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Executive Director of MIRRI-ERIC: Vacancy

Vacancy details

Executive Director of MIRRI-ERIC
Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium

Application deadline: 1 February 2023
Envisaged start date: May – June 2023
Duration: Contract with indefinite duration, subject to periodic evaluations
Working hours: full time
Compensation: between 65 and 75k€ gross annual salary, subject to negotiation and according to experience.
Employer: MIRRI-ERIC
Location: MIRRI-ERIC Central Coordinating Unit University of Minho, Campus of Gualtar Pedagogic Complex 3, Floor 0
4710-057 Braga, Portugal

Responsible to: MIRRI-ERIC Assembly of Members

The Executive Director will receive a mandate from the MIRRI-ERIC Assembly of Members, in the form of a service commission contract, as foreseen in the Portuguese Labour Code (articles 161 to 164), stating his/her role, duties and compensation. The Executive Director will be supervising the MIRRI-ERIC Central Coordinating Unit (CCU) staff including Secretary, Project Manager, Access Officer, IT Officer, and other positions that may be opened in the future.

General summary

The Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure (MIRRI-ERIC) is the pan-European distributed Research Infrastructure for the preservation, systematic investigation, provision and valorisation of microbial resources and biodiversity.
Included in the ESFRI roadmap since 2010, MIRRI is constituted as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) by the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/1204 of 16 June 2022.
MIRRI-ERIC brings together the microbial domain Biological Resource Centres (mBRCs), culture collections and research institutes from its Member and Observer countries. MIRRI-ERIC serves the bioscience and the bioindustry communities by facilitating the access, through a single point, to the broadest range of high-quality microorganisms, their derivatives, associated data and services, with a special focus on the domains of Health & Food, Agro-Food, and Environment & Energy.
By serving its users, by collaborating with other research infrastructures and by working with public authorities and policy makers, MIRRI-ERIC contributes to the advancement of research and innovation in life sciences and biotechnology, as well as for a sustainable, competitive and resilient bioeconomy. MIRRI-ERIC envisions a greener, healthier and more sustainable world, based on the preservation, study and valorisation of microbial resources and biodiversity.
Presently MIRRI-ERIC has 5 Members: Belgium, France, Latvia, Portugal and Spain. During 2023, MIRRI- ERIC will start the operational phase of its Central Coordinating Unit.
The governing board of MIRRI-ERIC is the Assembly of the Members (AoM).

Role of the Executive Director

The Executive Director (ED) is the legal representative of MIRRI-ERIC.
It is expected that the ED will be an enthusiast, highly motivated and ambitious professional with the experience to achieve progress and contribute to the development of MIRRI-ERIC´s vision, strategy and plans.
Working under the direction of the AoM, the ED shall guide and supervise the operations of the Central Coordinating Unit, coordinate the National Nodes, build and strengthen strategic partnerships and liaise with internal and external stakeholders to achieve the goals of MIRRI-ERIC.
The ED shall represent and manage the research infrastructure, both operationally and administratively and ensure that MIRRI-ERIC operations comply at all times with its Statutes. The ED shall develop strong links with existing and future MIRRI-ERIC Members, and interact with their ministries, funding bodies, policy makers and other key opinion leaders, for the evolvement of MIRRI- ERIC.

Responsibilities and duties

The Executive Director shall:

  • lead and administrate MIRRI-ERIC including the Central Coordinating Unit (CCU);
  • appoint and dismiss staff of the CCU;
  • prepare, in cooperation with the National Coordinators Forum, decisions, programs, policies and reports for adoption by the Assembly of Members;
  • implement decisions, programs and policies adopted by the Assembly of Members;
  • request extraordinary meetings of the Assembly of Members;
  • prepare the agenda and the minutes of all Assembly of Members meetings for approval by the Assembly of Members, with the assistance of the CCU staff;
  • prepare and submit the annual report and audited accounts, for approval by the Assembly of Members;
  • prepare and submit to the Assembly of Members proposals for the strategy on the collaboration with other Research Infrastructures;
  • present the proposals from aspiring new Members or Observers in order to recommend admission to MIRRI-ERIC;
  • evaluate, together with the Advisory Board, the National Node and Partners of new Members according to the principles defined in the Partner Charter;
  • chair the National Coordinators Forum;
  • provide to the Assembly of Members:
    • at the end of each financial year the draft Work Program including the budget for the following financial year, which shall include all expected revenues and expense items;
    • at the beginning of each financial year, a statement of the audited account of the previous year.
  • Organise, every 5 years, the scientific evaluation of MIRRI-ERIC activities, services and platforms;
  • Promote the activities of MIRRI-ERIC and their use in research, innovative projects and higher research;
  • Acquire additional third-party funds for MIRRI-ERIC, including through the application for European projects.

Required qualifications & competences

  • PhD or equivalent experience in science (Life Sciences, Health and Medical Sciences, Agricultural and Food Sciences, Biotechnology, Bioengineering, Microbiology or similar areas);
  • At least 3 years of experience in “Director” / “Chief Officer” roles, including responsibilities in executive affairs, strategic planning and reporting, financial administration, operations, network building, business development or staff/team management;
  • Relevant knowledge on the overall functioning of microbial domain Biological Resource Centres (mBRCs), culture collections or other types of biorepositories;
  • Experience on setting up and/or managing relevant collaborative projects between public (Academia) and private (Industry) organisations;
  • Excellent communication and public relations skills;
  • Proficiency in at least two European languages including excellent spoken and written English;
  • Experience on interacting with public authorities and governmental agencies and on participating in relevant policy-making fora.

Desired competences:

  • Experience, in the last 5 years, in management of multinational, distributed Research Infrastructures, including ERICs in the ESFRI Roadmap Health & Food domain;
  • Relevant knowledge on the ESFRI landscape and EU framework programmes;
  • Knowledge/experience on intellectual property rights and knowledge/technology transfer;
  • Knowledge/experience on management systems (e.g. ISO);
  • Knowledge/experience on marketing and communication affairs and resources;
  • Elementary/intermediate proficiency in Portuguese and Spanish.

Expected Soft skills

  • Integrity
  • Effective communication
  • Leadership and teamwork

Working conditions

  • The general place of work will be an office environment at the University of Minho, Campus of Gualtar, Braga, Portugal.
  • The work will include regular travel within Europe and some travel outside Europe.
  • Occasionally an extended work schedule is necessary due to travel, meeting attendance, and other time sensitive activities.

Selection procedure

  • Applications should be addressed to the Chair of the MIRRI-ERIC AoM, (Eric Guittet) and submitted by email to recruitment@mirri.org as a single pdf file (max 4 MB) including CV, evidence of meeting the required and desirable competences, cover letter, and a presentation of how the candidate plan to manage and develop MIRRI-ERIC;
  • The deadline for applications is 1 February 2023;
  • All enquiries about this job posting should be sent to recruitment@mirri.org

Shortlisted applicants will be notified after 15 February 2023 and interviews will take place in March 2023. The envisaged start date is May – June 2023.
The initial probationary period is 180 days.
An international MIRRI-ERIC Search Committee has been established that will advise the AoM in the selection of candidates.
MIRRI-ERIC is committed to equality of opportunity and shall not discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, ethnic origin, gender, creed, disability, sexual orientation or any other ground.
Applications are encouraged from citizens of the European Union and associated countries.

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