Full time Offered Salary : $5,000.00 - $7,000.00 / Monthly

Science Operations Development Manager

  • Spain, Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain, 64293 View on Map
  • @ESA posted 2 months ago
  • Views 122
  • Posted Date : 25/03/2024
  • Last Date : 08/04/2024
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Job Description

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. 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.

This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.


ESAC, Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain



The European Space Agency maintains a world-leading Science Programme with missions in heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics and fundamental physics. Its mission is to “Empower Europe to lead space science”.

The Science and Operations Department (SCI-S) within 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 operation systems for the missions and operates the missions in space, as well as archiving and curating their data during operations and beyond. Its main objective is to maximise the scientific output of the missions for the benefit of humankind.

You will be assigned as Science Operations Development Manager, initially for the EnVision mission, and will lead a team of experts to develop its Science Operations Centre. You will report to the Head of the Science Operations Development Division (SCI-SD), working in a collaborative environment alongside teams developing science operations systems for all ESA science missions.

EnVision will be the first mission to investigate Venus from its inner core to its upper atmosphere, characterising the interaction between its various envelopes: its atmosphere, surface/subsurface and interior. The mission will aim to provide a holistic view of Venus, studying the planet’s history, activity and climate. EnVision is targeting a launch in the early 2030s.



You will be responsible for the definition, design and implementation of the EnVision Science Operations Centre, ESA’s contribution to the EnVision Science Ground Segment, with the goal of maximising the scientific return of the mission.

The Science Operations Centre, based at ESAC in Madrid, Spain, is responsible for science planning, data processing and archiving activities. The Mission Operations Centre, based at ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany, is responsible for all spacecraft operations.

You will work in close collaboration with the EnVision Project Scientist, the EnVision Project Team at ESTEC in the Netherlands, the Mission Operations Centre at ESOC in Germany, and the EnVision Principal Investigator teams delivering components of the Science Ground Segment with their payload instruments.

Your tasks and responsibilities will include:

  • leading the design, implementation and testing of the ESA-funded elements of the science operations system for the EnVision mission;
  • delivering a functional science operations system for EnVision in accordance with the required mission milestones and reviews within cost and schedule;
  • managing the EnVision Science Operations team based at ESAC;
  • planning, coordinating and supervising all preparatory activities relating to the operation of the Science Operations Centre and leading the transition to the operations phase;
  • maximising the scientific return from the mission in line with the Project Scientist’s established requirements;
  • liaising with the Project Manager, the Project Scientist, the Spacecraft Operations Manager
  • and the Principal Investigator teams in support of the above activities;
  • participating in reviews for other projects within the Directorate of Science as appropriate and contributing to managerial activities across the Department.

You will also be responsible for identifying, assessing, managing and reporting the health and safety risks in your area of responsibility.


Technical competencies

  • Experience in project management including delivery of complex projects within cost and schedule
  • Experience in coordinating internal/external stakeholders on scientific projects
  • Experience in managing teams, preferably in the scientific and/or engineering context
  • Experience in space mission operations
  • Knowledge of space projects, including instrumentation and operations

Behavioural competencies

  • Result Orientation
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Fostering Cooperation
  • Relationship Management
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Forward Thinking


A master’s degree in space sciences or engineering is required for this post.

Additional requirements

You should further have:

  • the potential to manage individuals or a team of experts in a relevant field;
  • the ability to organise individual and team  activities and ensure a motivating work environment;
  • strong leadership capabilities, with proven relationship management and communication skills;
  • the ability to drive your team’s performance, developing your 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;
  • 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.

For further information please visit: Professionals, What we offer and FAQ

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.

Applicants must be eligible to access technology and hardware which is subject to European and US export control regulations.

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 contact.human.resources@esa.int.



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, Slovakia and Slovenia.

According to the ESA Convention, the recruitment of staff must take into account an adequate distribution of posts among nationals of the ESA Member States*. When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to internal candidates and secondly to external candidates from under-represented Member States*.

In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment conducted by an external background screening service.

In principle, recruitment will be within the advertised grade band (A2-A4). However, if the selected candidate has less than four years of relevant professional experience following the completion of the master’s degree, the position may be filled at A1 level.

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperat

Don’t forget to mention SEAC-Careers when applying.

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