CTAO Secondments


The CTAO is launching a new call of expression of interest for applications from research institutes and organizations – be they CTAO shareholders or non-shareholders – to temporary second to CTAO their employees with specific technical and scientific expertise needed for the CTAO development. 


In general, a secondee at the CTAO has an employment contract with an institution or organization and is temporarily assigned by their own employer to the CTAO gGmbH with the purpose to provide their expertise to CTAO in carrying out predefined activities. A secondee can work remotely or can be relocated, for this specific Spring 2022 Call, there will be no need for relocation. 


Each secondment will be given as in-kind contribution (IKC) to CTAO and will correspond to a value (IKC value) depending on the percentage of working time performed at CTAO. This IKC value will be approved by the Council, both for shareholders and non-shareholders. 


Depending on the job requirements and the availability of the candidate, the working time will be agreed for the individual case. The secondment should represent a large part of the total working time and be understood as a priority task for the person.


The following list gathers all open secondment positions. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section is included to solve common enquires, scroll down to read more.  All applications (CV and cover letter – see FAQ) and further questions should be sent to ctao-staffselection@cta-observatory.org.  Applications for this specific Spring 2022 Call shall be submitted until 20 May 2022, although incoming applications could also be considered after the application date.


Applications are accepted without distinction on any grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, gender identity, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation.  

Director's Office Secondments

Computing Secondments

Science Secondments

Communication Secondments

IT Secondments


Secondment brings benefits to all parties: not only do you support the development of the CTAO to make it ready for observations as soon as possible, but you will also have the possibility to contribute to something new, enhance your professional career and share your experience with your current department and colleagues. CTAO offers the opportunity to coordinate key actions for the development of the Observatory, worldwide visibility, networking with external professionals and entities around the world, the opportunity to attend conferences/meetings and sign new publications, among others. Thus, young researchers will benefit from coordination positions and improvement of management skills, while senior researchers will also benefit from having their group participate and be part of critical tasks with high visibility within the CTA Project and internationally. 


The CTAO has started many initiatives in the past years to develop social and soft skills, including project management, language or communication, in which all secondees are welcome to participate. Here is a glimpse of the activities: 

– Tandem: Weekly 30-min sessions with a native-speaker CTAO colleague to improve your oral skills in one of the CTAO languages (English, German, Italian, Spanish). 

– Knowledge Sharing: Every CTAO employee has specific skills that can be shared with others and that can improve the work together. The Knowledge Sharing programme includes 3-4 internal seminars/year. 

– Buddy Programme: For newcomers that would like to have more support during the first months, a Buddy is available to organize short virtual coffee breaks, give you insights on the company and answer your questions. 


Moreover, we offer you the help of the Trusted Advisor, who is a confidential and trusted resource nominated by CTAO staff that you can turn to for help with workplace issues. 

At the moment, it is not foreseen. However, we will be happy to meet you in person – you can visit us in one of our offices/sites, particularly if it’s necessary to collaborate with your CTAO supervisor and colleagues.

Yes, any travel required by CTAO to perform a task or activity within the secondment position’s responsibilities will be reimbursed. Such expenses cover travel, lodging and per diem, following CTAO constraints. We’ll show you how and where to find the necessary information once the selection process is done. 

No, you don’t. You’ll continue to follow your usual and current process with your employer. 

No, your employer will continue to be the one to address to take days off and send sickness certificates. We only ask you to timely communicate to your CTAO technical supervisor when you’ll be off. 

You’ll be in contact with a CTAO supervisor to set goals, exchange information and discuss the status of your tasks, objectives and next steps. Informal feedback rounds will be carried out to keep track of the situation and adjust the objectives and roadmap. 

A secondment typically lasts one year (12 months). Otherwise, the duration is specified in the description of the position. 

For the Spring 2022 Call (April-May 2022), the duration is expected to also last one year.  

The recruitment process of potential secondees is similar but not the same: you’ll be asked to send to  ctao-staffselection@cta-observatory.org  your CV and a brief cover letter (max. 2000 characters spaces included). The HR Specialist will then contact you to fix two chats: one with the Managing Director and your direct CTAO supervisor, and one with the HR Specialist and Legal Officer. 


If everything goes well, the HR Specialist will inform you and the Legal Officer will prepare an agreement to be sent to your employer to be signed to start the secondment. Once it begins, you’ll have a proper onboarding chat with the HR Specialist that will show you where to find useful information on the CTAO Intranet.