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Assistant to the Head of Department, H2020 programme and Innovation Fund

Vacancy details

General information


INEA is an Executive Agency established by the European Commission to implement parts of EU funding programmes for transport, energy, telecommunications and climate action. The Agency's mission is to provide its stakeholders with expertise and high-level programme management, whilst promoting synergies among programmes, in order to benefit economic growth and EU citizens.
The three main programmes managed by INEA are:
•The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF): supports high-performing, sustainable and interconnected Trans-European Networks with €28.5 billion for 2014-2020.

• Horizon 2020: provides €80 billion for 2014-2020 towards Research and Innovation. INEA manages €5.4 billion in the areas of transport and energy.

•The Innovation Fund: one of the world's largest funding programmes, which may amount up to €10 billion for demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies between 2020-2030.

In the 2014-2020 financial period INEA is managing over 11.000 projects under the CEF and H2020 programmes. INEA is based in Brussels and has a multinational team of around 300 persons. The number of INEA staff is expected to grow further over the coming years, and the purpose of this publication is therefore to set up a reserve list, which will be used to cover the growing needs of the Agency.
More information on INEA: website: http://ec.europa.eu/inea, Twitter: @inea_eu, LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/2ecs3JA, YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDic9AVxO1PP1SqoKbHMwrA  

Position description


Administrative Support - Technical Administrative Assistant

Position title

Assistant to the Head of Department, H2020 programme and Innovation Fund


Contract agent



Mission description

The H2020 department has grown significantly in the recent years. INEA's H2020 portfolio has increased to more than 700 projects under management and project outcomes contributing to several policy domains and other agency activities. As a result, there are more transversal requests and the need for a closer coordination of internal processes and procedures. In addition, with the ending of the H2020 programme, the delegation of the new Innovation Fund and the expected new and legacy programmes the management of the Department demands more support and assistance.

The assistant to the Head of Department (HoD) will assist and support the HoD in the daily management of the Department. He/She will coordinate and manage several administrative and operational issues for a proactive solution or advice to the HoD to ensure the appropriate responses. The assistant of the HoD will also coordinate and develop a series of transversal issues such as synergies or the feedback to policy for themes transversal to the different units of the department and programmes.
He/She should work autonomously and report directly to the HoD.

Core tasks:
• Assist and support the Head of Department:
-Coordinate and manage administrative and operational responses and mechanisms;
-Coordinate and contribute to different request to the Department and HoD;

• Coordination and development of transversal issues.

Salary range

35-50 k€


Core tasks:
1) Assisting the HoD in the organisation and overall management of the Department:

• Manage the implementation and efficiency of in house operational procedures throughout the department.
• Monitoring the efficiency of existing working methods and ensure compatibility with Common Implementation Centre guidance.
• Seek operational simplification, efficiency and consistency of procedures between programmes and the units of the Department. Effectively identify bottlenecks and discrepancies and propose and implement solutions in close cooperation with the units and other Departments.
• Provide appropriate feedback to the HoD.
• Support the HoD in monitoring operational and administrative tasks and procedures to ensure timely and high-quality response and actions.
• Prepare and coordinate Department's contribution to documents, reports, briefings and presentations for internal and external requests on various issues to ensure timely and good quality replies.
• Represent the Agency and the Department in several internal and external working groups and networks.
• Promote and maintain interactive communication with the Department and ensure that opinion and experience from the staff is consider in the overall management of the Department. Provide the appropriate feedback to the HoD.
• Promote the link between the HoD and the staff of the Department.
• Organise Department meetings and other relevant events and their follow ups.
• Maintaining a thorough operational knowledge of procedures and IT systems by supporting the units with punctual project management tasks, such as evaluations, GAPs and project management.

2) Coordination and development of transversal issues:

• Coordinate and develop the transversal issues of Innovation and Synergies at department level. This must be done in close cooperation with the units and other services from the European Commission.
• Manage feedback to policy in areas of a transversal nature (innovation, synergies, cross cutting areas). Coordinate contributions from the Department.
• Coordinate and develop the content and feedback for thematic areas in cooperation with relevant working groups and networks. This must be done in close cooperation with the units and other services.
• Gathering and preparing content in anticipation of cross cutting and overlapping requests for contributions.
• Manage and follow up Department's feedback to the Common Implementation Centre regarding e-Grants processes and IT tools. Establish and coordinate an effective department network for procedural development and agreement.

Other Tasks
1) Strategic Planning and Programming

• Coordinate and ensure timely and high quality contributions from the Department to the Agency's formal reporting exercises (Annual Work Programme, Annual Activity Report, Bi-annual report) and remove as much as possible the expected input from the units to these exercises.

Interview period - from :


Interview period : to


Selection procedure

A - Written test (30 min)
A case study in English designed to test:
- your knowledge in the field of the profile,
- your ability to understand, analyse and summarise,
- your drafting ability.
This test will be marked out of 40 (pass mark: 20).

B – Oral test (30 min)
Interview with a selection board in English to assess:
- your knowledge of the portfolio of the department,
- your knowledge of prevailing procedures, workflows and IT systems
- your knowledge of the Horizon 2020 programme and agency governance,
- your knowledge and experience in the field of Project management,
- your communication, inter-personal and problem-solving skills
- your motivation and your ability to adjust to working as a Contractual Agent in a multicultural environment.
This test will be marked out of 100 (pass mark: 50).
Both the oral and written tests will be combined on a total of 140. Minimum mark: 84 out of 140.
Applicants receiving the minimum score and above (84 out 140), all tests combined, will be included in a reserve list of suitable candidates. Please note that inclusion in the reserve list does not guarantee recruitment.

Application procedure

For applications to be valid, candidates must submit:
- a detailed curriculum vitae, in EU CV format ;
- a letter of motivation (2 pages maximum), highlighting the candidates motivation and relevance to the post, and an explanation of how each of the eligibility and selection criteria are met.
Your EPSO candidate ID number and the reference of CAST must be mentioned in your CV and motivation letter.
Please note that the motivation letter forms an essential basis for the pre-selection decision.
Applications must be submitted through the eRecruitment system on our website at

Closing date: Applications must be sent no later than 14th August 2020 midnight.
Supporting documents showing evidence of the provided information may be requested at a later stage. No document will be sent back to candidates.
Candidates are invited to apply in English to facilitate the selection process.
In no circumstances should candidates approach the Selection Committee themselves, either directly or indirectly concerning this recruitment. The authority habilitated to conclude contracts reserves itself the right to disqualify any candidate who disregards these instructions.

Appointment and conditions of employment

The jobholder will be assigned on the basis of a shortlist proposed by the selection committee.

The jobholder will be recruited as contract staff, in function group IV, pursuant to Article 3a of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities (CEOS).

The basic monthly salary within this function group will depend on the number of years of relevant professional experience at appropriate level (in function group IV, either grade 13, grade 14 or grade 16).

The jobholder will serve a probation period of nine months.

The initial contract will be for a duration of 1 year. Afterwards, the contract may be renewed for 1 additional year. If the contract is renewed again, it shall be concluded for an indefinite period.

The place of employment will be Brussels where the Agency has its activities.

For reasons related to the Agency's operational requirements, the candidate will be required to be available at short notice.

For further information on the legal framework of contract agents see the web site of the Directorate-General for Human Resources and Security (DG HR) on the internet at

Publication date

Publication start date


Publication end date


Candidate criteria

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility criteria
- Be owner of a CAST in the grade for which you are applying* OR be registered in the EPSO/CAST/P/4/2017**;
- A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least three years attested by a diploma OR, when in a member state of the European Union access to a profession of an equivalent level to function group IV is by State examination, professional training or any other equivalent procedure, the authority authorised to conclude contract of employment may agree to recognize this qualification as being equivalent to a university degree;
- Thorough knowledge of one of the languages of the Communities and a satisfactory knowledge of another EU language to the extent necessary to perform his/her duties.

* Candidates must be included in the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) database for contract agents in function group IV and have successfully passed the EPSO selection tests for that function group. Please note that candidates who are on a valid EPSO list published in 2010 (CAST2010) are eligible on the condition they have successfully passed the complementary tests (DB3), as an Annex to the selection procedure CAST2010. The candidates concerned are invited to consult the letter they received from EPSO for further information.

Other eligibility criteria

** In the context of the call for expression of interest(1)EPSO/CAST/P/4/2017 procedure(2), your application will be considered only if you are available to be flagged for the EPSO testing request during the screening phase of this selection process(3). The pre-selected candidates will be requested by the Agency to undergo the EPSO tests. Only candidates that have successfully passed the EPSO CAST selection will then be invited for an interview.
(1) https://epso.europa.eu/sites/epso/files/documents/casts/2017/epsocastp1-172017/cast-p-call-consolidated-version/en.pdf
(2) https://epso.europa.eu/help/faq/contract-agents/cast-permanent_en
(3) Candidates who are blocked and therefore cannot be flagged in order to be invited by EPSO to undergo the EPSO/CAST/P/4/2017 competition, because they have failed in the previous testing windows, will be considered as not eligible regardless of the relevance of CV.

In addition, in order to be eligible, a candidate must:
-be a national of one of the Member States of the European Union;
-be entitled to his/her full rights as citizen;
-meet the appropriate character reference as to his/her suitability for the performance of his/her duties;
-have fulfilled any obligations imposed by the applicable laws concerning military service, and;
-be physically fit to perform the duties linked to the post.
Please note that only candidates that comply with the Eligibility criteria will be considered for further steps of this Selection procedure.

Selection criteria

Selection criteria (1/2)
- Professional technical experience of at least 3 years acquired in an area relevant to the portfolio of the Department.
- Knowledge of prevailing procedures and tools in the e-grant system and in particular in relation to the H2020 programme.
- Knowledge of the H2020 programme and its governance across multiple agencies/JUs.
- Experience in gathering and preparing contributions and content to different stakeholders and management.
- Professional project management experience of at least 3 years
- A university degree in a technical area relevant to the portfolio of the department.
- Very good knowledge of English (written and spoken).


English (Proficient C1)

Updates on the application process

Selection criteria (2/2)
- Experience in representing the agency in different external working groups or meetings in the DGs.
- Detailed knowledge of COMPASS and governance working groups
- Knowledge of the process of evaluation and selection of proposals
- Experience working with research and innovation projects;
- Very good command of other European Union languages, in particular German and/or French.
Personal qualities essential for the position (evaluated during the interview):
- Very good drafting, co-ordination and problem-solving skills;
- High degree of organisational skills and ability to work under pressure;
- God interpersonal and communication skills;
- Proven ability to work as a team member;
- Ability to appreciate and follow priorities.
After having been preselected by the Selection Committee, the Agency will invite for an interview the best candidates, that are owner of a CAST in the relevant function group or that have successfully passed the EPSO CAST selection EPSO/CAST/P/4/2017, with a maximum of 8 candidates invited to the interview.

Equal opportunities, appeal procedure & data protection

The European Union institutions apply a policy of equal opportunities and accept applications without discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation.

A candidate who estimates that a mistake was made in the assessment of his/her profile may ask to have it re-assessed by sending, within 15 calendar days of the date on the email notifying the rejection of his/her application, a request for review, quoting the number of the vacancy notice concerned to the Chairman of the Selection Committee to the following address: INEA-HR-INFO@ec.europa.eu
The Selection Committee will re-examine the application and notify the candidate of its decision within 15 working days upon receipt of the request.

The purpose of processing of the data submitted by candidates is to manage the applications in view of a possible pre-selection and recruitment at the INEA. The personal information requested from candidates will be processed in line with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data.