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Internship: Contracts & Procurement Department

The European Southern Observatory · Garching, BY, Germany

Within the Directorate of Administration the Contracts and Procurement Department is responsible for and executes the procurement process. This is done within the framework of the Organisation's policy for awarding contracts for supplies and services as specified in the Financial Rules and Regulations and in the Procurement Rules and Regulations.

Main Duties and Learning Goals:

The successful candidate will, for the duration of the internship, become a member , become part of the Contracts and Procurement Department in Garching, with the possibility to see, experience and undertake a range of activities. After an initial training period, the Intern will

  • Review and discuss with users requests for purchases (including the requirements contained therein) to determine their adequacy and completeness and the appropriate procurement strategy;
  • Identify suppliers capable of providing requested goods and services;
  • Prepare procurement documentation (Order or Price Inquiry etc.) and coordinate and document the procurement process through evaluation of the offers, negotiation of the terms and conditions with the bidders where appropriate, and award of the orders/contracts.

The above activities are not exhaustive and a flexible approach and willingness to adapt and learn is required.

Through this specific work experience, and the support provided within the team, the Intern is expected to develop a thorough understanding of and gain a solid background in public procurement activities with the express aim of acquiring valuable experience for future career goals.

Reports to:

Procurement Team supervisor.

Key Competences and Experience:

  • Formal past experience in similar work is beneficial but is not essential as training will be provided on the job;
  • Good knowledge of MS Word and MS Excel;
  • Good communication skills, for example the ability to clarify purchase requests and requirements with customers in a constructive way;
  • Ability to work in an organised and accurate manner;
  • Service and customer oriented attitude;
  • Positive and flexible attitude to look into solutions for any presented problems, taking into account the rules of the organisation;
  • Ability to work independently after training, and contribute to a positive team spirit.


As a minimum, candidates should be studying for or have recently obtained a higher technical certification or diploma in a relevant field e.g. administration, commercial or business. A bachelor's degree, in a relevant field, would be considered an asset.

Language skills:

The internship requires an excellent working knowledge of English and good knowledge of German.

Remuneration and Contract:

ESO offers Interns a monthly allowance to cover some living expenses in combination with or without accommodation as may be required. The internship contract is for a fixed term duration of six months, with the possibility to extend by 6 further months maximum.

For any additional questions please contact

Duty Station:

The Internship will be conducted on site at ESO's headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany.


If you are interested in gaining experience for a career in contracts and procurements and working in a stimulating international environment, please visit for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV.

Deadline for applications is 14 April 2024.

Start date: as soon as possible

Interviews are expected to start soon after the deadline 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.


No nationality is in principle excluded from employment at ESO, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of our Member States, host states and strategic partners: Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Chile, irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion.

Job Summary

Garching, BY, Germany