Organization: ESA – European Space Agency

Location: Frascati (Italy)

Grade: A2/A4 – Grade band – Mid level

Closing Date: 2020-03-09



Earth Observation Data Scientist in the Φ-Lab Explore Office, Φ-Lab Division, Future Systems Department, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.


Reporting to the Head of Office, you will support the development of  innovative Earth observation applications and missions fostering use of new digital technologies such as artificial intelligence.

You will be part of an open, collaborative, multi-disciplinary team based in the Φ-lab at ESRIN working in active collaboration with colleagues across ESA, as well as with diverse research communities and new players in the private sector and start-up ecosystems.

Your duties will include:

  • exploring the fields of big data analytics and AI applied to EO, by defining and managing demonstration/exploratory studies and projects to be competitively tendered and executed by industry and research organisations in ESA Member States, including the preparation of technical specifications and statements of work for the above studies and projects;
  • strengthening links with the scientific community experienced in AI and big data analytics, facilitating seminars, workshops, boot camps, etc;
  • establishing dialogues with emerging information technology players and start-ups to use their tools and know-how to benefit selected Earth science/applications topics;
  • supporting rapid prototyping and benchmarking of innovative EO-based solutions using AI and other innovative IT;
  • supporting development of a suite of AI-for-EO (AI4EO) challenges including data preparation;
  • providing some AI-related technical support and guidance to the Φ-lab team.
Technical competencies
Knowledge of EO products, applications and market sectors
Computer science including Artificial Intelligence technologies
“NewSpace” technologies, methods and markets
Behavioural competencies
Problem Solving
Self Motivation
Innovation & Creativity

A Master’s degree or equivalent in relevant disciplines, e.g. engineering, computer science, applied physics, data science is required.

Additional requirements
  • A PhD in a relevant field will be a strong asset
  • Knowledge of geospatial big data analytics techniques
  • Experience in programming in several languages e.g. Python, R, JavaScript
  • Knowledge of machine learning techniques and tools
  • A research record in the AI field is an asset
  • An ability to think outside the box and explore new avenues with natural curiosity and a passion for new subjects and research areas

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.

The closing date for applications is 9 March 2020.

If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email [email protected].

More information is available here


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