Head of Irish Marie Curie Office – Closed

The application process is now closed.

A vacancy has arisen in the Irish Universities Association for the Head of the Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office, Ireland’s National Contact Point for the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

Background and Role Overview

The Irish Universities Association (IUA) represents, promotes and supports the seven Irish universities in developing sectoral policies and strategies and in supporting collaborative engagement in a number of areas including research. Since 2012, the IUA has partnered with the Irish Research Council (IRC) in the operation of the Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office (IMSCO), hosted at the IUA premises in Merrion Square Dublin. This successful partnership has resulted in €110 million of funding coming in to Ireland from the FP7 and Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA).

The IMSCO promotes the research funding opportunities in the MSCA to academia, enterprise and civil society organisations across the island of Ireland, and supports applicants in preparing competitive funding proposals to MSCA Calls. The Head of the IMSCO is Ireland’s officially-nominated National Contact Point (NCP) for the MSCA. They lead the work of the IMSCO and oversee the efforts of a small team of two staff members in the delivery of the office’s activities. The IUA wish to appoint a suitably-qualified and experienced person to take up the position of Head of the IMSCO, which will become vacant after March 2017.

Job Specification and Key Deliverables

The IMSCO provides a “conception to completion” service for the entire Marie Skłodowska-Curie process from a researcher or research-performing organisation (RPO) initially receiving information about the programme, through to proposal submission, contract negotiation and implementation.

Reporting to the IUA CEO, the Head of the IMSCO will decide on the overall strategic direction for the IMSCO and manage the office’s team in the delivery of the “conception to completion” service, including;

  • Acting as Ireland’s National Contact Point for the MSCA and adhering to the minimum standard and guiding principles for that role as set down by the European Commission;
  • Leading and supporting the IMSCO team in the delivery of goals including the contribution of MSCA to the national Horizon 2020 funding target;
  • Developing an annual work-plan for the office focused on maximising Ireland’s success in the MSCA;
  • Devising a promotions/marketing strategy targeted at academic, enterprise and civil society organisations;
  • Rolling out a suite of support programmes including webinars, support documents/handbooks and dedicated proposal-writing workshops;
  • Liaising with the IRC and other stakeholders to promote the success of the MSCA in Ireland;
  • Expanding Ireland’s engagement in the MSCA COFUND programme;
  • Delivering IUA’s commitments in the Horizon 2020 NCP project Net4Mobility;
  • Working with the IMSCO team to provide timely advice to researchers and RPOs on general MSCA queries, unsuccessful applications, contract negotiations and issues that may arise during project implementation;
  • Liaising closely with the Irish National Delegate to the MSCA Programme Committee to ensure that Ireland’s views are represented in the strategic development of the MSCA in Horizon 2020 and the successor framework programme.

Where appropriate, the successful candidate will also engage in the activities of the EURAXESS Ireland office at IUA.

Profile and Skill-Set of Candidate

This is a role which requires management skills and a hands-on approach to the achievement of results based on the skillset below:


  • A primary degree and at minimum two years’ experience in a research funder, research support or research administration role;
  • Results focused and a self-starter with a capacity for strategic thinking, including analysis and interpretation of data to inform the development of an annual strategic work-plan for the office;
  • Strong knowledge of the research landscape nationally and internationally, having particular regard to the higher education dimension and an in-depth knowledge of Horizon 2020;
  • Exceptional communication skills, particularly the ability to confidently present to large audiences;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, judgement, and ability to work calmly under pressure, both when leading and working within a team, and when engaging with external stakeholders;
  • Experience of managing a team or supervising the work of colleagues.


  • A track record in EU funding opportunity identification, proposal definition and review;
  • Previous experience of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions;
  • Experience of liaising with enterprise or civil society organisations in regards to research projects, and the issues which may arise (including Intellectual Property);
  • Knowledge of the contractual requirements and implementation of Horizon 2020 awards;
  • Previous experience of working within and/or liaising with EU networks;
  • An awareness of using social media for business.

Contract Details
The position is offered on a full-time basis on a 3.5 year specified purpose contract, and subject to a period of probation and meeting on-going performance requirements. A competitive salary commensurate with experience will be offered.

A secondment arrangement for existing public sector employees may be possible, subject to concluding an appropriate agreement between the IUA and the candidate’s current employer.


Please forward a detailed CV and cover letter, demonstrating the competencies and experience listed above, by post or email by 9th February 2017 to:

Jennifer Cleary
HR Manager
IUA, 48 Merrion Square, Dublin 2

E-mail:            jennifer.cleary@iua.ie
Tel:                  (01) 676 4948

PDF of Job Spec: Head of IMSCO – Jan 2017

Shortlisted candidates must be available for interview on Monday 20th February. A second interview for candidates successful in the first round will be held on Wednesday 22nd February.

Applications submitted by or through third parties, including recruitment agencies, will be rejected.

The IUA is an equal opportunities employer.