Head of Science Operations

COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology

Head of Science Operations

COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology

Brussels, Belgium


COST – European Cooperation in Science and Technology – provides networking opportunities for researchers and innovators in order to strengthen Europe’s capacity to address scientific, technological and societal challenges. There are three strategic priorities: Promoting and spreading excellence, fostering interdisciplinary research for breakthrough science, and empowering and retaining young researchers and innovators. COST implements its mission by funding bottom-up, excellence-driven, open and inclusive networks for peaceful purposes in all areas of science and technology.

The COST Association is an international non-profit association based in Brussels with 40 Members. It draws its funding from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, through specific Grant Agreements signed under the umbrella of a framework Partnership Agreement with the European Commission.

Please visit: www.cost.eu.

Head of Science Operations Key Responsibilities

Reporting directly to the Director of COST, the successful candidate will play a pivotal role in the COST team. He/she will drive continued operational improvement to the vital work of COST.

The primary responsibility of the Head of Science Operations is to ensure the overall management of the COST Association science operations in line with the COST mission.

The core activity centres on the optimal implementation and follow up of the rules and procedures for the evaluation, selection and approval of proposals for COST.

Equally, the successful candidate will ensure the management, monitoring and final assessment of ongoing and ended COST Actions.

Main Tasks and Leading Accountability

Business, processes and procedures

  • Open Call management:
    • Organising the implementation of the whole cycle of COST Actions’ proposals: setting the collection dates and carrying out a competitive, bottom-up and inclusive evaluation, selection and approval procedure (SESA) of proposals.
  • Stewardship of COST Actions:
    • Ensuring the thorough scientific management, monitoring and final assessment of ongoing and ended COST Actions;
    • Searching for synergies between COST Actions and seek opportunities to interconnect them to other activities in the European Research Area;
    • Implementing COST Innovators’ Grant for COST Actions demonstrating commercial and/or innovation potential;
    • Ensuring active participation by Science Operations team members to the value-added services, such as the COST Academy, COST Global Networking, COST Connect, Cross-cutting Activities, and Science-informed Policy Advice.
  • Quality control:
    • Overseeing and controlling the implementation of work and budget plans of the COST Actions according to the COST Association financial rules and procedures;
    • Contributing to the development, harmonisation and simplification of COST Association policies, rules and procedures.

Staff empowerment

  • Ensuring an effective allocation of tasks and responsibilities across the unit, in line with staff competencies and development needs;
  • Managing performance evaluation: including setting of individual objectives and defining appropriate training development plans;
  • Fostering teamwork, promoting a professional, trusting and respectful working atmosphere within the team.

Internal and External stakeholders

  • Drafting and presenting regular reports on the science operations to the governing bodies: Director, Executive Board and Committee of Senior Officials;
  • Supporting the COST National Coordinators in organising CNC meetings and (targeted) COST Info Days;
  • Providing high standard support to the Scientific Committee;
  • Engaging in outreach activities to the European Science and Technology community, including presenting at conferences.

Member of the Management Team

  • Contributing to the development of the entire organisation;
  • Promoting teamwork and collaboration across the organisation by encouraging communication and information sharing within the Science Operations unit, as well as across units in close coordination with the other Heads of Unit;
  • Fulfilling any other responsibility and tasks requested by the Director.

Candidate Requirements

Leadership and project management skills

  • A motivational manager, the successful candidate will have the ability to link individual effort to team goals, galvanise, develop, assess and appraise his/her staff members;
  • Demonstrates excellent organisational skills with a commitment to deliver on allocated tasks with quality and in a timely way;
  • Maintains a positive and constructive attitude in an evolving landscape with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including diplomacy, discretion and confidentiality;
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills complemented with a service-oriented attitude;
  • Proven track record in building successful relationships in a professional environment and clear practice of a team-oriented work ethic.

Education and experience

  • PhD in the field of science and technology;
  • 8-10 years experience in science management, ideally gained at least in part in a European setting, experience in a funding agency is an asset;
  • Good knowledge of European and national science and innovation policies;
  • Excellent knowledge of the EU Research and Innovation Framework Programmes and procedures;
  • Experience with financial management, administration and legal affairs;
  • Good understanding of IT project and planning tools;
  • High standard of spoken and written English, knowledge of other European languages appreciated;
  • An established team leader that nurtures the team;
  • Recognised resilience and drive with a winning and diplomatic style.

N.B.: This job description covers the main tasks and conveys the spirit of the sort of tasks that are anticipated proactively from staff. Other tasks may be assigned as necessary according to organisational needs.

The COST Association offers

  • A full-time contract under the Belgian law;
  • Start date: as soon as possible;
  • A European working environment located in Brussels;
  • Unless a national of the ‘EU and EEE’, candidates must be eligible to work in Belgium and must have a work permit.

The recruitment is done by Ellwood Atfield – external expert. Electronic applications (motivation letter with possible start date mentioned + CV in English) should be addressed to Dr Rachel Barlow - rachel@ellwoodatfield.com, mentioning “COST” in the subject line of the email. Applications will be assessed upon receipt. Only selected candidates will be contacted.

For more information, please visit our website: www.cost.eu or contact Dr Rachel Barlow on +32 478 88 22 27.

Deadline for application: 10th March 2020 included.

All personal data provided by applicants will be dealt with in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC). Details about how we handle your data for recruitment purposes are to be found here. The personal data provided will also be dealt in compliance with Ellwood Atfield Privacy Policy here.

Don't forget to mention EuroBrussels when applying.

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© EuroJobsites 2020

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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