Paid Software engineering internship in an observatory in Antofagasta

  • IT & Web development
  • Antofagasta, Chile
  • April 8, 2024 10:45
  • Internship

Job Description

  • Date Posted:

    Apr 08, 2024
  • Expiration date:

    Apr 30, 2025
  • Location:

    Antofagasta, Chile
  • Salary:

    0€ - 500€

Job Description

Our collaborator is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory. They are carrying out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries.

For their Maintenance, Support and Engineering (MSE), they are looking for students to participate in the Winter Internship programme 2024. 

The MSE Department of the Paranal Observatory provides technical support to the four VLT 8-m telescopes, to the VLT Interferometer with its auxiliary telescopes and to all instruments available for scientific observations. The telescopes and instruments are complex systems that involve many advanced technologies and require a high level of engineering support. 


“Python for instrument templates programming”

They are seeking a motivated software engineering intern to contribute to a key initiative: the development of Python scripts for sequencing the operational steps needed to control the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and its instruments during astronomical observations and calibrations.

This internship offers hands-on experience in crafting and refining code that will enhance the functionality and efficiency of the telescope operations, the main duties include:

  • Creating Python scripts and libraries.
  • Documenting best practices for their development, playing a vital role in supporting the VLT's mission to capture and deliver high-quality astronomical data.
  • Documentation and Testing: Develop and validate a set of best practices for using Python in creating scripts to sequence the operational steps for instruments, ensuring that these practices focus on ease of maintenance and robustness.
  • Script Development: Craft a precise selection of Python scripts that sequence operational steps, demonstrating the practical application of established best practices and serving as a benchmark for future script creation.
  • Knowledge Transfer: Lead informative training sessions for the Software group to mentor and guide them in developing Python scripts for operational sequencing, enabling a smooth transition and encouraging skill enhancement across the team.
  • Innovation and Efficiency: Evaluate the integration of modern AI tools, like Large Language Models (LLMs) and Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPTs), and advanced Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) to streamline and improve the scripting and development process.


  • Software engineering student (or equivalent).
  • Proficient knowledge of the Python programming language.
  • Advanced- level  English.
  • Some experience with AI-assisted code writing or programming.
  • Six (6) months, start anytime between June and September 2024.
  • Candidates from European and Chilean universities.
  • Intermediate level English.
  • Training agreement from your university. 
  • Strong core values of respect, integrity, accountability and commitment.
  • Candidates who work well in a team with open communication. 


  • The MSE Department has a total workforce of 80 engineers and technicians distributed in 6 engineering groups, you will get the chance to work with experts in the field.
  • This is a paid internship and  a special allowance of USD 500 aprox/ month during the period you are performing your apprenticeship.
  • Paid transportation arrangements (plane tickets). Also transportation to and from Santiago will be provided.
  • Accommodation provided on site.

Availabilty and hours:The schedule will be 8 days on-site, 10 hours/ day followed by 6 days off-duty (8x6). 

Location: 120 km south of the city of Antofagasta, Chile.