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Job Announcement: ESF-Science Connect is hiring the CoARA programme manager (deadline: 3 February 2023)

ESF Science Connect (ESF SC) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the support of excellent science through partnerships and support to scientific programmes. We operate in the EU and wider European environment and collaborate with major scientific stakeholders.

ESF SC has been appointed to host the secretariat of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA). We are therefore inviting applications for a Programme Manager to be in charge of heading the CoARA Secretariat.

CoARA is a global Coalition of signatories of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment. This agreement sets a shared direction for changes in assessment practices for research, researchers and research-performing organisations, with the overarching goal of maximising the quality and impact of research.

CoARA is composed of more than 350 universities, research organisations, agencies involved in research assessment and other relevant organisations. These institutions commit to working together for systemic reform on the basis of common principles within an agreed timeframe, facilitating exchanges of information and mutual learning between all those willing to improve research assessment practices.

Key responsibilities include managing a programme of work to support the implementation of the Agreement, supporting the CoARA governance, coordinating a network of core organisations, setting up Communities of Practices and Working Groups, fundraising, preparing and managing budgets, overseeing communication activities and working with key stakeholders.

Please send your application by 3 February 2023 to jobs[at]esf[dot]org quoting the following reference: PMCoARA.

You application must include a CV as well as a cover letter (both in English) in which you should highlight:
–    your motivation for the position
–    how your skillset would match the requirements for the position
–    your experience and/or knowledge of Research Assessment

First round of interviews (web-based) will be held beginning of February 2023.
Second round of interviews (in Strasbourg) will be held in February 2023.


Main Mission

  • To develop and manage a programme of work – in partnership with the CoARA governing bodies and in coordination with organisations participating to the CoARA workplan.
  • To support the CoARA Chair, Vice Chairs and Steering Board.
  • To monitor CoARA’s working groups’ work as well as oversee communication and stakeholder engagement activities.
  • To grow CoARA’s membership.

This position will involve:

▪    To support the CoARA governance (Steering Board, Executive Committee) in promoting CoARA:

– provide written and oral briefs for planned meetings
– keep track of, and follow-up on, outcomes of meetings and engagement with stakeholders
– advise in planning future engagement

▪    To ensure the smooth and efficient running of the CoARA Secretariat, including coordinating with external organisations supporting the work of the secretariat.

▪    To support the setting-up and running of CoARA initiatives, in particular its Working Groups.

▪    To secure funding to support CoARA activities (through fundraising initiatives and external grants, e.g. from Horizon Europe, philanthropies, institutional support).

▪    To work with key stakeholders in the research “ecosystem – researchers”, university managers, research organisations, evaluation agencies – to help them understand and sign the Agreement, and join the Coalition.

▪    To liaise closely with ESF Science Connect finance team to manage budgets, prepare reports and ensure that risks and ‘pinch points’ for CoARA are known in advance, mitigated and monitored.

▪    To act as Secretary to the CoARA Executive Committee, Steering Board and General Assembly, ensuring agendas and supporting papers are developed in advance of these meetings and taking forward appropriate actions.

▪    To contribute to and oversee CoARA communications.

▪    To identify, contract and manage any appropriate third-party consultancies, liaise with CoARA stakeholders and ensure that they deliver to the work plan.

▪    To manage staff recruited to support the CoARA Secretariat.

▪    Actively participate to the implementation of ESF SC’s corporate strategy (also beyond research assessment topics).
The post-holder should demonstrate the following competencies:

Technical competencies: 

▪    Significant (5+ years) research or science/programme management experience, possibly complemented by a Ph.D.

▪    Demonstrable experience of programme management and coordination of high profile, strategic initiatives and/or scientific programmes.

▪    Knowledge of the European Union funding programme for research & innovation proposal preparation and project implementation.

▪    Proven experience in efficient networking with a variety of stakeholders in science and science policy.

▪    Knowledge of international, European and national research structures and institutions, and of European and international science policy.

▪    Demonstrable experience in writing papers, reports, publications and presentations.

▪    Knowledge and experience of people management in a performance-based human resources environment.

▪    A demonstrable knowledge of research assessment approaches and processes.

▪    High standard of spoken and written English, with a working knowledge of another European language being an advantage.

▪    Good working knowledge of MS Office systems and of electronic databases.


Personal competencies: 

▪    Proven organisational skills and capacity to deliver on allocated tasks and respond in a timely manner to deadlines.

▪    Ability to work in an autonomous way.

▪    Excellent communication especially in terms of being able to communicate effectively and confidently with a wide range of stakeholder.

▪    Excellent analytical skills and problem-solving skills.

▪    Strong assertiveness with ability to challenge and influence decision-making.

▪    Ability to create links and promote networking.

▪    High level of attention to detail.

▪    Articulate, dynamic, well-organised, outcome-focused creative thinker.

▪    Ability to challenge and influence senior stakeholders whilst building and maintaining relationships.

▪    Ability to set and effectively manage budgets and risks.

▪    Able to work in a flexible and agile way.

▪    Proactive and motivated.

▪    Positive and constructive attitude.


Employment conditions:

▪    The post holder will be an ESF Science Connect employee, working from Strasbourg head office.

▪    The position is expected to be full-time (100% FTE) and will start as soon as possible.

▪    We offer a permanent contract and attractive salary and working conditions.

▪    The position may involve some travel.

▪    The post holder will report to the Chair of the CoARA and to the ESF Science Connect Chief Executive.

▪    The post holder will work closely with the CoARA Executive Committee and Steering Board.


The ESF Science Connect 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, sexual orientation, age, ethnic, national, cultural or social origin, skin colour, physical appearance, religion or believes, marital or parental status, mental or physical disability, political opinion, social or economic situation, or health status.