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Director | Biodiversity (Development Strategy)

Reference: BIOPOLIS 2023-62
Job description:
Director of Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program

Reference: BIOPOLIS 2023-62
Research field: Biodiversity
Sub research field: Development Strategy

1. Summary
A position is open for Director of Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program at BIOPOLIS, on a full-time (100% full-time equivalent) basis, aiming to promote collaborative research between BIOPOLIS-CIBIO and researchers from Equatorial Guinea. BIOPOLIS is a Centre of Excellence in Environmental Biology, Ecosystem Research and AgroBiodiversity located in Portugal, which results from a H2020 Teaming project involving CIBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Porto Business School, and the University of Montpellier. BIOPOLIS is a private, non-profit scientific association, which will have an overall budget of around 130 million euros for 10 years, funded by the European Commission, national funds, and private partners. The successful candidate will assist the Board of Directors in the delivery of a range of BIOPOLIS’ strategic and innovative projects, build and manage strategic partnerships with business, public and third sector organisations and with the public, and support the delivery of BIOPOLIS communication and dissemination objectives. The successful candidate will be a senior officer with significant international experience working across academia, public policy, business, and the wider society, and showing ability to think strategically, communicate effectively and deliver complex projects.

2. Background
BIOPOLIS is a new and ambitious Centre of Excellence located in the north of Portugal with a genuine commitment to excellence in environmental biology, ecosystem and agrobiodiversity research with an innovative and dynamic community addressing the major challenges confronting the environment and society. BIOPOLIS was possible because of a successful H2020 Coordination and Supporting Action (Reference 857251) funded by the European Commission under the call H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2018-2019: Teaming Phase 2 (, which involves the Porto Business School, the University of Montpellier and CIBIO (Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources). As leading global institutions with strong values, a unique sense of community and strategic intent, they aim to spread, through BIOPOLIS, excellence towards innovation and contribute to the socioeconomic development at the regional and national levels. It counts on significant support and investment from the European Commission, national funds and private partners amounting to an overall budget of around €130 million for the next 10 years.
The main objective of BIOPOLIS is to upgrade the existing CIBIO; a private and independent research institution hosting 31 multidisciplinary research groups, around 175 PhD level researchers and over 100 MSc and PhD students from across the world, conducting world-class research in biodiversity and evolution, and elevate it to a Centre of Excellence by integrating new and innovative strands of research in the fields of environmental biology, ecosystem research and agrobiodiversity. The Centre has state of the art ecology and molecular laboratories, and it conducts research projects at a global scale. The working language of the institute is English, and it offers a vibrant, multicultural and enthusiastic working atmosphere.

3. Role and responsibilities
BIOPOLIS is seeking to appoint a Director for Bioko Biodiversity Program (BBPP) in the scope of the BIOPOLIS-CIBIO TwinLab initiative, the ERA Chair TROPIBIO and the Gulf of Guinea Research Program (GGPR). The successful candidate will steer the work of BBPP as part of the network of BIOPOLIS-CIBIO collaborative partnerships in Africa, involving on-the-ground work in Equatorial Guinea (approximately 30%) and remote management of the team from Portugal (approximately 70%). He/she will reinforce the organizational structure of BBPP in close articulation with BIOPOLIS-CIBIO and the National University in Equatorial Guinea (UNGE) and will organize and oversee the implementation of BBPP daily activities, including both the administration and financial components. Importantly, he/she will foster a range of collaborations between BIOPOLIS-CIBIO, UNGE and institutions from Equatorial Guinea, establishing excellent conditions for the development of collaborative research projects, academic thesis (PhD and MSc), capacity building, training, innovation, and communication. The focus of the work will be the biodiversity and ecosystems of Equatorial Guinea, particularly on the Byoko Island, on a new National Park to be created near the new capital of the country, Ciudad de la Paz, and in other mainland and insular parts of the country. The work can be expanded to other areas, in the scope of the TwinLabs and GGRP initiatives. The successful candidate will also have responsibilities in fundraising from private and public sources to support the work of BBPP.
The post holder will report to the Board of Directors (BoD) and its Executive Committee, and will work in close articulation with the TROPIBIO ERA Chair Team.

4. Requirements
The successful candidate is expected to have:
• Relevant experience working with different types of organisations, including businesses and public sector organization, particularly in Central Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, particularly in Equatorial Guinea
• Knowledge of academic research processes and organisations in Central Africa – ideally Equatorial Guinea.
• Considerable field experience on-the-ground, managing diverse teams, in Equatorial Guinea or similar.
• Experience creating or managing protected areas in Central Africa or Equatorial Guinea.
• Demonstrable ability to build and manage relationships and collaborate with multidisciplinary teams, experts and other stakeholders.
• Excellent planning, organising and project management skills, with demonstrable experience and/or a professional qualification in project management.
• Excellent strategic thinking skills, using an understanding of the bigger picture to uncover potential challenges and opportunities for the organisation and turning these into a compelling vision/strategy for BBPP.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills, with proficient command of both the Spanish and English languages.
• An MBA (Masters of business administration), masters in non-profit management or similar.
• Experience navigating the complexities of REDD+, particularly in Central Africa or Equatorial Guinea.

5. Benefits
Exceptional conditions will be offered to this role:
• A non-fixed term contract on a full-time basis equivalent to 100% of a full-time position.
• Internationally competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience indexed to TRU rates between 50 and 54 (€ 3131.63 and €3346.37).
• Possibilities of career progression, upon evaluation of performance and achievements.
• Other fringe benefits to be negotiated.

6. Application
Applications should be submitted at the electronic address, from 8th until the 20th of September 2023.

Expect starting date: 1st of October 2023

A summary of the TROPIBIO project is available upon request to the mail address The application should include at least the following elements:
Personal statement (Up to one A4 page), detailing the candidate’s vision for BIOPOLIS and the role of Director of BBPP in achieving its ambitious objectives in the short, medium, and long term. The statement should also describe how her/his past achievements and experience provides excellent qualifications to the position.
Applicant’s CV (Up to three A4 pages), providing evidence that the applicant’s comply with the call requirements, and describing achievements related to the call.

7. Evaluation
The evaluation process and subsequent recruitment will be made according to the principles of the Code of Conduct for Recruitment of Researchers established by the European Commission. These principles ensure observance of values such as transparency of the recruitment process and equal treatment of all applicants, in particular about the development of an attractive, open and sustainable European labour market for researchers, and are complementary to those outlined in the European Charter for Researchers.
Selection will be made by a panel including: Pedro Beja (Vice- President Executive of Associação BIOPOLIS, President of the Jury); Rita Araújo (Executive Coordinator - Science at Associação BIOPOLIS, Vogal), Luke L. Powell (Principal Researcher - Associação BIOPOLIS) and Luís Folhadela (Associate Director for Administration & Finances of BIOPOLIS; substitute).

7.1 Evaluation criteria based on Personal Statement and CV are as follow:
I. Quality of the CV - 50%
IV. experience on-the ground as described above – 50%

7.2 Based on these elements, candidates will be ranked, and a short list of candidates will be produced.

7.3 In the case of candidates’ evaluation does not differ more than 10% from that obtained by the best positioned candidate, the jury will interview these candidates. In this case, the curricular evaluation has a weight of 70% and the interview 30%.

8. Employer
The Associação BIOPOLIS (

9. Location:
BIOPOLIS, Campus de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal (coordinates: N41.328940, W8.672635).

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