Gaia Vacancies


15/02/2019 Opening for a software developer in the Gaia Barcelona research team

The Gaia team of the Universitat de Barcelona (IEEC – ICCUB) is one of the main contributors from the begining of the concept and design of the Gaia space mission for the European Space Agency (ESA). Our team has a leading role in simulations and data processing of astrometric and photometric data from the Gaia satellite. The team is composed by experts in science, engineering, technology and data analysis to develop and operate data processing software for a big volume of data, validation and scientific exploitation. Our team is responsible of the Barcelona Data Processing Center, located in the Marenostrum supercomputer.

Employment Type:

  • Work in a leading research project at European level (ESA).
  • Tasks will be, depending on position: programming, data analysis, new scientific/statistical algorithms development, support/administration of systems of virtual computation…
  • Possibility of promotion and joining other projects.
  • Full time contract (possibility of part time).
  • Flexible schedule.

Selection Criteria (We have several open posts in the team):

  • Java programming.
  • Python will be a plus.
  • Highly motivated people to work in a multidisciplinary environment in a leading research at an international level.
  • B.Sc. or MSc finished (or pending only of final thesis) in Engineering (preferably informatics), mathematics, physics or similar.
  • Experience in Linux environments. Shell scripting.
  • Good English level (B2 minim).
  • For one of the posts knowledge/experience in Hadoop, Spark, Big Data and Data Mining will be a plus.

Salary range: Between 17 and 25k€ depending on qualifications.

Contact: Jordi Portell (jportell @

28/11/2018 Opening for a Gaia DPAC postdoc position at Leiden Observatory

The postdoc position will focus on crowded field (spectro-)photometric data processing for the Gaia mission. Specifically, the work will result in algorithms and code, to be integrated into the DPAC processing pipeline, for the combination of repeated observations of blended sources in order to disentangle the overlapping Blue and Red Photometer prism spectra. The work will be guided by insights gained from a limited set of full frame images of crowded fields obtained with Gaia's Skymapper CCDs through the Service Interface Function (SIF).

The successful candidate will work under supervision of Anthony Brown and join the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC). The work will be embedded in Coordination Unit 5 (CU5, photometry) of DPAC, where frequent interaction is foreseen with the other DPAC coordination units and with the working group analysing the SIF images. In addition a fraction of the time will be spent on supporting the catalogue validation activities of the Gaia group at Groningen University.

Leiden Observatory is the oldest university astronomy department in the world and the largest astronomy department in the Netherlands. Leiden is a charming university town with an international flair, located near Amsterdam.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in astronomy, physics, computer science, or mathematics by the starting date. Applicants experienced in the reduction of crowded field photometric data and in software development, particularly in Java, have a clear advantage.

The appointment is for a period of three years and comes with full benefits and a competitive salary. The anticipated start date of the appointment is March 1 2019 or soon thereafter.

Applications should be submitted electronically at and should include a curriculum vitae, publication list, a brief statement of relevant experience and research interests. The application should arrange for at least two letters of reference to be uploaded. The position remains open until filled (more info).


ESA funding sources

Research Fellowships
ESA's Postdoctoral Research Fellowship programme is aimed at providing young scientists and engineers, holding a doctorate or the equivalent, with the means of doing research in space science and space applications. The Fellowships are open to nationals of ESA Member States and Canada (associated member). Fellows are hosted at one of the ESA establishments. All Fellowships in ESA's Science Support Office (SRE-S) at ESTEC belong to this category. More details are available from the Research Fellowship website.
Young Graduate Trainees
ESA's Young Graduate Trainee (YGT) programme offers recently graduated men and women, a one-year non-renewable training contract designed to give valuable work experience and to prepare for future employment in the space industry and/or research. More details are available from the ESA website.
Student placements
ESA's Internship Programme assists young people within its Member States interested in space and related areas. It helps them to meet their university requirements to carry out an internship as part of their degree course, and promotes their academic and professional development by placing them under the guidance of experienced professionals. More details are available from the ESA website.

General funding sources

European Commission: The Marie Curie Actions
In the Framework Programme of the Human Resources and Mobility initiative the European Commission provides funding to researchers and research organisations with a view to promoting new skills and participation in multinational research teams. More details on eligability and application procedures are available on the Marie Curie Actions website.
European Researcher's Mobility Portal
This web portal links to a full range of organisations offering training, mobility and career development opportunities for researchers across Europe. A special section is devoted to Fellowships and Grants.