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Project Officer Innovative Advanced Materials

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European Defence Agency (EDA) hiring: Project Officer Innovative Advanced Materials

The European Defence Agency was established on 12 July 2004, and is governed by Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1835 defining the statute, seat and operational rules of the European Defence Agency. The Agency has its headquarters in Brussels.

The main task of EDA is to support the Council and the Member States in their effort to improve the Union’s defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as it currently stands and as it develops in the future.

The Agency is structured into four directorates. Three operational directorates: Industry, Synergies and Enablers (ISE); Capability, Armament & Planning (CAP); Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI) and the Corporate Services Directorate (CSD).

The Agency is an “outward-facing” organisation, constantly interacting with its shareholders, the participating Member States, as well as with a wide range of stakeholders. It works in an integrated way, with multi-disciplinary teams representing all of the Agency’s functional areas, to realise its objectives. Its business processes are flexible and oriented towards achieving results. Staff at all levels need to demonstrate the corresponding qualities of commitment, flexibility, innovation, and team-working; to work effectively with shareholders and stakeholder groups, formal and informal; and to operate without the need for detailed direction.

The Research, Technology & Innovation Directorate (RTI) promotes and supports defence research at EU level. Based on the Overarching Strategic Research Agenda (OSRA), developed together with the Member States, the Directorate coordinates and plans joint research activities and the study of technical solutions to meet future operational needs.

The RTI Directorate provides support to Member States and to the European Commission for the Preparatory Action for defence research, including its implementation, and the research dimension of the European Defence Fund. The RTI directorate also ensures the promotion of innovation in defence and the exploitation of synergies at EU level with civil research in dual-use technology fields.

The RTI Directorate comprises two Units and an RTI Coordination Team, with the following key tasks:

The EU-funded Defence Research Unit: upstream, implementing and downstream support linked to defence research activities funded by the EU budget under delegation by the European Commission
The Technology & Innovation Unit: facilitating the work of the Capability Technology Groups (CapTechs), the Energy & Environment Working Group; development and management of ad hoc research activities based on sectoral Strategic Research Agendas
The RTI Coordination Team: coordination of the RTI Directorate’s contributions to EDA’s transversal activities (such as CDP, CARD, PESCO, and KSA); overview of the Agency’s research portfolio; provision of outlook for research activities and technology watch.


Under the direction of the RTI Director and the Head of Technology and Innovation Unit, the jobholder will contribute to the following activities:

  • Contribute to RTI initiatives aimed at defining capability-led priorities and projects;
  • Support and manage of R&T projects including monitoring and evaluation and contracting activities;
  • Participate and collaborate in projects and studies within integrated teams under the responsibility of the RTI Directorate or with other Directorates of EDA;
  • Support the PO Materials and Structures Technologies on managing CapTech Materials & Structures;
  • Define and organise RTI experts’ meetings and workshops;
  • Collaborate actively with representatives and experts from the participating Member States;
  • Participate and represent the Agency in security and defence related seminars and workshops mainly in the areas covered by the CapTech;
  • Contribute to technology watch and foresight in his/her assigned area of responsibility;
  • Ensure the information flow and engagement of the CapTech members;
  • Contribute to transversal activities among the CapTechs, and also with other work-strands within EDA, and other organizations;
  • Take on additional tasks as required in the interest of the service.
  • Duties may evolve according to development of the EDA’s structure and activities, and the decisions of EDA management.

In accordance with the Rules applicable to national experts and military staff on secondment to the European Defence Agency (2004/677/EC), Seconded National Experts are seconded to the Agency while remaining in the service of their national employer and continuing to be paid their national salary by that employer. Therefore, in order to be considered in the selection process, candidates for an SNE post must be sponsored by their national authorities. Confirmation is required in the form of a letter of sponsorship addressed to the Agency as far as possible by the closing date for the receipt of applications; and in any case not later than the recruitment date. The Rules are available on the EDA website http://www.eda.europa.eu – vacancies.

a. Conditions for secondment

To qualify for secondment to the Agency, experts shall:

have worked for their employer on a permanent or contract basis for at least 12 months before their secondment;
remain in the service of their employer throughout the period of secondment and continue to be paid by that employer;
have at least three years’ full-time experience in defence, administrative, scientific, technical, operational, advisory or supervisory functions relevant to the performance of the duties assigned to them. Before the secondment, the employer shall supply the Agency with a statement of the expert’s employment covering the previous 12 months;
be nationals of a participating Member State or falling within the provisions of the second paragraph of Article 1 of Council Decision (EU) 2016/1352 of 4 August 2016;
have a thorough knowledge of one official language of one of the participating Member States and a satisfactory knowledge of another of these languages for the performance of their duties.
b. Essential selection criteria:

(1) Professional

The candidate will be required to demonstrate that s/he has:

materials science or engineering university studies and a broad scientific culture;
familiarity with the defence international environment and the EU defence R&T community including both government, industry, institutes and academia;
specific background knowledge in the area of Materials and Structures and of their applications in defence;
knowledge and experience in defence European and international R&T collaboration and a track record of delivering successful business outcomes;
experience in organisation and chairing of meetings and workshops;
very good written and spoken English.
(2) Personal

All staff must be able to fit into the Agency’s way of working (see para. 2). Other attributes important for this post include:

ability to work in a team and independently in his/her area of responsibility;
ability to work effectively in a multinational environment;
good interpersonal, communication and influencing skills;
flexibility, innovativeness, tact with a strong sense of duty and responsibility;
results-orientation and strong motivation;
accuracy and dependability;
ability to adapt to a quickly changing working environment;
genuine commitment to the Agency’s objectives.
c. Desirable

familiarity with the defence international environment (especially CSDP);
knowledge of European Defence Technological and Industrial Base;
hold a (recognised) project management qualification.

The Project Officer Innovative Advanced Materials will be required to make a declaration of commitment to act independently in the Agency’s interest and to make a declaration in relation to interests that might be considered prejudicial to his/her independence.

Secondment will be subject to approval of the 2020 staff establishment plan by the Agency’s Steering Board.

The Project Officer Innovative Advanced Materials will be appointed by the Chief Executive.

Secondment will be as a member of the Seconded National Expert staff of the Agency for a three-year period (unless a shorter period is mutually agreed between the parties). Renewal is possible within the limits set out in the EDA SNE Rules. The successful candidate will be seconded as AD11 equivalent.

Applications are invited with a view to establishing a reserve list for the post of Project Officer Innovative Advanced Materials at the EDA. This list is valid until 31/12/2021, and may be extended by decision of the Chief Executive. During the validity of the reserve list, successful candidates may be offered a secondment in the EDA according to their competences in relation to the specific requirements of the vacant post. Inclusion on the reserve list does not imply any entitlement of secondment to the Agency.

The EDA is an equal opportunities employer and accepts applications without distinction on the grounds of age, race, political, philosophical or religious conviction, sex or sexual orientation and regardless of disabilities, marital status or family situation.

Closing date for applications: 18/02/2020.

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