ALMA Regional Centre Astronomer

Job Summary

Tenure and Tenure-track Faculty Positions
European Southern Observatory
Number of Positions Available
Work Arrangement

Job Description

ALMA, the world’s largest and most powerful astronomical facility to date, produces scientific data at a rate of 1TB per day. To ensure an efficient use of this data by the scientific community and to maximise the output of the facility, the ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) department at ESO provides the interface between the European ALMA Users Community and the ALMA observatory in Chile. It promotes and provides support of the highest standards to the ALMA user community and to ALMA observatory global operations. It ensures the delivery of quality-assured, high-quality data products for principal investigators and archive users, and contributes to the operations of the facility.

The ARC at ESO is looking for an astronomer with a strong research profile in radio and/or millimetre astronomy. As a member of the ESO ARC and of the ESO Faculty, you will be given the opportunity to interact with other researchers at ESO and contribute to ESO’s diverse scientific life. You should demonstrate scientific drive and vision to conduct high-impact independent research. Furthermore, you should have a strong interest in maximising ALMA’s scientific output by leading operations support and user support tasks. As the ARC astronomer you will contribute to core ARC duties, in particular quality assurance, in coordination with colleagues at the ESO ARC, the European ARC network and the other ALMA partners, as well as to tasks leading to the optimisation of science operations. Expertise areas that are currently under-represented among the ESO faculty are encouraged. For an overview of the science expertise in Garching see here

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Play a key role in the ALMA processes targeting the optimisation of the scientific products that come out of this world-leading facility; this task includes, but is not limited to, co-managing both manual and pipeline data reduction runs, overseeing reprocessing efforts and contributing to the pipeline weblog review process and its optimisation;
  • Perform general ARC duties, including answering Helpdesk tickets, contributing to testing of tools and playing a proactive role in the improvement of user documentation;
  • Undertaking Astronomer-on-Duty shifts in Chile;
  • Constructively work together with other ARC staff and ALMA operations staff around the globe;
  • As a member of the ESO Astronomy Faculty, you will be expected and encouraged to conduct a strong personal research programme and to participate actively in the scientific life of ESO and interact with other parts of the wider organisation;
  • The tasks are not limited to the above and a flexible approach and willingness and capability to adapt is required.

Reports to:

The post holder reports to the Head of the ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) Department. The ARC is a department of currently 13 highly skilled and motivated staff and is part of the ESO ALMA Support Centre (EASC) division.

Key Competences and Experience:

Essential Competences and Experience

  • Active astronomical research at least at postdoctoral level with a solid publication record and continuing high-impact research activity in astronomy;
  • Practical experience with astronomical radio/millimetre observing techniques and data analysis;
  • Excellent cross-disciplinary communication skills, both oral and written;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a team, have an eagerness to contribute to team performance, and a positive approach toward building links across teams in an international multi-cultural environment;
  • Pro-active approach to contribute ideas for improvement and future developments;
  • Flexibility in adapting to changes of requirements and priorities as well as of assignments;
  • Good time management and prioritisation skills;
  • Open and friendly attitude to interact with a variety of users.

Desirable Competences and Experience

  • Work experience with Python and CASA;
  • Experience with advanced interferometric or single-dish data techniques.


Essential educational level: PhD in Astronomy, Physics or equivalent.

Language skills:

Excellent working knowledge of English.

Remuneration and Contract:

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

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 initially 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 and the ESO Astronomy Charter. 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 ESO/ALMA sites in Chile.

Career Path: V


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

Apply online at Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter, CV containing a publication list and a research statement. You should also provide the names and contact details of three referees familiar with your work and willing to provide a reference letter. Referees will be automatically invited to submit their letter, however, applicants are strongly advised to trigger these invitations (using the web application form) well in advance of the application deadline.

Deadline for applications is 10 January 2023.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

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.


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.

Application Details

Publication Start Date
2022 Nov 12
Application Deadline
2023 Jan 10


Human Resources