Job Details

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Programme Controller

Garching bei München, Oberbayern, Germany, € 60000 - 117000 Per Year, Contract


This is an excellent opportunity for professionals who have experience in programme/project control and project management within scientific projects and who wish to play a key role in large international projects. You will become part of the Programme Planning and Control Office within the Directorate of Programmes.

You will be responsible for supporting several Programme and Project Managers within the Directorate of Programmes and Directorate of Engineering with all activities related to budget preparation, schedule management, controlling, risk management, performance management, reporting, project management processes and administrative functions for the development of complex state of the art unique projects. The postholder is expected to work in close collaboration with the various Programme and Project Managers, to advise them on ways to optimize the utilization of the assigned budget and mitigate critical paths within the relevant schedules.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Preparing project/programme budgets and consolidating resource plans;
  • Managing project/programme fund commitments, performing budget implementation and year-end closure exercises;
  • Maintaining project/programme procurement plans in close collaboration with Finance and Contracts and Procurement departments;
  • Supporting the preparation of ESO's long term financial plan (this includes medium/long term affordability analysis and scenario analysis);
  • Monitoring the performances (cost, schedule, risks) of both ESO internal activities and contracts under the supervision of the relevant Programme/Project Manager. This includes application of Earned Value Management techniques, development of ad-hoc KPIs and Scorecards;
  • Supporting the preparation of Call for Tender packages and the negotiation process with selected bidders;
  • Maintaining the detailed programmes/projects schedules in close collaboration with the Programme/Project Managers (this includes schedule roll-up, critical path analysis, cross dependencies monitoring, milestones trend analysis);
  • Delivering a variety of financial and programmatics reports to the relevant programmes/projects stakeholders;
  • Contributing to the preparation of reports dedicated to ESO's governing bodies;
  • Maintaining Planning and Controlling best practices and ensure related implementation across ESO projects;
  • Supporting Risk Management process within the Department of Programmes (this includes regular update of a risk register, cost and schedule impact analysis, Monte Carlo simulation).

The duties for this position are not limited to the above and a flexible approach together with a strong capacity to adapt is essential.

Reports to:

Head of Programme Planning and Control.

Key Competences and Experience:

Essential Competences and Experience:

  • At least five years of working experience in a similar function with deep involvement in project/programme control and project management preferably in the context of scientific projects;
  • Budgeting, cost control, scheduling and resources planning;
  • Project and risk management;
  • Solid knowledge of ERP (Enterprises Resources Planning) and project planning/scheduling tools (e.g. Open Plan, MS Project, etc);
  • Proficient Microsoft Office skills (incl. advanced Excel);
  • Capacity to analyse a large amount of data and use them to draw conclusions and perform detailed assessments/reports.
  • Strong negotiations skills to be able to work across teams both inside and outside ESO
  • Strong multi-tasking and organizational and time-management skills with ability to prioritize own activities;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and good teamworking skills;
  • Ability to rapidly acquire and process information from the various projects stakeholders and adapt to ESO specific context and environment including ESO's matrix structure.

Desirable Competences and Experience:

  • Experience as user of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Deltek Open Plan and Atlassian JIRA would be an asset;
  • Pro-active approach to contribute ideas for improvement and future developments;
  • Ability to and experience of working efficiently within an international and multi-cultural environment both independently and within a team.


A Master's degree in engineering or other relevant field is required. A bachelor's degree in the subjects mentioned above may be accepted in lieu of master's degree with at least three years additional professional experience.

Language skills:

A very good command of the English language - verbal, reading and writing is essential and a working knowledge of Spanish would be an advantage.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary, comprehensive pension scheme and medical, 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 https://www.eso.org/public/jobs/conditions/intstaff/salary-structure/

ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance (https://www.eso.org/public/jobs/conditions/intstaff/#work-life-balance) between their professional and private life. ESO is also committed to offering family-friendly support (https://www.eso.org/public/jobs/conditions/intstaff/#family-friendly-support), creating a work environment and policies which allow staff to balance their professional and private responsibilities through flexible and mobile working arrangements and financial support for families.

The contract is for a fixed term duration of three years and is subject to successful completion of the probation period. There may be a possibility of extension(s) subject to individual performance and organisational requirements, and as defined in the applicable policies and staff rules and regulations. For any further information, please visit ESO's conditions of employment (https://www.eso.org/public/jobs/conditions/). Please note that the contract policy and in particular the regulations concerning fixed-term and indefinite contracts are currently under review which may lead to changes in the contractual conditions applicable to this position.

Duty Station:

ESO Headquarters at Garching, near Munich. To execute the listed functions, some short term business trips to Chile might be required.

Career Path: V


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit http://www.eso.org for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at http://jobs.eso.org/. 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 17 March 2024.

Job Details

Full Time
Garching bei München, Oberbayern, Germany
€ 60000 - 117000 Per Year