European Space Agency (ESA)

Scispace Team Leader

European Space Agency (ESA)

Job Description

Vacancy in the Directorate of Human & Robotic Exploration Programmes. ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. Applications from women are encouraged. Post SciSpacE Team Leader This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale. Location ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands Description SciSpacE Team Leader, Research and Payloads Group, Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration Programmes. Duties If successfully recruited to this post, you will, under the direct authority of the Group leader and with respect to delegated responsibilities and funds, be responsible for managing the ESA E3P science programme SciSpacE and the assigned resources. The SciSpacE programme covers a wide range of platforms and destinations, e.g. ground based research facilities, drop tower, parabolic flights, sounding rockets, ISS, Lunar Gateway and Moon. This position places a high emphasis on intense interaction and collaboration within the Research and Payloads Group, specifically the payloads development and utilisation planning teams, as well as with several other Directorate-internal organisational units. The “planning and delivering” is done by different teams, i.e. the utilisation planning team and the operational implementation teams. In carrying out your duties, you will be supported by and will manage a team of Science Coordinators, Project Scientists, Young Graduate staff and Internal Research Fellows and will supervise and coordinate the activities of the support services of the team. Duties and responsibilities include:
  • Managing the team workforce, ensuring a positive and motivating working environment; Distributing and assigning tasks to the team members, monitoring and managing performance and providing timely and regular feedback;

  • Maintaining and developing the expertise and technical competence of the team members to meet current and future strategic needs, taking due account of their motivation, aspirations and professional development;

  • Supporting the Group leader and working closely with the Research and Payloads Programme Coordinator in defining a mid- to long-term research strategy in close Coordination with the scientific community and with the member states as customers;

  • Preparing Science Management Plans and Announcements of Opportunity for open and targeted scientific and application-oriented research activities in full coordination with other Directorate-internal organisational units as required and appropriate;

  • Preparing and maintaining the science road maps and managing their short- and mid-term realisation acting as proxy of scientists in defining the end-to-end scientific requirements of individual experiments and payloads and documenting them in the Experiment Science Requirements Documents (ESR);

  • Organising and coordinating the project Scientist support to the payload development teams; Providing Project Scientist advice and guidance to the planning, integration and increment management functions;

  • Organising and coordinating the project Scientist support to commercial research and utilisation projects as needed;

  • Fostering cooperation with other agencies and research organisations;

  • Systematically monitoring, reporting and evaluating the scientific accomplishments of the research activities including, inter alia, ISS and non-ISS platforms;

  • Supporting the data archiving and dissemination activities;

  • Supporting the communication of outcomes from research activities of the Group to stakeholders and the general public;

  • Supporting the development of a cross-Agency community of scientists and, where feasible, actively pursuing high quality research;

  • Providing the Secretariat for relevant working groups of the ESA science advisory structure (PSWG, LSWG and others, or their successors;

  • Providing the overall coordination and monitoring of the Directorate Research Fellow recruitment campaigns and supporting D/HRE in the prioritisation of the RF activities, in coordination with the SCI/HRE Science and Exploration Senior Advisor (SCI-A) and related HR services.

Technical competencies Broad knowledge of scientific discipline, including strategic vision of the area Life & Physical science Knowledge of international scientific community Knowledge of (large) international Scientific Research collaborations, preferably using space-based techniques Knowledge of space projects, including instrumentation and operations Experience in supporting ESA programmes/projects and knowledge of their technical and programmatic requirements in relevant technical domains Project and technical management Leadership competencies Acting as a role model Fostering cooperation & effective team-working Developing & motivating people Driving performance Behavioural competencies Ambassadorship Communication Relationship Management Systems & Broader Business Thinking Teamwork Innovation & Creativity Education A PhD degree in a relevant scientific discipline is required. Additional requirements Applicants to this position should have a PhD in a related scientific area with experience of programme/Project Management. Emphasis in the selection is placed on sound knowledge of processes and challenges related to science management, space/science hardware development and human spaceflight. Further knowledge of, or experience of working in, space programmes of other national and/or international agencies is considered a strong asset. Applicants are required to have a high level of communication and negotiation skills as well as a proven capability to establish and maintain professional networks at all levels, a strong focus on outcomes and results and to be able to show their interest in innovation and creativity in research. Applicants are required to act as role models, should have experience in people management and be able to demonstrate skills such as fostering cooperation and creating a positive team spirit, integrating individual goals and opinions into a joint approach, motivating and developing academic professionals and driving performance. Proven experience in the area of scientific Programme Management, space/science hardware development and human spaceflight is required. In addition, candidates should have: •    the potential to manage individuals or a team •    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 •    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. Previous people management experience is an asset for the position, as is international experience, i.e. outside the candidate’s home country, as well as experience in diverse functional areas relevant to the activities of ESA. Experience in an international environment (i.e. outside of the candidate's home country) and/or in functional areas (e.g. research organisations or universities) relevant to the activities of ESA are also considered an asset for the post. 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. The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests. The closing date for applications is 13 September 2020. If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email 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 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. Recruitment will normally be at the first grade in the band (A2); however, if the candidate selected has little or no experience, the position may be filled at A1 level.
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