Document Control Assistant

ESO - European Southern Observatory

Document Control Assistant

ESO - European Southern Observatory

Garching, Germany

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries.

ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in northern Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor (home to ALMA), and the ESO Headquarters are located in Garching, near Munich, Germany.

At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, and will host and operate the southern array of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, the world's largest and most sensitive high energy gamma-ray observatory. ESO is a major partner in ALMA. On Cerro Armazones, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky" and whose operations will be fully integrated into the Paranal Observatory.

Due to the need for additional resources associated with the ELT programme, The Directorate of Programmes, ELT Programme Office, is advertising the position of Document Control Assistant.

In your role as document control assistant you will be contributing to the work of the team responsible for the management of more than 5000 business critical documents per year. This is a crucial role as accurate, timely and efficient management of project documents is vital for the success of the programme. You will be expected to work effectively in a team but at the same time to work independently exercising problem-solving skills with responsibility for your own area of work. Although playing a supporting role in the active Management of documentation related to the programme, you will work under the guidance of the ELT Programme and System Engineers in managing the document archive and the product configuration repositories of the ELT Programme. You will have to ensure that they are updated and accessible by the users whilst meeting required standards of accuracy, quality and integrity and enforce the documentation and configuration management processes as defined within the Programme.

You will be playing a critical role as ESO develops the ELT, our revolutionary ground-based telescope that will have a 39-metre main mirror and will be the largest visible and infrared light telescope in the world: the world's biggest eye on the sky. It will be equipped with a lineup of cutting-edge instruments, designed to cover a wide range of scientific possibilities. The leap forwards with the ELT can lead to a paradigm shift in our perception of the Universe, much as Galileo's telescope did 400 years ago. Be part of this vision!

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Support the administration of the ELT document archive through the ESO Product Data Management tool (PDM) by generating and maintaining folder structures and updating metadata and populating the folders according to the Programme evolution;
  • Perform quality control of documents, in particular checking the correctness of reference documents/versions, that the proper standard templates and lifecycles are used and that the configuration control rules relevant for documentation management are observed;
  • Support the tasks related to the management of the ELT product configuration, by keeping the repositories updated with the relevant information;
  • Work in strict co-operation with the Work Package Managers, the Systems Engineering Team and the team of ELT Document Controllers to ensure that the ESO documentation for procurements as well as the documentation provided by contractors is correctly stored in the ESO PDM system;
  • Support the team of ELT Document Controllers in the update and implementation of Contract Data Lists (CDL) for procurements;
  • Support the Work Package Managers and the team of ELT Document Controllers in the processing and archiving of the documentation submitted by contractors or consortia ensuring it complies with the ELT documentation management requirements;
  • Provide user support to ELT staff ensuring that ELT document archive is effectively used;
  • Ensure that the documents go through a traceable and approved release process before being archived;
  • Coordinate with the ESO Information Repository Manager and System Administrator user licenses, access groups and access profiles.

Reports to:

ELT Programme Engineer.

Key Competences and Experience:

Essential Competences and Experience:

  • A very good knowledge and experience of MS Office Suite, in particular Excel, of Adobe Acrobat pdf and of electronic signature requirements is essential;
  • Some working knowledge of Product Data Management (PDM) tools and Engineering/Procurement/Construction/Commissioning documents is required;
  • Applicants should be detail-oriented, well-structured;
  • Applicants should be able to work in a fast-paced and deadline driven environment;
  • Excellent communication skills with a high degree of diplomacy when interacting with users are required;
  • Ability to build and maintain positive service-oriented relationships with users and staff from various professional disciplines;
  • Ability to adapt to changing procedures and to proactively identify ways to optimise current processes;
  • Ability to rapidly acquire and process information from the various stakeholders and adapt to ESO specific context and environment including ESO's matrix structure.

Desirable Competences and Experience:

  • Good knowledge of Spanish and/or German is an advantage;
  • Familiarity with BlueCielo Kronodoc environment;
  • Having worked in multicultural scientific organisations;
  • Familiarity with the field of database and/or information management;
  • Familiarity with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools;
  • Proficient with ad-hoc administrative support tasks;
  • Ability to work both independently and as a team member and in a timely manner;
  • Experience in configuration management is highly desirable.


  • Bachelor degree ideally in a relevant subject (records management, technical writing, documentation, library and/or information sciences), or completed secondary education supported by relevant practical experience and evidence of continuous professional development;
  • At least 2 years of experience in the management of technical documentation (ideally in the fields of Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Commissioning, Operations), using an electronic documentation management system.

Language skills:

The position requires an excellent command of written and verbal English. Additional knowledge of another European Language such as Spanish and or German would be an advantage.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary, comprehensive health insurance, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family and support to place your child/children in daycare.

Our Salary Structure:

ESO's salary structure is based upon a range of career paths which reflect the nature and level of our jobs. Each career path is made up of two or three grades which are used to further reflect experience.

Please follow this attached link for more details

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance ( between their professional and private life. ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support (, creating a work environment and policies which allow staff to balance their professional and private responsibilities through mobile and flexible working arrangements and financial support for families.

This position is offered as a temporary Paid Associate.

The initial contract is for a fixed term duration of one year with the possibility of a fixed-term extension of one further year (i.e up to two years maximum), subject to individual performance and organisational requirements and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For further information, please visit

Duty Station: Garching near Munich, Germany
Career Path: III


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online. Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV. Within your CV, please provide the names and contact details of three persons familiar with your work and willing to provide a recommendation letter upon request. Referees will not be contacted without your prior consent.

Deadline for applications is 5th March 2024.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

ESO Values:

An important element in any successful employment relationship is harmony in values between an organisation and its people.

The ESO Values are:

ESO strives for excellence through innovation.

ESO provides outstanding services to its communities.

ESO fosters diversity & inclusion.

ESO believes in the key role of sustainability for its future.

Achieving the above are recognized as only possible on the basis of personal values and attitudes that we expect from our employees: respect, integrity, accountability, commitment, collaboration, and clear & open communication.

Applicants to any ESO role are asked to reflect on their affinity with these values and advised they may be asked about them if called for interview.


ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. Please visit for further details.

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