ESO - European Southern Observatory

IT 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.

For its IT Department in the IT Group in Garching, within the Directorate of Engineering, ESO is opening an International Staff Member position of IT Specialist.

Profile I:

The ESO Microsoft Environment plays a key role in the overall efficiency of the Organisation from Active Directory Services, Azure, M365 and Microsoft Teams.

After finishing your university degree in computer science or equivalent, you have specialized in Microsoft Technologies. In addition, you have gained several years of general IT experience in the administration of Microsoft Exchange, client management and Windows Servers. You already have experience in Microsoft Intune, Hypervisor management, Powershell and managing backup and recovery solutions.

Initially you will be made responsible for the Microsoft infrastructure providing support to the current Microsoft Subject Matter Expert and your peers.

Profile II:

The ESO Web is an important communication medium for the Organisation. Over the years it has evolved to a diverse mix of static and dynamic content that provides information, data and services to ESO Staff, the ESO scientific community, science users and to the general public.

After finishing your university degree in computer science or equivalent, you have specialized in Web Services and/or Web Content Management Systems. You have gained several years of general IT experience in the administration of Linux/Unix Servers, Web/Application Servers and the configuration of monitoring systems. You already have experience in IT Security and certificates, identity management and server automation and orchestration.

Initially you will be made responsible for the ESO Web infrastructure providing support to the current Web Subject Matter Expert and your peers.

Depending on your profile and skillset, additional responsibility will follow, as your knowledge and experience of the ESO technologies and environment increases. Ultimately you will control the evolution of the IT Services, considering changes, improvements, upgrades or obsolescence. You define and agree the regular reviews of the IT Services and document this in the operational level agreements with internal stakeholders.

You will also have an independent and autonomous way of working paired with team spirit and initial project coordination experience.

Is there anything else which qualifies you for this job? Just let us know!


A first level University degree (Bachelor) in any IT discipline (e.g. Computing) or equivalent degree.

Language Skills:

An excellent command of the English language - oral, reading and writing - is essential. A working knowledge of German and/or Spanish would be an advantage.

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 and career structure:

ESO's salary structure is based upon a range of career paths which reflect the nature and level of our roles. Each career path is made up of two or three grades which are used to further reflect experience and performance. The role of IT Specialist is in Career Path V. Please follow this 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.

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: Garching near Munich, Germany with occasional duty trips to Chile.


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.

Deadline for applications is 9 September 2024.

We have scheduled the initial interviews for end of September.

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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