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Open Position - Associate Director for Administration & Finance of the BIOPOLIS Centre of Excellence


Associate Director for Administration & Finance of the BIOPOLIS Centre of Excellence

Job Reference: ICETA 2020-09

1. Summary
A position is open for Associate Director for Administration & Finance of BIOPOLIS, a new Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Environmental Biology, Ecosystem Research and AgroBiodiversity located in Portugal, which results from a H2020 Teaming project involving CIBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Porto Business School and the University of Montpellier. BIOPOLIS is an independent structure with private status, which will have an overall budget of around 130 million euros for 10 years, funded by the European Commission, national structural funds and private partners. The Associate Director for Administration & Finance will be responsible for general management (financial, marketing, information technologies, operations, risk management, people), and will be the direct responsible for the operation of the Administration and Finance Units.
The successful candidate will have exceptional business acumen, with an excellent record of business development and delivery success in general management.

2. Background
BIOPOLIS is a highly ambitious and novel Centre of Excellence located in the north of Portugal with a genuine commitment to excellence in environmental biology, ecosystem and
agrobiodiversity research with an innovative and dynamic community addressing the major challenges confronting the environment and society. BIOPOLIS was possible as a result of a successful H2020 Coordination and Supporting Action (Reference 857251) funded by the European Commission under the call H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2018-2019: Teaming Phase 2 (https://www.biopolis.pt/en/). The project involves CIBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, the Porto Business School and the University of Montpellier, leading global institutions with strong values, a unique sense of community and strategic intent, that aim to spread, through BIOPOLIS, excellence towards innovation and contribute to the socioeconomic development at the regional and national levels. It counts on significant support and investment from the European Commission, national structural funds and private partners amounting to an overall budget of around €130 million for the next 10 years.
The main objective of BIOPOLIS will be to upgrade the existing CIBIO; a private and independent research institution hosting 31 multidisciplinary research groups, around 175 PhD level researchers and over 100 MSc and PhD students from across the world, conducting world-class research in biodiversity and evolution, and elevate it to a Centre of Excellence by integrating new and innovative strands of research in the fields of environmental biology, ecosystem research and agrobiodiversity. The Centre has state of the art ecology and molecular laboratories, and it conducts research projects at a global scale. The working language of the institute is English, and it offers a vibrant, multicultural and enthusiastic working atmosphere.

3. Associate Director for Administration & Finance’s Role
The Installation Committee, made up of the representative partners, is now seeking to appoint an Associate Director for Administration & Finance, which will be a member of the Board of Directors (BoD) of BIOPOLIS, together with a Director and an Associate Director for Research & Innovation. 

The Associate Director for Administration & Finance will be responsible for general management (financial, marketing, information technologies, operations, risk management, people), and will be the direct responsible for the operation of the Administration and Finance Units.

The Associate Director for Administration & Finance will support the efficient realization of BIOPOLIS objectives and activities by implementing sound management practices for optimal performance in all areas of financial and grants management, risk management, safety and security, office management, information technology, human resource management, as well as to organization-wide efforts to optimize systems and procedures.

Core competencies
- Achievement Drive: Continually keeps an eye on performance, focusing on improving it, showing drive and determination to meet short and long-term goals;
- Change Orientation: Adapts to differences and changes in the environment; takes a flexible approach to reach outcomes;
- Collaboration: Works cooperatively as part of a team; works collaboratively with peers across organisational boundaries based on a genuine interest in and an accurate understanding of others and their individual perspectives and concerns;
- Organisational Commitment: Is willing to commit to an organisation and to align her/his own behavior with the organisation's needs and intrinsic values, acting with integrity in ways that promote the organisation's mission, policies and rules.
Managerial competencies
- Developing Others: Builds the long-term capability of others by guiding and developing them to make the most of their competence and potential, based on an accurate understanding of their true strengths and development needs;
- Strategic Thinking: Thinks about the long-term organisational strategy and how to align to and implement it; comes up with useful new strategic insights;
- Team Leadership: Builds a high performing team, ensuring it is focused, motivated and inspired to achieve organisational objectives, encouraging performance excellence and addressing underperformance when required.
Financial and Administrative competencies (including but not limited to)
- Demonstrates ability to develop budgets, monitor financial status and manage administrative and financial activities of complex programs;
- Has a thorough knowledge of Portuguese accounting, financial, tax and legal framework;
- Ensures timely submission of financial reports within the established guidelines;
- Authorizes expenditures for grant or contract allocations and ensures compliance with procedures required by grant or contract agreements;
- Hiring and managing personnel and leading initiatives to develop staff capacity;
- Experience with monitoring and evaluation tools and systems;
- Computer literate and proficient, including knowledge of data management and analysis.

4. Requirements
The successful candidate is expected to:
- Hold a university degree in economics, management or other related field, preferably supplemented by post-graduate studies in a business-related area.
- Have relevant experience in financial and management activities in large institutions, preferably at the levels of Director, Deputy Director, or equivalent.
- High proficiency in English; a working knowledge of French will also be valued.

There will be important factors of preference, if the candidates:
- Have a PhD;
- Have experience of engagement with academic or research institutions;
- Masters other European languages besides English.

5. Benefits
Exceptional conditions will be offered to the Associate Director of BIOPOLIS, including:
- An initial appointment of 4 years, renewable upon assessment of performance and achievements;
- Internationally competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience;
- Financial support and logistical assistance for relocation to the Porto region.
- Other fringe benefits to be negotiated.

6. Application
Applications should be submitted at the electronic address http://www.cibio.pt, until the 31st March. If no qualified candidate is selected, the call will be open until 22nd April. A summary of the BIOPOLIS project is available upon request to the mail address cibio.up@cibio.up.pt. The application should include at least the following elements:
- Personal statement (Up to two A4 pages), detailing the candidate’s vision for BIOPOLIS and the role of the Associate Director in achieving its ambitious objectives in the short, medium and long term. The statement should also describe how her/his past achievements and experience provides excellent qualifications for the Associate Director role.
- Applicant’s CV (Up to six A4 pages), providing evidence that the applicant’s comply with the call requirements, and describing achievements related to the call.
- Reference letters (Up to three) providing evidence on past professional performance and achievements.

7. Evaluation
The evaluation process and subsequent recruitment will be made according to the principles of the Code of Conduct for Recruitment of Researchers established by the European Commission. These principles ensure observance of values such as transparency of the recruitment process and equal treatment of all applicants, in particular about the development of an attractive, open and sustainable European labour market for researchers, and are complementary to those outlined in the European Charter for Researchers.

Selection will be made by a panel including external experts and representatives from BIOPOLIS partner institutions, and it will include:
- Review and assessment of documentary elements provided by the candidates (i.e., Personal Statement, CV and Reference letters. Based on these elements, candidates will be ranked, and a short list of suitable candidates will be produced.
- Interviews to all short-listed candidates, either in person or remotely.
- Before final selection, up to three candidates will be invited for a 2-days visit to the BIOPOLIS headquarters, where a final interview will be made.

8. Employer
The BIOPOLIS Consortium (https://www.biopolis.pt/en/)

9. Location
BIOPOLIS, Campus de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal (coordinates: N41.328940, W8.672635).

10. Additional information
For an informal conversation regarding the post please contact Rita Araújo on rita.araujo@cibio.up.pt or +351 252 660 400.
A summary of the BIOPOLIS project is also available upon request.

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