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RT-S/SCI-OOG/00176 - Operations Support Position / Operations Scientist

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

At Serco not only is the nature of the work we do important, everyone has an important role to play, from caring for vulnerable people to managing complex public services.
We are a team of 50,000 people responsible for delivering essential public services around the world, we are innovators,committed to redesigning and improving public services for the benefit of everyone.

Serco and Proud - Make a difference every day.

We currently have an exciting opportunity for an Operations Support Position / Operations Scientist, based in ESAC (Madrid, Spain).

Role Responsibility

The Operations Scientist works within the Science Operations Centre (SOC) with responsibilities that include:

  • Contribution to INTEGRAL ToO activities especially linked to the detection and follow-up of electro-magnetic counterparts of Gravitational Wave and High Energy Neutrino events.
  • Support to the planning and development of the INTEGRAL Legacy Science Archive.
  • Maintenance of and support to the OSA scientific data analysis software and INTEGRAL instrument calibration.

The Operations Scientist works within the Science Operations Centre (SOC) with responsibilities that may include:

  • Generation of conflict free and optimized science instrument operations plan, timelines and command sequences. In addition this may include: 
    • The instrument configuration for each observation;
    • Coordination with other observatories;
    • Support the work of SOC in their goal to produce a consolidated & harmonized Long Term Plan;
    • Support the project scientist in addressing schedule & resource conflicts that may arise during the LTP phase;
    • Check the validity of pointings;
    • Produce relevant planning products for transmission to MOC;
    • The generation of or the response to an alert for Targets of Opportunity in order to change/interrupt the observing programme (bearing in mind that the decision whether or not to interrupt current observation is the responsibility of Project Scientist);
    • Support the generation of procedures where relevant;
  • Target of Opportunity on call service;
  • For Observatory class missions, coordination of the release of Announcements of Opportunity for observing time, and provide support to the Project Scientist in the subsequent proposal peer review process by the Observing Time Allocation Committee;
  • Support to the set-up of calibration observations, including coordination with instrument teams or to engineering observations requested MOC;
  • For PI led missions, liaise with the PI teams to enable overall optimization of science programme;
  • Interact with instrument teams, as requested in order to acquire and maintain instrument-specific knowledge at the SOC;
  • Provide second line support on helpdesk queries as requested;
  •  Provide feedback to and attend appropriate working groups as requested in agreement with the service company manager;
  • Participate in internal and external group meetings as requested;
  • Provide feedback to users and promote the mission at scientific conferences, e.g., by presentations;
  • Certain tools specific to each mission are needed (proposal/planning/validation) for these:
    • Installation, testing and validation of SOC tools
    • Raising problem reports on tools as well as suggested improvements  
    • Following up the correct fixing of any problems with the implementers
  • In order to enhance the capability to support the user community, if other tasks permit, up to 20% of the work may involve original science research.

Successful Candidate

The service will require:

  • A good knowledge of applied physics, at least part of which related to Space Technologies and Astrophysics;
  • Expertise in the development and command of modern and commonly used scientific analysis software, ideally with applications in Space Science;
  • Good understanding of Scientific Operations of an international space-based observatory;
  • Excellent analytical and communication experience;
  • Flexibility and appreciation of diversity and of international working environment;


Specific tasks relevant to operations scientist support for INTEGRAL:

  • Interaction with the INTEGRAL Science Data Centre (ISDC)  for the dissemination of data from the archive created and maintained at the ISDC;
  • Support the Time Allocation Committee (TAC) and Project Scientist during the proposal evaluation process, e.g., by technical evaluation of proposals or serving as secretary for TAC panel meetings;



Any offer of employment is contingent upon you providing documents to verify your identity and employment eligibility, as required by law.

Applicants are reminded that they will be requested to produce such documentation during the recruitment process.

Please contact a member of the recruitment team if you require further details of acceptable types of documentation required for verification of identity and work authorization. 

Data Protection:

When creating a profile on the Serco Career Centre you agreed to the Data Protection policy, a copy is available upon request.

You may submit a written request revoking your consent to this agreement at any time.

Package Description

Excellent Salary 

Corporate Benefits Package 

Relocation Assistance (if applicable)

Further information available from the Serco Europe Recruitment Team

About the Company

Serco is one of the world’s largest providers of public services to Governments employing over 50,000 people in over 20 countries In Belgium and Luxembourg we work closely with the European Institutions providing crucial Services with over 220 staff members.

The services we provide are often of critical importance to the communities and nations we serve, Providing public services is one of the most satisfying and rewarding careers you can have, you have an ability to make a real positive difference to people’s lives and to your community and country.

As a business which delivers “front-line” public services, employing tens of thousands of people, we are constantly developing and promoting people; our need for skilled professionals is insatiable and few companies can offer as many opportunities for individuals to grow their careers

What connects the ever growing Serco workforce is a passion for delivering great service – To keep ahead we have to constantly evolve and enhance the way we deliver our services and everyone in Serco has a role to play here.

Serco provide the right environment to encourage ideas and a comprehensive Best Practice support network that enables them to put their ideas into action.

If you share our values then join with over 50,000 colleagues globally who are equally as passionate about delivering great service as you

A career with Serco offers the chance to work with both inspirational people and innovative contracts, in a dynamic and exciting environment.

We have a mandate to execute brilliantly and our people lead and inspire based on our core values, Trust, Care, Pride and Innovation.

Take pride in what you do.

Serco European Agencies

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