See job eligibility requirements: Ocean and Hydrology Earth Observation Scientist

European Space Agency (ESA)

Noordwijk, Netherlands 🇳🇱

Job Req ID:  12702

Closing Date:  12 December 2021

Publication:  Internal & External

Vacancy Type:  Permanent

Date Posted:  19 November 2021

Vacancy in the Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.

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.

ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands  


Scientist in the Earth Surfaces and Interior Section of the Earth and Mission Science Division of the Science, Applications and Climate Department, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.


You will report to the Head of the Earth Surfaces and Interior Section in the Earth and Mission Science Division and your main tasks and responsibilities will be:

  • Providing mission science and scientific support: to ensure the payload and end-to-end system designs fulfil mission requirements during preparation of new mission ideas and concepts; during the development and implementation of approved missions; and for in-orbit commissioning and operations phase calibration/validation activities;
  • Establishing, maintaining and convening international advisory groups related to Earth observation missions; initiating and conducting in-house and external scientific studies supporting mission development and implementation, geophysical algorithm development and related research activities; and organising mission-specific science workshops and conferences;
  • Providing scientific support and advice to Earth observation mission teams across the FutureEO, Earth Watch, Copernicus and Operational Meteorology programmes; and maintaining external interfaces with the European Commission and Eumetsat with respect to the corresponding advisory structures;
  • Supporting the identification and critical review of scientific challenges, EO user community requirements, and the interests and aspirations of those communities;
  • Managing the implementation of independent peer review of mission ideas and concept proposals in response to Agency calls, and the preparation of evaluation reports;
  • Communicating research results in connection with ESA’s Earth observation missions, and acting as an ESA ambassador at relevant events such as scientific conferences and during user consultations;
  • Preparing, managing, and monitoring external scientific study contracts and related Key Performance Indicators and quarterly reporting.

You will be expected to work closely with the Future Systems, Projects, and Mission Management and Ground Segments Departments to perform delegated activities requiring the Earth Surfaces and Interior Section’s scientific expertise and personnel support.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of scientific discipline, including strategic vision of Earth Observation ocean and hydrology missionsKnowledge of ESA Earth surfaces missions under study or implementationKnowledge of the role of mission science during different mission phasesKnowledge of the relevant Earth Observation scientific user community

Behavioural competencies

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


A PhD in ocean and/or hydrology remote sensing-based Earth science domains is required for this post.

Additional requirements

The applicant shall have proven Earth Observation based research experience and credibility (at least 5 years) in ocean and hydrology remote sensing-based Earth science domains. The applicant shall be familiar with current and future planned satellite missions including active/passive instruments and plans within ESA and the relevant international programmes. Particular importance will be attached to your capabilities to work closely withinternational experts, relevant scientifi c organisations and bodies, function in a team environment and, familiarity with theprogrammatic outlook in the ESA Earth Explorer, Earth Watch and Copernicus domains.

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.

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 [email protected].


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 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.