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Earth Observation Atmosphere Scientist

European Space Agency
Frascati, Italy
Posting live until
11 Apr 2024

Job Details

Earth Observation Atmosphere Scientist

Closing Date:  11 April 2024 23:59 CET/CEST

Vacancy Type:  Permanent

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.


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.

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


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 more information please click APPLY.

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


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.




Image credit: ESA/Science Office

We are the European Space Agency (ESA). Our mission is the peaceful exploration and use of space for the benefit of everyone. We watch over Earth, develop and launch inspiring and unique space projects, train astronauts and push the boundaries of science and technology, seeking answers to the big questions about the universe. We are a family of scientists, engineers and business professionals from all over Europe working together in a diverse and multinational environment. We are dedicated to united space in Europe and united Europe in space. 

Why work for us
Are you enthusiastic, curious, a team player and eager to work in an international setting? With its 22 Member States and more than 2700 staff members working across Europe in nine different locations, ESA is the only space agency of its kind and a unique place to work. Joining ESA means working together on pioneering missions in a diverse and friendly environment with great benefits as well as numerous services and activities provided on site.

Training and development
Once you become an ESA employee, you will have access to a wide range of courses on many different topics as well as the opportunity to exchange and network with experts and other colleagues.

Graduate schemes
There are six entry-level and research programmes open to students and recent graduates who are nationals of ESA Member States or Cooperating States:

  • Student Internships are open to students still enrolled at university. Priority is given to Master’s students, but Bachelor’s students can also apply. Applications open in November each year.
  • The Young Graduate Trainee Programme is open to recently graduated Master’s students. Applications open in February each year.
  • National Trainee Programmes are offered to Master’s graduates through bilateral agreements between ESA and certain participating countries. Selection rounds are announced and managed by those countries. 
  • The Junior Professional Programme is designed for Master’s graduates with 2–3 years of professional experience. Selections take place every three years with the next one planned for 2024/2025.
  • Researchers can apply to ESA for co-funding for space-related PhD and postdoc research activities. Apply all year round at
  • The Research Fellowship Programme accepts applications from postdocs. Vacancies are published throughout the year, except for the Research Fellowships in Space Science, which open for application in August each year.

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Who we are looking for
ESA offers a number of entry-level programmes targeting students (Master or PhD), recent graduates and young professionals alongside its vacancies for experienced professionals. One of them could be your path to space! In line with our core business as a space science and technology organization, most ESA staff positions are in engineering and scientific disciplines. However, we also recruit for the business support services that are essential in helping us to achieve our goals.

France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, UK

Number of employees

Main areas of research
All engineering and science disciplines related to the space sector are covered at ESA but also more. Check out our main website and our Science page to find out what we are doing. You may be surprised by the domains we cover and find something there for you too

Desired degree disciplines/class
The majority of professional roles at ESA require a Master as a minimum. For specific vacancies, a PhD may be necessary

How to apply
Apply online at

Closing date
Vacancies are regularly published on our recruiting website. Most standard vacancies remain open for three weeks from the date of publication, while vacancies for specific programmes are usually open for four weeks and roster positions remain open for several months

Tel +33 01 53 69 76 54

Company info
ESA Headquarters
8-10 rue Mario Nikis
CS 45741
75738 Paris Cedex 15

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