Director of the BIOPOLIS Centre of Excellence
BIOPOLIS is a highly ambitious and novel Centre of Excellence located in the north of Portugal with a genuine commitment to excellence in environmental biology, ecosystem and agrobiodiversity research with an innovative and dynamic community addressing the major challenges confronting the environment and society. BIOPOLIS was possible as a result of a successful Horizon 2020 teaming project involving Porto Business School, the University of Montpellier and CIBIO (Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources). As leading global institutions with strong values, a unique sense of community and strategic intent, they aim to spread, through BIOPOLIS, excellence towards innovation and contribute to the socioeconomic development at the regional and national levels. It counts on significant support and investment from the European Commission, national structural funds and private partners amounting to an overall budget of around €130 million for the next 10 years.
The main objective of BIOPOLIS will be to upgrade the existing CIBIO; a private and independent research institution hosting 31 multidisciplinary research groups, around 175 PhD level researchers and over 100 MSc and PhD students students from across the world, conducting world-class research in biodiversity and evolution, and elevate it to a Centre of Excellence by integrating new and innovative strands of research in the fields of environmental biology, ecosystem research and agrobiodiversity. The Centre has state of the art ecology and molecular laboratories, and it conducts research projects at a global scale. The working language of the institute is English, and it offers a vibrant, multicultural and enthusiastic working atmosphere.
The Installation Committee, made up of the representative partners, is now seeking to appoint the inaugural Director of BIOPOLIS, who will lead the implementation, integration and overall executive management of the organisation. This will include coordinating strategic planning, assuring the top-level and legal representation, promoting key initiatives, assuring compliance with the vision and mission that has been set up and overseeing self-sustainability targets. The successful candidate will be an internationally renowned scholar in a relevant area to BIOPOLIS as well as having experience of, and sustained performance in winning external research funding. They will demonstrate proven experience in management and leadership together with evidence of engaging successfully with a broad array of external - including public and private sector - organisations operating at the interface of research, innovation and entrepreneurship to foster collaborations.
BIOPOLIS is a new Centre of Excellence in Environmental Biology, Ecosystem Research and AgroBiodiversity. Based in Porto, Portugal and funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, BIOPOLIS is being created through upgrading the research unit CIBIO (Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources) to a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Research, Development and Innovation (RDI). The upgrade is supported through teaming with the University of Montpellier, a leading scientific institution, and Porto Business School (PBS).
Rooted on an ambitious Business Plan, the project will establish BIOPOLIS as a leading international Centre of Excellence in Environmental Biology, Ecosystem Research and AgroBiodiversity, with the capacity for leading research excellence towards innovation in the areas of Environment, Biodiversity and Agriculture, and thereby contributing to socioeconomic development at the regional and national levels.
This will be achieved by attracting talented researchers, providing excellent conditions for research, training, internationalisation and networking, by aligning research with societal challenges, engaging in ambitious advanced training programmes, developing strong communication, dissemination and capitalisation of activities, and developing a strong partner programme and other mechanisms to promote the translation of research and innovation into the applications of science and other business opportunities.
BIOPOLIS will receive a contribution of €15 million by the European Commission, which will add to funds from national structural funds and private partners, amounting to an overall budget of around €130 million for 10 years.
Further information about BIOPOLIS can be found at https://www.biopolis.pt/en/
3. Director Role
The Director of BIOPOLIS will be the main individual responsible for the implementation of BIOPOLIS, including the recruitment of dozens of new positions for researchers, technicians and support personnel. Moreover, the Director will be responsible for the overall executive management, which includes coordinating the strategic planning, assuring the top-level and legal representation, promoting key initiatives, assuring compliance with the vision and mission, and overseeing self-sustainability targets. After taking office, the Director will recruit two deputy-directors for research and administration.
The successful candidate is expected to have:
· Experience in the management of academic or research institutions, preferably at the levels of Director, Deputy Director, or equivalent.
· A research background, with significant experience at an international level in evolutionary biology, biodiversity, ecology, sustainability or related areas in the scope of BIOPOLIS activity.
· Significant track record of fundraising success, including, for instance, large research grants or fellowships from national, European Union or international funding programs, contracts with industry, and/or other funding sources.
· Well-developed leadership skills, which promote engagement, collaboration, agility and foster a positive organisational culture.
· Proven experience of engagement with the public administration, business corporations and/or other stakeholders, in the co-development of research projects or other initiatives promoting the translation of research and innovation into applications and business opportunities.
· Excellent communication skills, with demonstrated capacity to reach successfully beyond the scientific community.
Exceptional conditions will be offered to the Director of BIOPOLIS, including:
· An initial appointment of 4 years, renewable upon assessment of performance and achievements;
· Internationally competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience, with a baseline equivalent to a Director of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (≈100 k€, subject to negotiation);
· Financial support and logistical assistance for relocation to the Porto region.
· Other side benefits to be negotiated on a case by case basis.
BIOPOLIS is being supported in this appointment process by the executive search firm Perrett Laver. Perrett Laver will assist in the assessment of candidates against the requirements for the role and to identify the widest possible field of qualified candidates.
For an informal conversation regarding the post please contact the appointed advisors, Perrett Laver, via Mazin Almaimani on Mazin.Almaimani@perrettlaver.com or +61 2 8354 4026, or Daniel Felipe Mullen on Daniel.Mullen@perrettlaver.com or +44 207 340 6263.
For further details and to apply online, please visit https://candidates.perrettlaver.com/vacancies quoting reference 4536. A summary of the BIOPOLIS project is also available upon request. The application should include at least the following elements:
· Personal statement (Up to 4 A4 pages), detailing the candidate’s vision for a centre like BIOPOLIS and the role of the Director in achieving its ambitious objectives in the short, medium and long term. The statement should also describe how her/his past achievements and experience provides excellent qualifications for the Director role.
· Applicant’s CV (Up to eight A4 pages), providing evidence that the applicant complies with the call requirements, and describing achievements related to the call (scientific highlights, past management experience, track record of fundraising, relations with stakeholders and knowledge transfer, communication skills, among other relevant aspects of professional activity).
· Reference letters (Up to three), providing evidence from qualified researchers and colleagues on past professional performance and achievements.
The deadline for applications is noon CET on Sunday 23rd February 2020.
The evaluation process and subsequent recruitment will be made according to the principles of the Code of Conduct for Recruitment of Researchers established by the European Commission. These principles ensure observance of values such as transparency of the recruitment process and equal treatment of all applicants, in particular with regard to the development of an attractive, open and sustainable European labour market for researchers, and are complementary to those outlined in the European Charter for Researchers.
Selection will be made by a panel including external experts and representatives from BIOPOLIS partner institutions, and it will include:
· Review and assessment of documentary elements provided by the candidates (i.e., Personal Statement, CV and Reference letters. Based on these elements, candidates will be ranked, and a short list of suitable candidates will be produced.
· Interviews for all short-listed candidates, either in person or remotely.
· Before final selection, up to three candidates will be invited for a 2-day visit to the BIOPOLIS headquarters, where a final interview will take place.
The BIOPOLIS Consortium (https://www.biopolis.pt/en/)
BIOPOLIS, Campus de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal (coordinates: N41.328940, W8.672635).