Science Operations Scientist

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Friday, April 22, 2022
Archive Date: 
Friday, June 3, 2022
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
The European Space Agency (ESA)
Department Name: 
Vacancy in the Directorate of Science
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

ESA is looking for a Science Operations Scientist.

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.


ESA Office, Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), Baltimore, Maryland, USA


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

As part of its collaboration with NASA on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), ESA is providing scientists who will join the ESA Office at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScl) and be deployed for different functions to support HST science operations. As Science Operations Scientist, you will ensure that the HST science instruments (COS, STIS, WFC3 or ACS) obtain high-quality astronomical data, that calibrations are optimized to allow scientific interpretation of the data, and that the HST user community has the information and documentation needed to optimize scientific use of the HST instruments.


Specific tasks for this post include:

  • Instrument performance verification and optimization, including generating calibration plans and proposals, performing advanced analysis of calibration data, reviewing calibration products, and making them available to operational system or support instrument anomaly investigations.
  • Investigation of techniques for improving the scientific output of the science instruments, including algorithms and requirements for data analysis systems and calibration pipelines.
  • Service to the user community which includes general user support and contact scientist responsibilities, providing technical coordination to users on all aspects of their programs, ranging from proposal implementation through data analysis.
  • Generation of technical reports and user documentation, and ability to provide reports and presentations, on all areas related to the science instruments.
  • Support, as required, to the ESA Office leadership at STScI for a variety of tasks related to the interface with the European astronomical community.

In addition to the above duties, you are expected to continue to carry out a robust, active and independent research program, preferably aligned with the scientific capabilities of HST, JWST and/or other ESA missions and to actively contribute to scientific life in the ESA Science Department and at STScI.

Technical competencies

  • Experience in supporting scientific missions/projects
  • Hands-on experience with reduction and calibration of imaging and/or spectroscopic astronomical data
  • Experience in Scientific software development
  • Knowledge of the relevant international scientific and users’ community
  • 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 or equivalent qualification in astronomy, physics or a related discipline is required for this post.

Additional requirements

You should also have:

  • Established collaborations with European and international scientists, and the potential to expand these in the future externally and within ESA;
  • The potential to manage individuals or teams of diverse expertise and backgrounds;
  • The ability to manage challenging situations proactively and constructively and to be customer focused.

People management experience is an asset, as is international experience, i.e. outside your home country, as well as experience in diverse functional areas relevant to ESA activities.

Closing Date for applications: 30 May 2022

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.

Application Deadline: 
Monday, May 30, 2022
Selection Deadline: 
Monday, May 30, 2022
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
HR Department
Institution/Company Job ID or Reference Code: 
Job Req ID: 15216