COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology

Legal Officer

COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology

Brussels, Belgium


COST – European CO-operation 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 38 European Member Countries. It draws its funding from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe, through specific Grant Agreements signed under the umbrella of a framework Partnership Agreement with the European Commission.

Position Responsibilities

The Legal Officer’s primary responsibility is to provide professional legal support and assistance to the COST Association and assist in reducing exposure to legal risks by providing sound advice, accurate information and high-quality work. Due to its intergovernmental character, pan-European scope of activities, and in accordance with its agreements with the European Commission, the COST Association covers a wide range of legal matters and enters into a number of contractual relationships.

The Legal Officer is expected to address matters pertaining to COST Association statutory rules and procedures. The Legal Officer is engaged in the formulation and preparation of documents such as grant agreements, memoranda of understanding, providers and service contracts, and other contractual and legal documents.

The Legal Officer needs to work both in compliance with the Belgium law and according to EU Financial Regulations and guidelines as well the Framework Partnership Agreement and Specific Grant Agreement with the European Commission. He/she will guide in the development and use of the set of COST Rules and annotated rules alongside internal and strategic policies. The Legal Officer will work hand-in-hand with COST Association colleagues and, where requested, with external experts to guarantee legal certainty.

The Legal Officer reports directly to the Head of Policy Unit.

This position will involve


  • Leading the regular update of the set of COST Rules and annotated rules, guaranteeing stable terminology, coherence and consistency;
  • Conducting legal analyses of issues arising both in connection with the COST operations and with the COST Association legal frame;
  • Monitoring European Commission and COST legal and financial regulations for coherence and consistency of COST agreements, rules and procedures;
  • Assisting the COST Association in drafting, amending and interpreting legislative documents;
  • Representing COST at relevant external meetings and conferences when necessary.


  • Supporting governance-related legal matters (COST Association Statutes, Internal Rules, etc.).

Grant Agreements

  • Verifying and revising where necessary the COST Action Grant Agreement, amendments and related procedures; checking Grant Holders’ statutes as required;
  • Providing support to the Grant Holders and beneficiaries of COST Action Grant Agreements;
  • Developing COST financial regulations and procedures; contributing to the revision of the COST Decentralised management (so-called COST Grant System);
  • Providing legal support to the preparation of the Specific Grant Agreements with the European Commission as well as of the yearly reports as requested.

Data Protection

  • Assisting colleagues with regards to legal and administrative questions, arising both in connection with the COST operations and with the COST Association legal frame;
  • Performing the Data Protection Officer role of the COST Association – He/She will analyse the measures which have to be taken and implemented concerning the Data Protection Law and monitor compliance with the principles of this Regulation. He/She will ensure the good collaboration with all staff members involved in this process. He/She will work closely with the Head of Information Systems, and the person in charge of simplification;
  • Developing sound policies for handling personal data that comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
  • Informing and advising the data controller or processor and their employees of their obligations under the EU Data Protection Law;
  • Monitoring compliance with EU Data Protection Law and the internal organisation policies. This includes providing training to staff, organising awareness-raising campaigns, and performing internal audits;
  • Providing advice with regard to privacy impact assessments;
  • Cooperating with the Data Protection Authority and acting as their point of contact;
  • Handling general legal matters and fulfilling other responsibilities and tasks in the interest of the organisation, as mandated by the Head of Policy Unit or by the COST Association Director.

Profile and Competencies

Candidates should demonstrate the following competencies:


  • Master degree in law or equivalent by experience;
  • Recognised at least 10 years’ working experience as legal officer or equivalent, including a minimum of 3 to 5 years’ experience in European affairs;
  • Knowledge of Belgian and European procurement law;
  • High standard of spoken and written English and French, good knowledge of other European languages is an asset;
  • Experience in research, higher education, academic or not-for-profit environments is desirable.


  • Experience with EU related legislation and procedures, grant agreements, grant assessment and review processes;
  • Understanding of different types of contracts, including maintenance, providers and service contracts;
  • Proven experience in working with a wide range of European universities, research organisations and private companies;
  • Excellent knowledge of European decision-making processes and policies;
  • Familiarity with review processes, general science and project management;
  • Understanding of financial mechanisms and guidelines;
  • Familiarity with national rules and regulations in European countries;
  • Specific areas of practice include European Data Protection legislation, contract law, corporate law, administrative law, Intellectual Property Law among other areas;
  • Understanding of the functioning of an International Non-Profit Organisation under Belgian law appreciated.


  • Service-oriented attitude with strong sense of purpose and drive to make a meaningful contribution to the COST mission;
  • Demonstrated ability to balance multiple tasks and work autonomously, excellent organisational skills;
  • Strong teamwork capacities and collaborative skills;
  • Excellent inter-personal and communication skills within a multi-national context, including diplomacy, discretion and confidentiality;
  • Solution-oriented, responsible, creative, and willing to take initiative;
  • Aptitude to offer solutions to increasing efficiency within the organisation;
  • Proven presentation and communication skills;
  • Commitment and accountability to deliver on tasks allocated and respond in a timely manner to deadlines;
  • Positive and constructive attitude in an evolving environment.

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.

Electronic applications - motivation letter with possible start date mentioned + CV in English (and at least 2 recent reference letters in English by the 1st round of interviews) should be addressed to Barbara Bottiau and sent to, mentioning the reference code LO2021-2 in the subject line. On the CV, the complete months and years of experience have to be mentioned (example: from 01/05/2014 until 24/09/2020).

Please note that the COST HR Team will only contact the candidates who are invited to the interview. No individual feedback will automatically be given to unsuccessful candidates.

The 1st round of interviews will take place via videoconference in November 2021 either the week 45 or the week 46. Date will be confirmed when inviting the successful candidates.

For more information, please visit our website:

Deadline for application: 31/10/2021 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.

Don't forget to mention EuroBrussels when applying.

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© EuroJobsites 2021

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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