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Head of Finance

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Location: Heidelberg - Germany
Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 20th June 2019
Closes: 10th August 2019
Job Ref: HD01559

About the team/job

EMBL is Europe’s flagship research laboratory for the life sciences – an intergovernmental, innovative and interdisciplinary organisation performing scientific research in molecular biology, physics, chemistry and computer science. With more than 1800 employees from more than 80 nations we are operating across six sites; the headquarter is located in Heidelberg (Germany) with sites in Barcelona (Spain), Hinxton near Cambridge (United Kingdom), Hamburg (Germany), Grenoble (France) and Rome (Italy).

The administration of EMBL provides non-bureaucratic, timely, and efficient services. You report directly to the Administrative Director and act as advisor to the Director General. You will be responsible for the provision of professional financial management across all sites, ensuring the delivery of high level support and professional customer-focused service. You will work closely together with the other administrative department heads, the senior management and be part of the Scientific Strategy and Management Advisory Committee. 

Your role

In particular, you manage, oversee and coordinate the following areas: financial and management accounting, budgeting and financial analysis, reporting and controlling, accounts payable, receivables and treasury, tax and cash flow management and the production of financial statements. In addition, you will be responsible for grants management, the inhouse SAP system and act as the secretary to the EMBL Council's Pension Advisory Board on the EMBL Pension Fund. Furthermore, you will be the main contact person for external auditors.

More specific responsibilities include:

  • Leading, managing, developing and motivating a multicultural team of approx. 35 Staff Members ensuring service delivery in a timely, reliable and effective way with high quality standards
  • Providing professional and insightful advice and guidance to the Director General and senior management with regards to financial issues and budget management
  • Taking ownership of all financial issues, strengthening management information and financial analysis capability and contributing to the development of organisational strategy across all areas of the organisation
  • Managing and streamlining financial processes to ensure cost effective delivery of services
  • Actively participating and potentially leading cross unit working groups and ensuring that the decisions are taken with appropriate financial advice
  • Producing financial reports and managing related communication with internal and external auditors and to outside bodies such as EMBL Council and Finance Committee in close collaboration with the Administrative Director

You have

The following qualifications and skills are essential:

  • University degree in financial management, public or business administration or equivalent academic qualification with specialization in finance, accounting and/or management; commercial experience and a professional accounting qualification are considered strong assets
  • Ideally 10 years of work experience in budgetary/financial administration and management in a national or international organisation of similar size
  • Comprehensive technical knowledge of international generally accepted accounting practices and internal controls
  • Expert knowledge and substantial experience in project and change management 
  • Proven ability to plan, organize and work with tight deadlines
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills including the ability to build and maintain good working relationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Excellent verbal and written English skills
  • Proven record of creating and enabling environment in a multicultural, multi-ethnic setting and evidence of an ability to lead, mentor, motivate and develop team members of different national and cultural background
  • Proficient experience in the application of an ERP system, e.g. SAP, would be a strong asset
  • Working knowledge of German, French, Spanish and/or Italian would be advantageous

To learn more about working & living in Germany, please visit:

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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
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