Archive Scientist

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
To event remaining 6 days
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
European Space Agency - ESA
Villanueva de la Cañada
Job Announcement Text: 

Vacancy in the Directorate of Science.
ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. For this purpose, we 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.
Location: ESAC, Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain  
The closing date for applications is 16th March 2021.
You will be assigned as Science Lead of the Planetary Science Archive (PSA) with responsibility for the overall scientific coordination of the PSA and will be Archive Scientist for one of the ESA planetary missions.

You will report hierarchically to the Science Archives Development and Operations Manager and, as Archive Scientist for one of the ESA planetary missions, you will report functionally to the Project Scientist and Science Operations Development Manager or Mission Manager of the mission concerned.

As Science Lead of the Planetary Science Archive (PSA), your main duties will include:

  • Defining the strategic vision for the PSA, in coordination with the Archives Mission Scientist and in line with the Department’s overall strategy for the archives;
  • Interfacing with all relevant stakeholders from planetary missions, including the PSA Users Group, to ensure long-term preservation of the data and to encourage the use of multi-mission data for planetary science research;
  • Providing, in cooperation with all planetary archive scientists, scientific development priorities for the PSA, taking into account mission-specific as well as general purpose requirements and constraints;
  • Contributing actively to the ESAC Science Data Centre reporting and outreach activities, in collaboration with the Archives Mission Scientist and the other Archive Science Leads;
  • Representing ESA and actively promoting cooperation at planetary scientific conferences, fora, workshops, and reviews, as well as at the International Planetary Data Alliance and with external partner space agencies and organisations;
  • Acting as Archive Scientist for all ESA planetary legacy missions.

As Archive Scientist, you will be responsible for definition and specification of the Planetary Scientific Archive for one of the ESA planetary missions and for the follow-up and monitoring of its implementation and operation with the goal of maximising the scientific return of the mission. The main duties will include:

  • Assuming the ownership of use cases and drivers for the mission archive;
  • Monitoring the implementation, testing and performance of the archive, prior to its release to the scientific community;
  • Supervising and coordinating the definition and provision of science data products and higher-level data products from the community or Instrument Teams;
  • Liaising with any internal and external providers to ensure completeness of all levels of data products, contributing to the optimisation and refinement of the archive products when possible;
  • Organising, where required, peer reviews for the assessment and evaluation of the archive’s products and documentation;
  • Supporting the scientific community through a helpdesk;
  • Encouraging the science exploitation of mission data products through archive use;
  • Contributing to the strategy for and promotion of the ESA Science Archives.
  • As a member of the science faculty, you will be expected to conduct independent research, based in particular on ESA archival data.

Technical competencies

  • Ability to lead disciplinary and inter-disciplinary groups of top experts
  • Science operations development, in particular regarding data management and archiving systems
  • Experience in interfacing with external parties, especially the scientific community and Principal Investigator teams
  • Breadth of exposure coming from past and/or current research/activities
  • Background in one or more of the following domains: solar systems science, astrophysics, space science (astrophysics, planetary and solar system), computer science
  • Broad knowledge of scientific discipline, including strategic vision of the area Planetary Science

Behavioural competencies

  • Result Orientation

  • Operational Efficiency

  • Fostering Cooperation

  • Relationship Management

  • Continuous Improvement

  • Forward Thinking

Applicants for this post should have a PhD or equivalent in planetary science, followed by at least five years’ research experience.

Additional requirements
Assets for this position include:

  • Experience in Agile and DevOps methodologies, Human Factors Engineering (UX design) and associated technologies and in their use in modern software engineering;
  • Experience with outreach activities.
  • Candidates should have:
  • the potential to manage individuals or a team of experts;
  • 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 their team’s performance, developing their 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;
  • a strong results 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 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.
Other information
For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.     

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.     
For more information on how to apply, please follow this link:

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Selection Deadline: 
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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