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Vacancy: The International Science Council is seeking a Science Director for its headquarters in Paris, France

Our new Science Director will join the ISC at an exciting time, leading the ISC’s delivery of science projects in line with the Action Plan and priorities set by the CEO and Governing Board. You will be an experienced and natural project manager with a focus on delivering impactful results.

The ISC is a non-governmental organization with a unique global membership that brings together over 220 international scientific unions and associations as well as national and regional scientific organizations including academies and research councils. Through our Members, the Council is unique in its capacity to integrate scientific excellence and science-policy expertise from all fields of science and all regions of the world.

The vision of the ISC is science as a global public good. The mission of the ISC is to act as the global voice for science. As part of that mission, the ISC:

  • Speaks for the value of all science and evidence-informed decision-making;
  • Stimulates and supports international scientific research and scholarship on major issues of global concern;
  • Articulates scientific knowledge on such issues in the public domain;
  • Promotes the continued and equal advancement of scientific rigour, creativity and relevance in all parts of the world;
  • Defends the free and responsible practice of science.

Read more on the ISC through our introductory brochure.

The role

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, you will have responsibility of leading the ISC’s delivery of science projects in line with the ISC Action Plan and priorities set by the CEO and Governing Board. Working hand in hand with the directors of the Communications and Membership Division, the Operations Division and the ISC’s centre for science futures, you will bring a dynamic and innovative world view to the organization at a time when both science and society face many converging challenges.

You will be an experienced and natural project manager with a focus on delivering impactful results, directly line-managing ISC officers working in science functions in Paris, as well as having a close working relationship with regional focal points in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean. As Science Director, you will provide topic expertise and advice internally and externally and will be designated to represent the Council in meetings, conferences and other events and processes.

Supporting the CEO and Directors in leading on ISC strategic planning, change management and organizational processes, you will be joining the ISC at a time of ambitious growth and an exciting expansion of projects and programmes, including the development of an ISC Trust, the newly appointed ISC Fellowship, the Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability, the unit for science in global policy and the development of the ISC’s future strategic Action Plan.

It is a stimulating time to join the ISC, with a number of international conferences planned for 2023 that will provide the opportunity to meet ISC Members and learn first-hand the major issues for science and society at a time of profound transition. The ISC is looking for the following:

Qualifications and knowledge

  • A PhD in a relevant science discipline and a proven record of academic achievements;
  • Fifteen or more years of experience in management of scientific programmes within a research or education institution;
  • Proven experience in the design and administration of, and reporting on, science programmes and projects, including of an inter- and trans-disciplinary nature;
  • Proven leadership in management and mentorship;
  • High-level liaison and representation experience with major national and international scientific bodies;
  • Knowledge of relevant intergovernmental partner organizations and processes, including UN structures;
  • Demonstrated ability to work within a complex, international, interdisciplinary and multicultural environment;
  • A full command of written and spoken English. Working knowledge of French and knowledge of other languages will be considered an advantage.


  • Outstanding management skills, as well as the ability to understand and safeguard budgetary compliance;
  • Excellent communication, networking and partnership building skills;
  • Proven ability to write documents in a concise, convincing manner;
  • Strong project management skills that can see the design, delivery and monitoring and evaluation of projects through their full cycle;
  • Ability to build consensus amongst diverse views;
  • Ability to operate successfully with a high degree of autonomy and to delegate effectively.

The salary will be dependent on the experience and qualifications of the candidate. The incumbent should be prepared to conduct frequent world-wide travel in line with the ISC’s Organizational Sustainability Principles. There will be an initial probationary period of six months, and the incumbent is expected to reside in the Paris area, benefiting from the ISC’s teleworking  policy.

Applicants are requested to address the job description, qualifications, knowledge and skills requirements in a cover letter and attach a curriculum vitae with the name and contact details of three referees. Candidates from developing countries are encouraged to apply.

Please apply to: with “Science Director_Your Name” in the title. Applications close on 31 March 2023.

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