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Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Head of Communication - ESF

The European Science Foundation (ESF) provides a platform for its Member Organisations to advance European research and explore new directions for research at the European level. Established in 1974 as an independent non-governmental organisation, the ESF currently serves 77 Member Organisations, including Research Funding Agencies, Research Performing Organisations and Academies, across 30 countries.


The mission of the position is to provide ESF Member Organisations, the European research community in general, the policymakers, the media and society at large with effective communication and to develop and lead an integrated communication strategy. The Head of Communications will understand and be able to communicate the role of the ESF in the European Research Area. He will deliver ESF communication and engagement strategies as well as identify and explore new avenues for communication to further raise the ESF profile and impact. He will manage a Communications unit providing a range of services to the ESF.

Position Responsibilities

The candidate should demonstrate abilities to:

  • Further develop ESF’s communication within the overall ESF Strategy Plan and its associated Communications Plan ( see;
  • Liaise with the Chief Executive Unit with regard to the development of science policy;
  • Work closely with Science Units and Standing Committees with reference to science coordination activities;
  • Liaise with ESF Member Organisations and external scientific bodies;
  • Represent ESF in external meetings;
  • Take responsibility for the management and achievement of budgets of specific activities in compliance with ESF Financial Rules and Delegated Financial Authority and providing necessary information to Administration and Finance allowing the regular presentation of financial reports;
  • Manage a team of Communications Officers;
  • Communicate to the team a clear vision, strategy and priorities of the ESF and how it affects the objectives of the unit. Motivating the team to seek challenges, reach the strategic objectives and perform in line with, or beyond expectations.

Profile and Competences required

The successful postholder should demonstrate the following competences:
Specific competences:

  • Degree in communications or journalism and a background in science or equivalent experience in science journalism and communication plus in depth knowledge and minimum ten years experience of corporate communication, preferably in an international science-based environment;
  • Good working knowledge of European and national research structures (especially ESF Member Organisations) and institutions, and European and international science policy would be an advantage;
  • Proven experience in writing science stories for a variety of media;
  • Proven creativity in communications strategy and implementation;
  • Proven people management experience within a performance driven organisation;
  • Proven experience with implementing projects within a budgetary and financial framework;
  • High standard of spoken and written English, with a working knowledge of French or another European language being an advantage but not a requirement;
  • Good working knowledge of MS Office systems and of electronic databases;
  • Knowledge of corporate websites and corporate intranet portals (e.g. Content Management System like Typo3).

Inter-personal competences:

  • Action-orientated, responsible and autonomous, creative and willing to take initiatives, and continuously improvement-minded;
  • Leadership and motivational skills;
    Strong inter-personal and excellent communication skills within a multi-national context, including discretion, diplomacy and tolerance;
  • Assertive with capability to guide decision-making procedures and to represent ESF in the scientific and science journalism community;
  • Leadership and staff management skills;
  • Proven organisational skills;
  • Good presentational skills;
  • Transparency in working and a team-orientated work ethic;
  • Commitment to deliver on allocated tasks and respond in a timely manner to deadlines;
  • Positive and constructive attitude;
  • Capable of demonstrating the ESF’s values: Excellence, Openness, Responsiveness, Pan-European approach, Ethical Awareness and Human Values.

Employment conditions

The full time position is offered for a three year term, with the possibility of a prolongation of two years, preferably starting September 2008.

The place of work is Strasbourg and the job will involve a significant amount of travel,
The salary level will be based on experience and qualifications of the successful candidate and will follow ESF terms and conditions and relocation policy.

Please send your application by 18 August 2008 to ESF, Human Resources Unit

1 quai Lezay-Marnésia, BP 90015, F-67080 Strasbourg or to quoting the following reference identifier HOU-COM

Interviews will be held in Strasbourg on 2 September 2008.

Further details at