission to
study exoplanets by conducting atmospheric 0.5-8.0 μm transit and eclipse spectroscopy and optical
photometry. Currently in its study phase, ARIEL is being prepared for launch in 2028.  Its results will
supplement those of ESA’s CHEOPS and PLATO missions, which focus on high precision photometry
of exoplanets, as well as the NASA/ESA/CSA JWST observatory mission, which will perform detailed
spectroscopic observations of exoplanets.

The Project Scientist’s role:
The successful candidate will join a team of around 30 study and project scientists and post-doctoral
fellows, based at ESTEC, who provide scientific support to ESA’s Science Programme missions from
the study to the post-operational phase and conduct independent research. The top-level objective
is to ensure the maximum scientific return within the applicable constraints, which may be scientific,
technical, financial, or programmatic.
Each Science Programme mission has a Science Team, or equivalent, comprised of some of the
leading scientists in the field. Project scientists lead the Science Teams’ activities and so should be
experienced, well-respected scientists who have made significant contributions to their fields of
expertise. Project scientists also advise study managers on the technical and operational aspects
that could affect the scientific performance of their missions and so must have a good understanding
of relevant technical issues and developments. Similarly, project scientists provide scientific input
and guidance for the execution of mission operations including pipeline processing, calibration and
data product and so should be familiar with these aspects. Finally, project scientists represent the
interest of the general scientific community in their missions and organise activities to promote the
community’s participation.

The successful candidate is expected to be an active researcher and participate in the Directorate’s
research activities. There are regular seminars at ESTEC covering a wide range of topics and an active
visitors programme. Travel funds are available for collaborative visits or observation trips and there
is a budget which can be accessed through peer-review to enable research-related activities

Minimum requirements
PhD or equivalent qualification in astronomy, physics or a related discipline

Substantial experience in exoplanet science and an outstanding publication record in peer-reviewed
Ability to liaise effectively with both scientists and engineers
Good knowledge of either English or French

Desirable work experience
Infrared spectroscopy
Development of instruments for space missions and their operation and calibration
Analysis and interpretation of ground- or space-based astronomical data
Organisation of international scientific projects or campaigns
Management of international scientific teams
Communications and outreach

For a complete job description and to apply, click here:
The closing date for applications is 1 st December 2019.

We offer
The European Space Agency (ESA) is an equal opportunities employer that offers competitive
salaries exempt from national income tax and excellent employment conditions, such as allowances
for expatriates and relocation support.

About ESA
The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the
development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver
benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 22
Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can
undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.
If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, December 1, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC)