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Vacancy: Head of Science Programmes

The International Council for Science (ICSU) is seeking a Head of Science Programmes, to develop and deliver ICSU’s science initiatives.

Location: Paris, France
Closing date: 11 August 2014 (midnight CET)

ICSU is a non-governmental scientific organization with a global membership. ICSU members include 121 national scientific bodies (mostly national academies of science), 31 International Scientific Unions, and 22 International Scientific Associates. Activities focus on three areas: International Research Collaboration; Science for Policy; and Universality of Science. This position offers a unique opportunity for the successful candidate to support global scientific collaboration, join the ICSU management team and further ICSU’s mission to strengthen international science for the benefit of society.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Head of Science Programmes will manage the development and implementation of ICSU’s scientific and science for policy initiatives, as defined in its Strategic Plan.  He/she will line manage the science staff and take on project management responsibility for specific projects. He/she will also be responsible for supporting two of ICSU’s policy committees (the Committee on Scientific Planning and Review and the Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science), collaborating with the Chairpersons to help the committees meet ICSU’s strategic needs.  He/she will work closely with the Executive Director and the other members of the management team, for example on strategy development, providing the scientific input for fundraising and media engagement.

The ICSU Secretariat, located in Paris, is a small international team of 18 people and currently also hosts the interim Secretariat for Future Earth. The ability to work in close cooperation with others is essential, both with Paris-based staff and with ICSU staff located in the three regional offices (South Africa, Malaysia and Mexico).  International travel will be necessary in this role.

ICSU is seeking candidates with the following:

Qualifications and knowledge

  • An advanced scientific degree (Doctorate or equivalent) in a relevant natural or social science discipline and a broad interest in science and science policy.
  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience in international research management and coordination.
  • Experience of working with stakeholder groups, including policy makers, businesses and civil society with a particular emphasis on improving the relationships with the scientific community.
  • Knowledge of relevant intergovernmental partner organisations and processes, including UN structures, would be an advantage.
  • Demonstrated team management experience.
  • Full command of written and spoken English; working knowledge of French and knowledge of other languages is considered an advantage.


  • Ability to turn abstract concepts and early ideas into implemented projects.
  • Analytical skills and ability to summarise scientific information.
  • Action-oriented and able to work on own initiative.
  • Excellent skills in consensus-building across diverse communities, in a complex, international and interdisciplinary environment.
  • Proven writing skills.

The salary will be dependent on the experience and qualifications of the candidate.

Applicants are requested to address the above description, qualifications, knowledge and skills requirements in a cover letter and attach a curriculum vitae with the name and contact details of three referees. They are invited to indicate how serving in this position would support their own future science management career objectives. Applications (preferably in one combined PDF file) should be sent via email, with ‘Head of Science Programmes’ in the subject line, to recruitment@icsu.org and addressed to Dr Steven Wilson, Executive Director, International Council for Science (ICSU). Please indicate where you saw this job advertisement. The closing date for applications is 11 August 2014 (midnight CET).

For more information on ICSU, please visit: www.icsu.org

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