Assistant to Policy Support Unit at COST

Assistant to Policy Support Unit at COST

COST – European CO-operation in Science and Technology – is a unique means for European researchers to jointly develop their own ideas and new initiatives across all scientific disciplines through trans-European networking of nationally funded research activities.
Based on a European intergovernmental framework, COST has contributed since its creation in 1971 to closing the gap between science, policy makers and society throughout Europe and beyond. COST mission is to enable break-through scientific developments leading to new concepts and products and thereby contributing to strengthen Europe’s research and innovation capacities.
The COST Association is an international non-profit association based in Brussels with 36 European Member Countries; it integrates governance, management and support functions dedicated to COST activities aiming at enabling trans-European science and technology cooperation. The COST Association draws its funding from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, through specific Grant Agreements signed in the frame of a framework Partnership Agreement with the European Commission.

Position Responsibilities.

The Assistant to Policy Support is a member of the Policy Support Unit. Under the guidance of the Head of Policy Support, he/she will contribute to administrating and implementing management and governance decisions.
The Assistant Policy Support will contribute to the overall day to day secretarial and operational activities in line with the CSO decisions associated with key objectives of COST. He/She needs extensive knowledge of the organisation and must understand the organisation’s aims and objectives and know key personnel (both internal and external). This position will also include strong support to the activities related to the CSO secretarial needs including organisation of its meetings and drafting or proofreading papers. Discretion and confidentiality are therefore essential attributes.
The Assistant to Policy Support will also provide advice and practical support, conduct and organise administrative duties and activities within the Unit. . He/She will be backed up by the Secretary of the Director.
The Assistant to Policy Support reports directly to the Head of Policy Support.
The successful candidate should be available to start as soon as possible. The position will involve:
Acting as the secretarial support for the Policy Support Unit
Support the administrative and logistical tasks of the team
Screening phone calls, enquiries and requests, and handling them when appropriate;
Maintaining schedules and calendars, arrange and confirm appointments
Contributing to setting up and maintaining filing systems, work procedures
Liaising with internal and external contacts
Communicating verbally and in writing to answer inquiries and provide information

Providing optimal and time effective travel arrangements, including visas and accommodation and, occasionally, travelling with the manager to take notes or dictation at meetings or to provide general assistance during presentations
Prepare and manage correspondence, letters, email drafts, reports and documents, and meeting minutes
Creating presentations, producing graphs and statistics, and monitoring data
Participate in the examination of complex cases and contribute problem solving
Acting as the secretarial support for the President and the CSO and the Vice-President and the EB.
Writing briefings, preparing speaking and defensive points for the CSO President as required
Proofreading documents submitted for CSO approval
Manage the CSO extranet (upload of last final versions, presentations, …)
Contributing in updating and distributing CSO documents accordingly
Independently organising meeting venues and logistics (rental rooms, organisation of dinners…)
Taking responsibilities and other tasks as requested

Profile and Competencies

The successful candidate should demonstrate the following competencies:


University degree. Public administration or European affairs is an asset,
Recognised 2 years’ experience as administrative Assistant
High standard of spoken and written English, knowledge of other European languages appreciated
Good understanding of European affairs


European research and innovation policies
Diplomacy and discretion is a must
Experience and knowledge of office procedures, administration and in the organisation of meetings
Intercultural, mediating and communication skills


Service-oriented attitude with strong sense of purpose and drive to make a meaningful contribution to the COST mission
Excellent inter-personal skills, including confidentially
Strong team work capacities and relationship building abilities
Demonstrated ability to balance multiple tasks and work well independently and collaboratively
Strong aptitude to offer interesting solutions to increase efficiency within the organisation
Adaptability to the changing environment
Proven presentation and communication skills
Assertiveness and capability to follow decisions from governance and management
Commitment and accountability to deliver on allocated tasks as entrusted by the Head of Unit

The COST Association offers

  •  A full-time contract under the Belgian law
  •  Start date: as soon as possible
  •  A European working environment located in Brussels
  •  Unless a national of the ‘EU and EEE’, candidates must be eligible to work in Belgium and must have a work permit

Electronic applications (motivation letter with possible start date mentioned + CV in English and at least 2 recent reference letters in English) should be addressed to Barbara Bottiau and sent to, mentioning the reference code APS2017 in the subject line.
Please note that the COST HR Team will only contact the candidates who are invited to the interview. No individual feedback will automatically be given to unsuccessful candidates.
The interviews will take place on 04th December 2017.
For more information, please visit our website:
Deadline for application: 19/11/2017 included

Data protection – All personal data provided by applicants will be dealt with in compliance with Regulation (EC) N° 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regards to the processing of personal data by the Community Institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data and also in compliance with the law of 8 December 1992 relative to the protection of the private life with regards to the personal data processings which transposes into Belgian law the provisions of the European directive.

Read more and apply here.

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