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Vacancy Announcement: HFSPO Scientific Officer

HFSPO is hiring a new staff member. We are accepting applications for HFSPO Scientific Officer until 5th April.

Position: Scientific Officer
Contract Type: Three year contract renewable once
Reference: HFSPO/2024/SO
Deadline: 5 April 2024
Interviews: April/May



The Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) is a unique organization, supporting international collaboration to undertake innovative, risky, basic research at the frontier of the life sciences. It is supported financially by 16 countries and the European Commission. Since 1990, over 8500 researchers from more than 70 countries have been funded. Of these, 29 HFSP awardees have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize.

The Organization has seen much progress over recent years and is on the verge of implementing its new Strategic Plan. The Secretariat, which implements the Program, is reorganizing the work in the Awards Division to better position itself to ensure the successful implementation of the strategy.



This is a newly established position that is central to the Awards Division. The activities in the Awards Division are at the core of HFSPO’s mission to support outstanding frontier research in the life sciences. The Scientific Officer contributes to this mission through proposal and grant management, as well as the review assignments carried out by the Scientific Directors. The new officer will also facilitate the efficient operation of the Award Division, which entails overseeing program management, fostering team cohesion, and ensuring the harmonized utilization of software tools, workflows, and document repositories.


Reporting to the two Scientific Directors overseeing the Awards Division, this new position is part of a team of 6 colleagues (2 Directors, 4 officers) in charge of the HFSP Awards, i.e. Research Grants, Postdoctoral Fellowships and the new Accelerator Program.

Job Description:

Support to full award cycle including call for proposals, submission and award management

  • Works closely with Program Officers on day to day handling of applications and grants management as assigned:
    • Responds to inquiries from applicants throughout the full selection process.
    • Assures that new awards can start in a timely fashion and agreements are digitally signed.
    • Follows up on reporting, payments and closure of awards and responds to all project related queries that might come up.
    • Keeps a full electronic file for awards and ensures documents are available across the Division and the Secretariat.
    • Supports harmonization of the administration processes towards a unified way of work in the Division.
  • Supports efficient work across the Awards Division, ensuring that project, task and document management are aligned.
  • Provides input to the continuous improvements of the grants management software, and ensures that it is used in an internally agreed and standardized manner.

Support to Program development and implementation

  • Supports preparation of necessary governance papers. Ensures that decisions and recommendations are implemented under the guidance of the Award Division Directors.
  • Contributes to position papers and evaluation reports to further refine and develop activities, as well as necessary preparatory work for Program evaluations.
  • Supports the implementation of the new Accelerator Program, including guidelines, reference documentation and preparation of the evaluations.
  • Contributes to the development and adjustment of guidelines, regulations and policies as required under the Program and in relation to the implementation of the HFSPO Shared Values, and for this purpose, refers to policies and programs of other funders (particularly in HFSPO Member countries).

Support to Evaluation and Selection of Awards

  • Supports the Scientific Directors to maintain the standing peer review committee and by soliciting external mail reviewers.
  • Supports the coordination of the peer review process, including the preparation, organization, operation of the meetings and the documentation of results.
  • Supports the collection and presentation of the award statistics, the final ranked list and report to the Recommendation Committee.
  • Supports the development of comprehensive analytical capabilities across the HFSP Awards and Alumni community.

External Communication and Outreach

  • Contributes to all external communication and outreach activities of the Award Division, including inter alia, presentations in outreach events, the HFSP Awardees Meeting, the HFSP Annual report, HFSP Science Digest, Frontier workshops and others.



  • The ideal candidate has a scientific background and a PhD level degree in the life sciences or in scientific disciplines at the intersection with life sciences, ideally with a cross-disciplinary and international career path.
  • At least 5 years hands-on experience combining academic research and grant writing, including experience with research funders and peer review.
  • Demonstrated knowledge in a scientific field within the scientific realm of HFSP.
  • Willingness and curiosity to learn about the broad spectrum of scientific research supported by HFSP is indispensable.
  • Attention to detail and scientific rigor.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a substantial and varied workload effectively, including managing competing demands, maintaining accuracy, and coordinating activities across and within divisions within the Organization
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Strong team player with an ability to listen and collaborate with a wide range of colleagues, experts and strategic partners.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, and experience of working in a multi-national/-cultural environment.
  • High proficiency in Microsoft Office and software packages used for peer review and grant management is required.
  • Native proficiency in English with outstanding editing and writing skills are essential.


  • Experience working with accounting systems is desirable.
  • Knowledge of French would be an advantage.


As all HFSP contracts fall under French law, the candidate must commit to being officially registered in France and working most of the time from the HFSP Secretariat in Strasbourg (teleworking policy in place). The position may involve some international travel.


The position is an initial fixed-term three-year contract (including a 4 months’ probation period) followed by a maximum of three-year extension. Competitive salary in reference to the OECD international remuneration scale, including coverage for health, unemployment, retirement and insurance package to the candidate including family under the rules of French law. International candidates are eligible for moving and installation expenses, and may qualify for expatriation allowance.



HFSPO holds strong shared values, which align with promoting scientific excellence at the frontier of life science. HFSPO takes pride in its distinct culture which contributes to scientific excellence through paradigm shifting international, interdisciplinary and collaborative research. HFSPO values diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, open science and sustainability and is committed to the highest ethical standards of integrity, accountability, independence and impartiality, transparency, respect and professional conduct. On this basis, the Program supports and nurtures individual scientists at all stages of their career and the scientific community at large.



Please submit your application to Click here to show mail address by 5 April 2024. Please include your CV, a letter of motivation listing two references and stating your current notice period. Should you have any questions on the position or the application process, kindly write to the same address. 

Furthermore, please add therein a written consent, authorizing HFSPO to process your personal data in accordance with the HFSPO Privacy Policy.

Interviews will be conducted end of April/start of May 2024.