Inspire Policy Making by Territorial Evidence
  • Vacancy at the ESPON Coordination Unit in Luxembourg

    Project Expert/Project Development and Coordination


    23 May 2011 - The ESPON Coordination Unit (CU) is looking for an expert to join our international team as early as possible in autumn 2011.

    The ESPON 2013 Programme

    ESPON is a network providing European observation and evidence on territorial development and cohesion. The activities are implemented as a programme under Structural Funds 2007-2013 under the objective of European territorial cooperation. The strategy is to enhance European knowledge, data and indicators on territorial structures, trends, perspectives and impacts of sector policies which can meet policy demand and be useful for policy makers and practitioners around Europe. The ESPON 2013 Programme is the second generation of ESPON.

    Applied research projects and targeted analyses based on ESPON results are carried through by contracting Transnational Project Groups composed of scientists and consultants. The scientific platform for the European applied territorial research and analyses are being further developed, including the ESPON 2013 Database as well as territorial indicators and a system for monitoring dynamics. The awareness and capitalisation of comparable information on European regions and cities are being supported by media activities and through events at European and transnational level. The budget of the ESPON 2013 Programme is 47 million Euros in total.

    All 27 EU Member States as well as Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein are partners in the programme, which is managed by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructures in Luxembourg. The European Commission is playing an active advisory role during the programme implementation.

    You can find more detailed information about the ESPON 2013 Programme and existing ESPON achievements and results on

    The ESPON Coordination Unit (CU)

    The ESPON Coordination Unit is responsible for the day-to-day programme implementation and management. In addition, the CU performs as the interlocutor synthesising and presenting key scientific results for the policy development. The CU provides support to the Monitoring Committee, the Managing Authority, the Audit Authority and the Concertation Committee.

    The ESPON CU offers a challenging international environment, working with all countries of the European Union and four neighbouring countries, using the English language in all communication. The ESPON CU has currently a staff of 14 persons plus 2 trainees.

    The work in the CU is organised in 3 clusters, each dealing with a key area of the implementation of the ESPON 2013 Programme. One cluster deals with matters concerning the programme, finance and budget. A second cluster takes care of project development and coordination and implementation related to Priority 1 and 2 of the ESPON 2013 Operational Programme. The third cluster deals with Capitalisation, Analyses and Data related to Priority 3 and 4, and is in addition responsible for communication as required by Structural Funds regulations.

    Each cluster is coordinated by a project expert who also is acting as cluster coordinator. The cluster coordinator carries out his/her tasks in collaboration with the other 2 clusters and the director.

    Each cluster is composed of a number of staff members. Each staff member is allocated to one particular cluster. Normally each staff is also directly contributing to tasks related to a second cluster.

    The vacant post covers the position of a project expert and is related to the second cluster that supports project development and coordination in relation to Applied Research and Targeted Analyses. These activities ensure the implementation of Priority 1 and 2 of the ESPON Programme.

    Carrying through the ESPON 2013 Programme implies, apart from the regular work at the CU premises, some travelling in order to take part in meetings outside Luxembourg, often in Bruxelles as well as in other countries participating in the ESPON Programme.

    The Coordination Unit is currently located in Esch-sur-Alzette, 19 km south-west of Luxembourg City with easy access by car or by train. The railway station is only 10 minutes walk away from the CU premises. In 2011 the CU is envisaged to move to Luxembourg City and in 2012 to the area of Kirchberg, where several European Institutions are located.

    Your general profile

    Staff in the ESPON CU needs to be dynamic team players, willing and used to work and cooperate closely and well coordinated with colleagues in achieving common objectives. In doing so, important assets are the capability of showing initiative, taking responsibility, and a solution oriented attitude.

    Your personal profile includes skills in communicating and presenting complex messages orally and in written form in an easy understandable way. Ability to propose solutions to issues arising from analytical, administrative, legal or cultural differences is here an important asset. You are quick in understanding and you have good analytical skills. You are focused on seeing possibilities and in solving problems and conflicts.

    You have administrative flair and are able to work in a multi-cultural environment with a constructive working approach. You can work autonomously and you are systematic and well organised.

    You are fluent in both oral and written English. Any additional language skills will be considered an asset. You possess good computers skills in using MS Office, including Excel, Access, and Power Point, and you are well-experienced in using the Internet.

    Job indication

    As project expert you will be dealing mainly with ESPON projects. You will be directly involved and responsible for following a number of the Applied Research projects as well as projects providing Targeted Analysis based on ESPON results. In your work you may as well take part in drafting ESPON publications and in analytical activities in the CU.

    A particular role will be to support the cluster coordinator in coordinating, developing and implementing projects of Applied Research and Targeted Analysis foreseen in the ESPON 2013 Programme.

    The cluster for project development and coordination elaborates and implements calls for proposals and tenders and follows, guides and evaluates the projects from the start to the end. You will in this context be involved in managing the Knowledge Support System composed by experts which provide scientific support to each applied research project.

    You will be involved in processes following and guiding the selected applied research projects in meeting policy demand. This task will require analytical skills and knowledge about the European policy process related to the development of the European territory as well as administrative flair. Performing this task you will support both the ESPON Monitoring Committee and the preparatory Concertation Committee including the European Commission.

    The new project type under Priority 2 of the Programme, providing targeted analyses based on user demand and using the ESPON results, is a special challenge to develop, implement and coordinate. In this context, the facilitation of the establishment of solid project partnerships and ensuring that the projects show operational results in practice in using ESPON evidence and knowledge will be part of your tasks.

    Your qualification

    You preferably have 3-5 years of work experience or more related to territorial development, regional policy and/or spatial planning. Candidates with less work experience can however still be considered if sufficiently convincing skills and competences are present.

    You possess good analytical skills and are interested in specifying and managing applied research and analysis. You are familiar with European policy development in the context of regional policy and territorial cohesion.

    It will be an advantage should you have a university degree covering economics or economic geography. As well, experiences from working with policy development and in applying research and analytical results in a policy context would also be considered an additional asset.

    Applying for the post

    Your application shall include a brief letter expressing your motivation, your expectations and qualifications in relation to the post. In addition, you shall submit your Curriculum Vitae including the main details concerning your professional experience and educational back ground of relevance for the post as well as the personal and language skills you may bring.

    In case you are selected for the post you will be asked to present certified copies of your degree/diplomas as part of the contracting.

    In case you want to apply for the vacant post as Project Expert please send your application including your CV by e-mail to

    Deadline for submitting an application is 20 June 2011 at 16.00.

    Selection procedure

    The selection of the best applicants will involve a Selection Committee normally including representatives of the ESPON Monitoring Committee, the European Commission as well as the ESPON Managing Authority and the Coordination Unit. External support for the selection may be organised.

    The general profile and the targeted qualifications indicated in the job specifications above will be used as criteria for a first screening and selection of the best qualified candidates, which will be invited for an interview.

    All interviews will take place in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg. The interviews will include a written test as well as an oral interview with the Selection Committee.

    In the selection process the ESPON CU applies a policy of equal gender. Currently, male applicants will have an advantage in case of equal qualifications.


    You will be contracted until the end of 2013, if you are selected. A highly competitive salary will be paid with regard to your experience. In addition, be aware that the general tax level in Luxembourg is low compared to many other European countries.

    Further information

    You can get further information about the vacant post and the ESPON Coordination Unit as well as on living conditions in Luxembourg by contacting the Director, Peter Mehlbye, or the Office Administrator/Financial Assistant, Caroline Clause, on +352 54 55 80 700. 

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