EMBL - European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Head of Administration

EMBL - European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Hinxton, near Cambridge, United Kingdom

Staff Category: Staff Member
Contract Duration: 5 years
Grading: Commensurate with experience and qualifications
Closing Date: 26 March 2017
Reference Number: EBI_00888

Job Description

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is one of the highest ranked scientific research organisations in the world. The Headquarters Laboratory is located in Heidelberg (Germany), with additional sites in Grenoble (France), Hamburg (Germany), Hinxton (UK) and Monterotondo (Italy).

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

Job Purpose:

To lead the non-scientific administration of EMBL-EBI, working within the framework of EMBL and alongside campus partners, reporting to the Directors of the EMBL-EBI and to fulfil her/his function in close collaboration with the EMBL Administrative Director.

The post holder is directly responsible for a team covering human resources, purchase and budget functions, grants, the project office, facility management and safety.

Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities of the Role:

  • Advise the EMBL-EBI Directors in all matters relating to administration;
  • Contribute to strategic decision-making, sitting on the Strategy and Management Committee (SMC) and Executive Management Committee (EMC) and implementing decisions as they relate to the Administration;
  • Human Resources: Oversee the work of the HR team and ensure development of site-specific HR initiatives, in close collaboration and professional guidance of the EMBL Head of Human Resources;
  • Budgets, and Grants Management: Oversee the development of the Institute’s budget, down to Group and Team Leader level, and ensure that these are agreed with the Director’s and regularly reported. Ensure that applications for grant funding are properly co-ordinated and support provided to GTLs for awarded grants;
  • Purchasing: Oversee the purchasing activities of EMBL-EBI and support the Head of Purchase in delivering relevant information;
  • Facilities Management: Oversee space planning, allocation and office moves, minor works and maintenance;
  • Health & Safety: Chair the EMBL-EBI Health & Safety Committee and ensure proper processes and procedures implemented to secure the well-being and safety of personnel and visitors in close collaboration with the central EMBL head of health and safety;
  • Oversee the Strategic Project Management Office (SPMO) with responsibility for the UK capital funding stream, acting as Programme Director and member of the Data Centre Capacity Board, for the development of impact analysis, and for the development and implementation of best practice management through the Institute;
  • Oversee and implement developments affecting the corporate control framework including the risk management process, the development of Institute wide business continuity plans;
  • Maintain and develop systems, tools and processes that support decision-making and effective administration at the Institute in line with central EMBL tools and processes;
  • Maintain constructive relationships with national and local authorities and as a member of the Campus Management foster working relationships between EMBL-EBI and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Qualifications and Experience

The successful candidate should hold an advanced university degree in an area that covers at least part of the wide range of responsibilities. She/he will have senior level experience for at least 10 years in a comparable organisation, including budget responsibility, human resource management, the development of legal agreements and facility management. Experience with working with funders, local and national authorities is desirable.

Drafting and negotiating skills, clarity in oral and written presentations, the ability to undertake and deliver long-term strategic administrative planning, the ability to accept and discharge responsibility and a constructive and timely response to change are essential requirements. Flexibility of approach, with fairness, consistency of delivery, motivation skills, and an awareness of the needs of an international and diverse staff are essential.

An excellent communicator, the successful candidate will have the ability to represent the goals and requirements of both the EMBL-EBI and the wider EMBL Administration.

Fluent English in written and oral capacity is mandatory. Other important languages for EMBL sites as German, French, Italian and Spanish would be an asset.

Application Instructions

Please apply online through

Additional Information

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprise a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme, medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial support for relocation and installation, including your family.

Please note that appointments on fixed term contracts can be renewed, depending on circumstances at the time of the review.

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above.

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