Skip to main content

Vacancy Announcement: HFSPO Senior Executive Assistant

HFSPO is hiring a new Secretariat staff member. Applications for Senior Executive Assistant will be open until 5th March.


HFSPO was established by the G7 countries and the European Commission at the initiative of former Prime Minister Nakasone of Japan at the 1987 Venice Summit. As an international collaboration in the spirit of science without borders and for the benefit of humankind, its mission is to promote bold basic frontier research in the life sciences and foster interdisciplinary collaborations around the world by means of research grants, postdoctoral fellowships and other frontier science activities. The Program, HFSP, is a tool for international scientific collaboration and also for science diplomacy, facilitating mutual understanding through scientific research. The Secretariat of the Organization is hosted by France and located in Strasbourg.

Since 1990, over 7500 researchers from more than 70 countries have been supported. Of these, 28 HFSP awardees have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize.

Open to scientists of every nation, HFSPO is supported by 15 members, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the European Commission, with Norway and South Africa joining from the beginning of this year.

The Organization has seen much progress over recent years and is now at the point of finalizing a new, ambitious and visionary strategy, that will position HFSPO for a future at the frontiers of science. The position is a unique opportunity to support the Organization at the Executive level as it transitions to the new strategy and begins implementing it.



Executive assistance and coordination: Reporting to the Secretary-General, the Senior Executive Assistant (SEA) is expected to support and coordinate all the activities of the Secretary-General, ensuring that the work with collaborators and staff is efficient and effective. In order to achieve this, the position holder will have to keep abreast of all aspects of the Secretary-General’s ongoing tasks and responsibilities. This may include, inter alia, correspondence, briefings, presentations, reports, meetings and travel. The SEA will ensure that the Deputy Secretary-General, the Directors and other staff are kept appropriately informed on matters that affect them, in consultation with the Secretary-General. In addition, upon request, the position holder assists the Deputy Secretary-General.

Support to the Board of Trustees: As the Secretary to the Board of Trustees, the highest decision making body of the Organization, the SEA facilitates the communication to the Board, keeps an updated contact list, monitors the terms of mandates of Trustees and follows up on feedback and requests with the Secretary-General. The position holder supports the drafting of Board papers under the direction of the Secretary-General, is responsible for recording the minutes of Board meetings, to be verified by the Deputy Secretary-General and is responsible for eliciting electronic voting by Trustees in accord with the Bylaws and provides the verified voting for sign off by the President. In addition, the President and Secretary-General will be assisted in the preparation and conduct of the Triennial Conference of the HFSPO Members.

Support to the President of HFSPO: The position holder supports the President in all activities related to his role, including ensuring efficient liaising between the President and the Secretary-General.

Support to the Council of Scientists: Under the leaderships of the Secretary-General and the Director of Science Policy and Communications, the Executive Assistant supports the work of the Council of Scientists, monitors the terms of mandates of members, to prepare the Council agenda and to ensure accurate Council minutes.

Internal coordination and oversight: The position holder ensures and monitors smooth internal exchange and communication, particularly as regards decisions taken at the Board of Trustees and the Secretary-General level that need implementation and follow-up. Also, the SEA is pivotal in ensuring consistency in use of English language and style throughout HFSPO documents.



  • 10+ years of relevant professional work experience as an Executive Assistant, Personal Assistant or similar role, preferably in the highly versatile, multilateral international organization in a science, science funding, education or related sectors.
  • Excellent proficiency in English with impeccable written communication skills. Native English would be an advantage. Basic knowledge of French or willingness to acquire basic French language skills would be an advantage.
  • Excellent communication, ‘diplomatic’, organizational, and planning skills, preferably in an international, multicultural environment.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks with short deadlines and willingness to work at times outside office hours, to cater to the international members, partners and collaborators of HFSPO.
  • Discretion, confidentiality and loyalty at the highest standards.
  • Analytical and synthetic skills with attention to detail and rigor.
  • Ability to work independently and be a thoughtful collaborator and team member
  • Excellent MS Office knowledge.


Vacancy specification and application:

The position is offered as a permanent contract under French law (contrat à durée indéterminée – CDI), after an initial four-month probation period.

HFSPO offers a competitive salary package including coverage for health, unemployment, retirement and an insurance package for the candidate and their family members, under the rules of French law. International candidates are eligible for expatriation allowance. Moving and installation expenses will be covered.

HFSPO is an equal-opportunities and family-friendly employer. HFSPO is committed to an inclusive environment promoting all forms of diversity, equity and inclusion offering an agreeable place to learn, work, and live. Therefore, we encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates.

Please submit your application by 5 March, at the latest, to and include your CV and a letter of motivation listing two references and stating your current notice period.

HFSPO processes your personal data for recruitment purposes on the legal basis of pre-contractual work necessary to process your application. For further information, please consult the HFSPO Privacy Policy ( ).

For questions and confidential inquiries please contact

Please note that only successful applicants will be contacted. Interviews will be conducted at the end of March.

Start of the position is as soon as possible.








Media contacts

Guntram Bauer
Director of Science Policy and Communications

Liliana Gonçalves
Science and Communications Officer

Rachael Bishop
Science Writer and Editor

Click here to show mail address