Earth Observation Atmosphere Scientist

Updated: 2 months ago

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 .

ESRIN, Frascati, Italy 


You will report to the Head of the Science Section in the Green Solutions Division within the Climate, Sustainability and Science Department of the Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.

The Science Section is a dynamic R&D team leading Earth Observation (EO) and Earth system and climate science in partnership with European and international scientific groups. Our goal is to foster scientific excellence and maximise the scientific impacts of EO and ESA missions in terms of new methods, novel products, and breakthroughs in Earth system science, opening the door to new science-based solutions for society and future observation systems.

Visit our web site for an overview of our activities and science clusters ( ).

You will lead the Atmosphere Science activities in the team responsible for coordinating the Atmosphere Science Clusters ( ) setting up and implementing a scientific agenda to develop the next generation of EO atmosphere products, advancing atmosphere and climate sciences and establishing a solid basis for novel applications and future mission concepts.

As an EO Atmosphere Scientist, you will also lead the Atmosphere Science Team at the Earth System Science Hub, a new science laboratory at ESA and a centre for networking and scientific collaboration among world-class researchers in ESA Member States (MS) and worldwide.

In the execution of your tasks, you will work in close cooperation with other staff of the Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.


Your main tasks will include:

  • managing the ESA Atmosphere Science Cluster, including the coordination of a broad set of advanced studies to develop the next generation of atmospheric observations, novel EO-based products, science results and future applications;
  • developing and maintaining an Atmosphere Science agenda through continuous dialogue and consultation with the Atmosphere Science community;
  • managing ESA studies to develop the next generation of atmospheric retrieval methods, algorithms, data products and EO-based science solutions and supporting transfer to operational contexts;
  • managing ESA advanced studies addressing major gaps in understanding of the role of the atmosphere in the Earth and climate system;
  • supporting the preparations for the scientific exploitation of the upcoming ESA atmospheric missions, including the next Sentinel expansion and Sentinel NG missions, with a focus on synergistic and innovative aspects beyond single mission goals and capabilities;
  • leading the development of dedicated open science tools and virtual labs supporting atmosphere remote sensing and collaborative science;
  • fostering international scientific collaboration in atmospheric research through partnerships with major international scientific groups and partners worldwide, including EUMETSAT, ECMWF and partner space agencies;
  • leading the atmospheric activities of the ESA Science Hub in collaboration with visiting scientist and supervising internal and external research fellows maximising the scientific impact of the team in scientific publications;
  • supporting scientific outreach, communication and advanced education activities fostering the promotion of ESA scientific results, particularly within the younger generation of scientists.

Technical competencies

Proven knowledge of atmospheric science and the related EO methods and missions

Proven knowledge of Earth system and climate science and its related applications, with a focus on the atmospheric domain

Knowledge of data intensive science, digital technology and platforms applied to EO and Earth system sciences

Knowledge of the relevant scientific communities, latest results and advances, international and European programmes and initiatives

Project management, communication and reporting

ESA Earth Observation missions and programmes

Behavioural competencies

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


A PhD in a relevant discipline such as atmospheric remote-sensing, atmospheric science, meteorology, climate, engineering, Earth science, computer science or data science is required for this post.

Additional requirements

You should also have:

  • the ability to interface with the scientific community, international partners and external scientific and industrial actors involved in ESA activities;
  • excellent communication skills, both oral and written;
  • strong problem-solving skills to deal with day-to-day challenges;
  • a strong result orientation with the ability to set priorities and present practical solutions;
  • the ability to manage challenging situations proactively and constructively, with demonstrated planning and organisational skills;
  • the potential to manage or supervise interns and young graduate trainees, with the ability to organise their activities and ensure a motivating work environment.

The following will be considered assets:

  • knowledge of geomagnetism, ionospheric research, space weather and atmospheric modelling;
  • experience in the management and monitoring of research and development activities;
  • at least four years of experience in relevant remote sensing data science and/or applications development and/or other relevant research;
  • international experience gained 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.     

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, 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 Cooperating States.

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