Job ID: 12523

FENS Executive Director in Brussels/Belgium

Position: FENS Executive Director

Deadline: 4 October 2021

City: Brussels

Country: Belgium

Institution: FENS - Federation of European Neuroscience Societies



Founded in 1998, the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) is the main organisation for neuroscience in Europe. FENS currently represents 44 European national and single discipline neuroscience societies with more than 20,000 member scientists from 33 European countries. In partnership with key European and international stakeholders, FENS promotes excellence in neuroscience research and facilitates the exchange and networking between neuroscientists within the European Research Area and beyond. FENS promotes neuroscience research to policy‐makers, funding bodies and the general public, both regionally and internationally. FENS provides services to its member societies and neuroscientists, which include educational programs, sponsored fellowships, advocacy initiatives, and scientific meetings. FENS organizes a biennial FENS Forum, which is the largest neuroscience meeting in Europe. It also supports a FENS regional meeting and other scientific conferences.

FENS seeks an outstanding association executive or executive‐scientist to serve as its next Executive Director. Over the past decade, FENS has successfully implemented an ambitious strategic agenda towards the European and international scientific communities. With an office consisting of about 10 staff, the FENS administrative team delivers a large number of highly visible and diverse programmes through a transparent a business model with accountability and transparency at the centre. At all levels, efficient customer service, and passionate, evidence‐based communication by this team has helped strengthen the brand of FENS and advance its mission for neuroscience across Europe.

Ideally, a new Executive Director will have experience in leading a scientific organization, have knowledge of current trends and issues facing life sciences and particularly neuroscience, and understand the legislative process and public policy, as well as financial tenets of a non‐profit organization. The qualified candidate will be sufficiently entrepreneurial to identify, evaluate, and seize upon various ideas to move FENS forward in a changing global environment. Excellent communication, strategic management, and operational skills are essential to this position. The Executive Director will report to the core leadership of FENS and work in close interaction with the elected Officers, Executive Committee, and Governing Council to fulfil the organization’s mission, lead staff in the execution of these goals, while cultivating relationships with member organizations and external partners. The Executive Director must understand the needs of diverse and multidisciplinary audiences and possess a high‐level of cultural competences.

The Executive Director shall be located in Brussels, Belgium. Applicants should email their application, including a motivated cover letter and CV to Reviewing of motivated applications will be carried out on a running basis, while applications will be accepted until the position has been filled.

– At least 3 years management experience, either from organizational management or as a scientist with managerial experience (e.g., professor).
– Master’s degree or equivalent required. Advanced degree (PhD) is preferred.

Desired Skills and Experience
– English language fluency required, written and spoken, with advanced writing skills.
– Strong proven nonprofit management experience (either in organizations or as a scientist).
– Proven experience in nonprofit or organizational governance, board relations and fundraising are highly desirable.
– Familiarity with operational issues associated with large conferences and scientific publishing.
– Experience with or significant knowledge about neuroscience and/or research processes.
– Knowledge of current trends/issues facing the international scientific community.
– Knowledge of European legislative processes, and public policy is considered an advantage.
– Knowledge of Belgian and European employment laws and regulations desirable.
– Excellent interpersonal skills and exceptionally strong communication skills.
– A collaborative decision‐making style, with a commitment to supporting and improving organizational governance structures and roles.
– Strong critical thinking and reasoning skills.
– Business acumen and financial management experience.
– Technologically adept, including an appreciation for social media.

More details regarding the candidate profile can be obtained by email request to

FENS is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to supporting diversity and inclusivity in neuroscience research. FENS does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, ‘race’, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship/nationality, age, religion, belief, or disability.

FENS aims to reach its ambitious objectives while minimizing its environmental impact and carbon footprint and the ED is expected to align with and contribute to this effort.

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