04 Jun 2019   |   Jobs

European Science Foundation: Chief Operations Officer


The ESF is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the support of excellent science through the provision of specialized services. We operate in the EU and wider European environment and collaborate with major scientific stakeholders. In the frame of our development we invite applications for a Chief Operations Officer.

The mission of the position is to contribute to the development and implementation of the ESF’s strategy and its activities and to guarantee the delivery of the ESF’s commitments. As a member of the Management Group, the Chief Operations Officer will play an essential role in the management of the ESF. He/she will be in charge of leading the science operations staff and fostering their professionalism. He/she will contribute to the development of ESF’s positioning in the European and international research landscape.

The Chief Operations Officer will report to the Chief Executive.

This position will involve:

  • Developing ESF activities within the European research landscape by contributing to the definition of ESF’s development plan and coordinating its implementation;
  • Playing a key and pro-active role in the management of ESF through the Management Group. He/She will provide key scientific advice to the Chief Executive and to the Management Team.
  • Managing all ESF science operations and scientific staff, including overseeing the development of processes and procedures;
  • Developing and strengthening relations with European and international scientific organisations;
  • Serving and supporting the development of the ESF Expert Boards and Committees and hosted organisations;
  • Ensuring scientific quality control of (i) ESF’s grant evaluation activity (ii) proposals submitted for external funding (iii) implementation of externally funded projects (in particular EC projects);
  • Supervising recruitment of the scientific staff, in coordination with the Corporate Officer HR;
  • Taking responsibility for the management and achievement/meeting of budgets for specific activities in compliance with ESF Financial Rules and Delegated Financial Authority and providing information necessary to Administration and Finance for the regular production of financial reports;
  • Ensuring the respect of external contract obligations, including European Commission contracts, through constant coordination with Administration and Finance for initial budgeting and reporting; through liaising with external partners and the European Commission and drafting proposals for future initiatives;
  • Keeping up-to-date with relevant scientific and research policy developments;

The job holder should demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Ph.D, or equivalent research experience, preferably with a further 12-15 years’ experience in research management and science policy, ideally gained in an international setting;
  • Demonstrated experience of business development;
  • Solid and demonstrated experience and skills in team management and people development;
  • Strong leadership skills to support, motivate and develop the team and to manage the workload in order to achieve results;
  • Wide knowledge of European and national research structures and institutions and European and international science policy;
  • Proven experience in science management and coordination of scientific programmes,
  • ideally including scientific evaluation processes;
  • Proven experience in coordinating European project proposals and implementation;
  • Proven experience in collaborating with non-European organisations and programmes;
  • Good insight of Responsible Research and Integrity landscape and principles;
  • Excellent standard of spoken and written English, with a working knowledge of French or another European language being an asset.
  • Good working knowledge of MS Office systems and of electronic databases and websites.

Employment conditions:

  • The position is expected to be full-time (100% FTE) and will start as soon as possible.
  • The contract offered is a permanent contract.
  • The person selected for the position will be working from Strasbourg head office. The position will involve significant travel (2 or 3 travels a month, mostly in Europe).

Please send your application (cover letter + CV in English) by 21 June 2019 to contact@talentsfirst.com quoting the following reference COO ESF. Interviews will be held in Strasbourg on 09 July 2019.

The ESF will not discriminate, nor allow its staff to discriminate, against any member of staff or applicant for employment or ex-employee on the basis of gender (including in cases of pregnancy or maternity); age; ethnic, national or social origin; religion or belief; sexual orientation; disability; political opinion; social or economic condition or health.

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