Chief Finance & Administration Officer (CFAO)

OPERAS is the Research Infrastructure supporting open scholarly communication in the social sciences and humanities (SSH) in the European Research Area. Its mission is to coordinate and federate resources in Europe to efficiently address the scholarly communication needs of European researchers in the field of SSH.

The European landscape of scholarly communication in the SSH is currently patchy, fragmented and not organized enough to be efficient, particularly to address the challenge of
transitioning to Open Science. This is due to several factors, such as the small size of resource providers, the variety of technical skills and resources across the community. The nature of the SSH disciplines also adds specific challenges which are not correctly addressed at scale, such as the diversity of publication languages, the entrenchment in diverse cultural backgrounds and the need for specific forms of scholarly communication (monographs, critical editions, and edited bibliographies, amongst others).

By fulfilling its mission, OPERAS provides the research community with the missing brick it needs to find, access, create, edit, disseminate and easily and efficiently validate SSH outputs across Europe. In one word, OPERAS unlocks scholarly communication resources and enables the whole field to reinvent itself in the new Open Science paradigm.

The OPERAS AISBL was established in 2020 and we are now seeking to recruit a Chief Finance & Administration Officer (CFAO) for this organisation.

Job Summary

The Chief Finance & Administration Officer works closely with the Secretary General for managing strategic and daily operations of the OPERAS Research Infrastructure (RI) including:

  • Organisation’s financial, budgeting, and administrative processes, including HR and payroll, of OPERAS AISBL in the context of the OPERAS Research Infrastructure (RI)
  • Financial and administrative coordination of coordinated and participated projects of OPERAS AISBL.
  • Analysis of resources, both in terms of finance and staffing, and provision of advice to the Secretary General on financial optimisation and sustainability for the Organisation and the projects it participates in.
  • Planning and business plan development for the transition from an AISBL towards an ERIC legal structure within the next 5 years.
  • Application and maintenance of certifications, audits, quality and risk controls in his/her functional areas.

Key Responsibilities

  • Financial and Strategic Planning
  • Work with the Secretary General and the co-coordinators to define and implement the OPERAS strategy, stakeholder management, and to provide support to the Executive Assembly and to the General Assembly activities.
  • Contribute to the definition and implementation of the OPERAS AISBL financial Annual Plan, the financial and administrative implementation of the programmes and
  • projects.
  • Advise the Secretary General about the planning, budgeting, reporting and control of OPERAS AISBL finances and its annual budgets.
  • Define and implement efficient financial policies, procedures, and internal controls, and support tools of the Organisation, ensuring conformance of the Organisation’s
  • accounting systems with EC regulations.
  • Work with the Secretary General to define and prepare the OPERAS RI Multiannual plan during the transition towards an ERIC legal form
  • Deputise the Secretary General in Financial and Administration functional areas.

  • Accounting, Budgeting and Financial Controls
  • Oversee resource allocation and monitor expenditure, preparing monthly financial statement and projections for the Secretary General on the financial status of the
  • Organisation.
  • Manage financial forecasting, and cash flow for the administration of the OPERAS AISBL, coordinated and participated projects.
  • Oversee the day-to-day financial activities, including coordinating and overseeing
  • bookkeeping, and payroll activities
  • Oversee year-end closing and preparation of accurate and timely financial statements, annual financial reports and metrics.
  • Participate in the selection and supervision of the Project & Organisation Auditor and coordinate organisation and projects audit activities.
  • Human Resources
  • Work with the Secretary General to define the recruitment plan, hiring, onboarding and training.
  • Define and implement employee engagement and retention, promotions, and terminations.
  • Ensure performance reviews and development plans are done regularly.
  • Develop and maintain up-to-date HR policies, procedures and best practices.
  • Implement and work with external consultants as needed.
  • Project management and administration
  • Provide the necessary administrative and financial support, reporting, and oversight for participated projects, monitoring the output and balancing the effort with the available resources.
  • Provide financial management and reporting for the projects that OPERAS AISBL coordinates by: (i) advising on the financial reporting and structures used within the
  • project; (ii) monitoring the use of the project resources and submission of periodic cost claims, and (iii) advising in the drafting and implementation of any project amendments.
  • Assist the Secretary General and other staff in the preparation of budgets for events, project proposals and following up on funded proposals during negotiation.


  • Daily with the Secretary General.
  • With OPERAS Co-coordinators, the other OCT members and the Secretary General in the context of the OPERAS Coordination Team (OCT) of OPERAS AISBL.
  • With the beneficiaries of OPERAS-lead projects – either through direct day-to-day interactions or through any project administration committee – to provide advice on
  • project finance administration matters.
  • With the governance of OPERAS-lead projects to provide administration support.
  • With the European Commission’s financial and legal services for aspects around any EC funded projects.
  • With the OPERAS AISBL staff for HR management matters and applicants involved in job selection procedures.
  • With external administrative, financial and legal contacts in any EC projects that OPERAS AISBL leads and the EC project officer(s).
  • With the future IMS Manager for any matter that concerns the development, implementation and continual improvement of processes of the Integrated Management
  • System related to his/her responsibility.

Job Requirements

  • 10+ years of experience in European Commission Framework Programme project finances and associated legal issues.
  • Professional experience in financial management and accounting, ideally in the nonprofit sector, at the Director or CFAO level.
  • Significant demonstrated experience working with external auditors, internal controls and compliance-related responsibilities.
  • Understanding of the legal frameworks, employment law and tax regulations applicable in Belgium and in Europe.
  • Experienced in working with non-profit boards of directors.
  • Knowledge of human resources best practices and experience in HR policy development, including experience promoting and advancing diversity, equity and
  • inclusion in the workplace.
  • Professionalism and discretion in handling confidential and sensitive situations and matters.
  • Strong problem-solving skills and analysis of organisational impact.
  • Excellent people skills, with experience collaborating in a multi-disciplinary, diverse, and dynamic team.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and effectively lead teams of staff on a variety of activities.
  • Self-motivated to learn new concepts and participate in new projects.
  • Strong verbal, written, organisational, analytical and interpersonal skills.
  • Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Excel, general proficiency in other Office Suite applications, experience with accounting systems and database management
  • Fluent in English; Speaking French or Dutch in addition is an asset.


  • The position is offered for an indefinite period of time.
  • This is a full-time position based in Brussels.
  • Remote working and/or part-time opportunities can be considered.

Salary depends upon the experience of the successful candidate. Full package may vary depending on the country of living, if working from a different country than Belgium.

Equal opportunities

The OPERAS AISBL is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunities employer.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status.

Process and timescale (provisional)

Closing date for applications 13 May 2022, 5:00 PM CEST 13 May 2022, 5:00 PM CEST
Interviews & Short-listing 17 – 20 May 2022
Final interviews (optional) 24 – 25 May 2022
Expected Starting Date 01 September 2022


For additional information about this position, you may contact OPERAS’ Secretary-General at

An assessment may be part of the selection process.

To apply

Please send a cover letter and your CV to

Only direct applications from candidates are taken into account. OPERAS AISBL does not appreciate any acquisition by third parties regarding this position.

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