EMBL - European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Head of Finance

EMBL - European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Heidelberg, Germany

Contract duration: 5 years (renewable)
Grading: 11
Reference number: HD02625
Closing date: 26 June 2024

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is a non-profit, Intergovernmental Organisation funded by 29 member states and 1 associate member state. Each nation has representatives on it’s main governing body, the EMBL Council. EMBL has around 1,900 members of personnel from over 80 nations based across its six sites: the headquarters in Heidelberg (Germany), the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in Hinxton near Cambridge (UK), Grenoble (France), Hamburg (Germany), Rome (Italy) and Barcelona (Spain).

EMBL’s Head of Finance is a key senior leadership role and plays a major part in liaising with the EMBL Council’s Finance Committee Chair and leads the formal financial reporting systems and assurance activities. The role will report to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and act as key advisor to the Director General.

Your role

This is an exciting opportunity to lead the financial strategy which supports the overall delivery of the organisation’s research missions by managing and adapting financial systems to provide accurate and relevant information and data within an international academic organisation. As a senior member of the Administration and Operations team this broad 'hands-on' role involves working closely with others to formulate and produce financial plans, improving and developing reporting approaches and systems through the implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Platform (ERP).

EMBL´s Head of Finance leads and manages a team who are responsible for the following areas: financial analysis and reporting, budgeting, accounting, treasury and cash flow management, disbursements, financial aspects of grant management and reporting, the production of financial statements, procurement and purchasing. You will be expected to take an active leadership role of the finance team, supporting their training and development. The day to day operations means that the role is primarily based at the Headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany, but regular travel to all of EMBL six sites is expected.

We are looking for a financial leader with excellent interpersonal skills, and an ability to talk to a variety of people, including researchers who have a scientific and technical background, adapting the messages to the different audiences as required for financial matters and budgeting. Ideally you are interested in working for a multi sited international, academic and complex environment that is fast paced and detail oriented. Close working with a multitude of stakeholders and partners will be essential, so the ability to connect with people and build lasting effective relationships is paramount.

As the role is the custodian of the financial rules and regulations, policies, standard accounting practices and procedures experience of financial control and audit within similar academic organisations would be advantageous.

You have

You will bring a well-experienced, systematic, disciplined, and global approach to evaluating and improving the financial effectiveness of EMBL, alongside areas such as risk management, control and governance.

More specifically, you:

  • Have a professional qualification in financial management, accounting and/or auditing and at least 10 years post-qualification working experience as a senior financial leader with strong technical knowledge in financial control, management and accounting and experience of working across geographical borders;
  • Have demonstrated work experience and understanding of non-profit international organisations;
  • Demonstrate good judgement, integrity and strength of character to highlight and raise difficult messages and findings in a balanced way, and do the right thing in the face of opposition and potential conflict;
  • Are able to communicate financially complex matters to a wide range of stakeholders including Council members, senior management and external auditors, in a professional and concise manner, so that risks and mitigations are clearly articulated;
  • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills, with an ability to talk to a variety of people;
  • Have the ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people in a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment;
  • Have the ability to work to tight deadlines in a complex and matrix based organisation;
  • As reports to management are all written and presented in English, an excellent command of written and spoken English is necessary.

You might also have

  • Experience of the life sciences or academic sector and/or finance in a research, training and service sector;
  • Very good command of German is also desired, French would be an advantage.

Why join us

EMBL is curiosity-driven, community-oriented and international. As an inclusive, equal opportunity employer, we believe that diversity enables us to collaborate more effectively and be innovative in our approaches. We are, therefore, committed to creating an inclusive and flexible culture - one where everyone can realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to our organisation.

We encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing team – we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and personal experiences reflect the diversity of the populations that our science serves. We actively encourage applications from all genders and cultures, ethnic groups and all demographics to help us avoid perpetuating biases and oversights at this transformational point in our people strategy.

EMBL offers attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation with a very collegial and family-friendly working environment. Competitive salary and social security benefits, financial support for relocation, a relaxed culture, professional development, an on-site nursery, canteen and other staff facilities make EMBL a great place to work.

What else you need to know

Our mission is to offer vital services in training scientists, students and visitors at all levels; to develop new instruments and methods in the life sciences and actively engage in technology transfer activities, and to integrate European life science research. The working language of the institute is English.

This role is based in Heidelberg, Germany.

Please note that appointments on fixed-term contracts can be renewed, depending on circumstances at the time of the review, up to a maximum of 9 years.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and a CV through our online system.

The first round of interviews will be held virtually and in-person interviews would follow thereafter at EMBL Heidelberg.

If you would like more information or to talk about this role please email coo-office@embl.org.

EMBL is a signatory of DORA. Find out how we implement best practices in research assessment in our recruitment processes here.

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