Information Systems Specialist

ESO - European Southern Observatory

Information Systems Specialist

ESO - European Southern Observatory

Garching, Germany

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries.

ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in northern Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor (home to ALMA), and the ESO Headquarters are located in Garching, near Munich, Germany.

At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, and will host and operate the southern array of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, the world's largest and most sensitive high energy gamma-ray observatory. ESO is a major partner in ALMA. On Cerro Armazones, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.

Due to the need for additional resources within the Directorate for Science at its Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany, ESO is advertising the position of Information Systems Specialist.

As part of the Library, Documentation, and Information Services (LDIS) Department, the Information Systems Specialist participates in all ongoing projects and develops, maintains, and further enhances the existing information systems. Applying new technologies in an evolving environment according to the needs of the ESO management and users, you will ensure the continued optimisation of the systems.

The LDIS Department enables access to information resources and scholarly communication tools, maintains the ESO telescope bibliography (telbib) software, develops productivity measures for projects and facilities, and provides ESO's DOI (Digital Object Identifier) infrastructure. In order to ensure this, open source software is pronominally applied.

The LDIS Department is also in charge of the organisation-wide product and document management system (PDM) which guarantees that ESO's documentation is up-to-date, accessible, preserved, and auditable. Working with the ESO Information Repository Manager, you will report opportunities for enhancements of current practices and implement solutions. Based on existing policies as well as feedback from users, and using your database experience in setting up and operating content management systems, you will document configuration changes and visualize them through appropriate systems. Using your expertise in classification systems, you will assist users in establishing department-specific repository workspaces and develop and apply routines for the efficient transfer of existing documents into the repository. With a strong focus on user requirements, you will develop supporting tools to manage the repository and to facilitate its use. You are one of the central contact points for repository users throughout the organisation.

The Information Systems Specialist identifies synergies between the library, repository, and other databases and implements data mappings and system integrations. You will also act as the Department's Artificial Intelligence (AI) liaison within ESO.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Maintain and further enhance the ESO telescope bibliography (telbib) software, develop additional modules as needed, derive complex statistics, visualize and document them regularly or upon request;
  • Manage and handle ESO's DOI (Digital Object Identifier) infrastructure and enable the deployment by new user groups at ESO;
  • Maintain various Library-administered tools (library catalog a.o.), build databases, develop and implement workflows as needed;
  • Interface with AI-related projects and working groups at ESO.


  • Operate and administer the ESO-wide repository (system configuration, user management and access rights, SQL queries, database views, data analysis for data cleaning);
  • Document the system configuration and create schematic and visual representations of the repository structure and of the document management workflows;
  • Identify opportunities for the implementation of data mappings between the repository and other relevant systems (ERP, CMMS, CAD repository), and follow up on progress;
  • Develop and apply routines for efficient migration of existing documents, as well as macros for the integration of incoming documents;
  • Implement dashboards using PowerBi or other relevant tools;
  • Troubleshoot problems in cooperation with IT and the software vendor;
  • Implement policies and procedures defined by the Information Repository Manager and the Stakeholders Committee;
  • Provide user assistance and helpdesk services to document controllers and general users;
  • Act as the deputy for the Information Repository Manager in case of absence, or as required.

The tasks are not limited to the above and a flexible approach and willingness to adapt are required. Opportunities for project work will be available.

Reports to:

Head of the LDIS Department and Information Repository Manager.

Key Competences and Experience:

Essential Competences and Experience

  • Proven expertise in database administration, programming languages and indexing tools, in particular SQL, PHP and VBA;
  • Proven knowledge in the configuration and operation of Information and Content Management Systems;
  • Excellent command of MS Office suite, in particular the creation of VBA macros in Excel and Word;
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a small team, and in a timely manner;
  • Excellent analytical and technical skills;
  • Systematic and structured way of working with a prominent quality mindset and attention to detail;
  • Solution-oriented and service-driven;
  • Self-directed, highly motivated, and interested in further developing existing systems to enable more efficient use;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Ability to work in an international, fast-paced environment;
  • Experience in user support and helpdesk activities;
  • Flexible approach and willingness to adapt.

Desirable Competences and Experience

  • Knowledge of Sybase and Oracle databases;
  • Experience with document management systems and their administration;
  • Experience with Python and Apache/Solr;
  • Familiarity with Symfony web application framework.


Bachelor degree in library and information sciences, records management, documentation, or equivalent diploma and three years' of relevant experience.

Language skills:

Excellent command of the English language - oral, reading and writing - is essential. Knowledge of Spanish would be an asset.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary, comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family and support to place your child/children in daycare.

Our Salary Structure

ESO's salary structure is based upon a range of career paths which reflect the nature and level of our jobs. Each career path is made up of two or three grades which are used to further reflect experience.

Please follow this attached link for more details

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance ( between their professional and private life. ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support (, creating a work environment and policies which allow staff to balance their professional and private responsibilities through flexible working arrangements and financial support for families.

The contract is for a fixed term duration of three years and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. There may be a possibility of extension(s) subject to individual performance and organisational requirements, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For any further information, please visit ESO's conditions of employment. Please note that the contract policy and in particular the regulations concerning fixed-term and indefinite contracts are currently under review which may lead to changes in the contractual conditions applicable to this position.

Duty Station: The position is based in Garching near Munich, Germany, with occasional duty trips.
Career Path: IV


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online. Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV. Within your CV, please provide the names and contact details of three persons familiar with your work and willing to provide a recommendation letter upon request. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.

Closing date for applications is 24 July 2024.

ESO Values:

An important element in any successful employment relationship is harmony in values between an organisation and its people.

The ESO Values are

ESO strives for excellence through innovation.

ESO provides outstanding services to its communities.

ESO fosters diversity & inclusion.

ESO believes in the key role of sustainability for its future.

Achieving the above are recognized as only possible on the basis of personal values and attitudes that we expect from our employees: respect, integrity, accountability, commitment, collaboration, and clear & open communication.

Applicants to any ESO role are asked to reflect on their affinity with these values and advised they may be asked about them if called for interview.


ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. Please visit for further details.


No nationality is in principle excluded from employment at ESO, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of our Member States, host states and strategic partners: Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Chile, irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion.

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