ESF Science Officer - cOAlition S Programme Manager

The ESF 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. 

It has been recently agreed with cOAlition S members that the ESF will be hosting the cOAlistion S office for an initial period of three years. ESF is therefore inviting applications for a Science Officer in charge of managing the cOAlition S office.

Plan S ( is an initiative for Open Access (OA) publishing that was launched in September 2018.  The plan is supported by cOAlition S, an international consortium of research funders. cOAlition S office is hosted by the European Science Foundation.

Plan S requires that, from 2021, scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms. To take forward this work ESF and cOAlition S are seeking to appoint a cOAlition S Programme Manager to work closely with the OA Champion ( of cOAlition S and the cOAlition S governance to develop and manage a programme of work to help accelerate the transition to full and immediate OA.

Key responsibilities include developing and managing a programme of work to help deliver full and immediate OA, organising and supporting the cOAlition S governance (and associated internal groups), preparing and managing budgets (including securing funding to support various activities) and working with other key stakeholders to help implement and deliver the vision set out in Plan S.

Please send your application by 14 December 2019 to jobs[at]esf[dot]org quoting the following reference PMCS 2019.

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 Open Access

First round of interviews (web-based) will be held on 19 December 2019
Second round of interviews (in Strasbourg) will be held on 10 January 2020

Main Mission

  • To develop and manage a programme of work – in partnership with the OA Champion of cOAlition S and the cOAlition S governance
  • To grow cOAlition S membership and to accelerate the transition to full and immediate OA.
  • To be ESF internal reference for all Open Access matters.

This position will involve:

  • To support the OA Champion of cOAlition S in promoting Plan S.
    • provide written and oral briefs for the OA champion for planned meetings
    • keep track of, and follow-up on, outcomes of meetings and engagement with funders and other stakeholders
    • advise the OA Champion, governance and the coordinator in planning future engagement
  • To ensure a smooth and efficient running of the cOAlition S Secretariat, including determining what additional resource could be required.
  • To secure additional funding to support the activities of the Secretariat (through securing additional Funders and external grants, e.g. from Horizon Europe).
  • To work with key stakeholders in the research ecosystem - researchers, university managers, librarians, publishers – to help them understand and support Plan S.
  • To liaise closely with ESF finance team to manage budgets, prepare reports and ensure that risks and ‘pinch points’ for cOAlition S are known in advance, mitigated and monitored.
  • To act as Secretary to the cOAlition S Executive Steering Group, and the cOAlition S Leaders Group, ensuring agendas and supporting papers are developed in advance of these meetings and taking forward appropriate actions.
  • To define, oversee and report to governance on the cOAlition S workplan
  • To propose and oversee decision-making procedures and other  ormalization of cOAlition S governance work
  • To contribute to and oversee cOAlition S communications
  • To design and implement community-building and coordination activities for the cOAlition S Expert Group.
  • To set up and support task forces to pursue specified activities, working closely and offering extensive support to the task force chairs, preparing briefing materials, arranging meetings, managing progress, risks, etc.
  • To support the cOAlition S network of Ambassadors, ensuring they have access to appropriate materials and information.
  • To identify, contract and manage any appropriate third-party consultancies, liaise with cOAlition S stakeholders and ensure that they deliver to the workplan
  • To manage staff recruited to support the cOAlition S Secretariat.
  • To be ESF’s point of expertise on Open publication matters and disseminate state of the art knowledge to ESF staff, management and governance.

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
  • Proven experience in efficient networking with a variety of stakeholders in science and science policy.
  • Knowledge of 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 open access policy and practice
  • 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 stakeholders
  • 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 employee, they will be working from Strasbourg head office.
  • The position is expected to be full-time (100% FTE) and will start as soon as possible.
  • The contract is offered for an initial duration of 18 months, extension to 3 years will be sought in case of successful development of the programme.
  • The position may involve some travel.
  • The post holder will report to the Chair of the cOAlition S Leaders’ Group and to the ESF Chief Executive
  • The post holder will work closely with the OA Champion of cOAlition S and the cOAlition S Leaders Group and the Executive Steering Group.

The ESF 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 (including in cases of pregnancy or maternity); age; ethnic, national or social origin; religion or belief; sexual orientation; disability; political opinion; social or economic condition or health.

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