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The Academic Cooperation Association (ACA) is looking for a flexible, competent and highly-motivated professional to support the development and implementation of ACA’s activities by contributing to the association’s applied research, policy analysis, and member development activities.  

Job description 

The role of Researcher includes: 

  • Drafting the research design for ACA studies (typically mixed-methods). 
  • Qualitative and quantitative data collection and data analysis. 
  • Drafting of ensuing studies, policy briefs, handbooks and publications, in collaboration with the other team members of the ACA Secretariat. 
  • Regular grant-writing, with a view to securing funding for the association, for policy- and practice-oriented projects in areas of interest for ACA members (e.g. student and staff mobility, new mobility formats, digitalisation of internationalisation activities, sustainability of international education) 
  • Support for ACA’s advocacy work – co-drafting of policy and position papers, together with ACA’s Director and its Senior Policy Coordinator.  
  • Representation of the association in expert groups and in various international fora and events (as a speaker, panellist, moderator, etc.).  
  • Support in member development activities (e.g. thematic peer groups, consultation processes, etc.).  

Background, qualifications and skills 

  • 2-3 years of relevant experience (i.e. applied research, e.g. in research projects for national, international or European organisations), preferably in a higher education research centre, think tank or consultancy. 
  • Background in education studies, sociology (e.g. organisational studies), psychology or political sciences.  
  • Sound knowledge of both qualitative and especially quantitative research methods, and mixed-methods research designs. 
  • Proficiency with statistical analysis software (e.g. SPSS) and qualitative tools (e.g. NVivo, ATLAS.ti, etc.) 
  • Experience in preparing grant/project applications and in securing funding (e.g. under Erasmus+, Horizon 2020/Europe, ESF, national or regional funding sources, etc.).  
  • English language proficiency at native-speaker level is a must. Knowledge of additional European languages is an advantage.  
  • Reliability and attention to detail are a must. 
  • Proactive, critically-constructive, and goal-oriented attitude.  
  • Very strong presentation and communication skills. 
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to fit in a multinational team of highly-capable professionals.  

Additionally valued 

  • Project management experience in European or national projects. 
  • Prior experience in writing policy briefs and policy papers, in English.  
  • Awareness of the European and EU higher education landscape, as well as of global trends.  

The ACA Secretariat is based in Brussels, the advertised position entailing being located either in or in the vicinity of Brussels; the position also entails international travel, primarily within Europe.  

What ACA offers 

The Association offers a two-year initial contract under Belgian law (with the possibility of extension), and an attractive remuneration package, including lunch and eco vouchers, a holiday allowance and an end of the year bonus (‘13th salary’). 

The level of the position will be set based on the selected candidate’s level of experience and skills. 

How to apply 

The application should consist of the following three elements: 

  • A Curriculum Vitae or resumé, highlighting main professional achievements, in line with the job profile. 
  • A motivation letter/statement. 
  • Names and contact details of two referees. 

Application deadline: 15 March 2023, EOB  

Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications should be sent via email to ACA Director, Ms Irina Ferencz, at ACA regrets that it cannot acknowledge all applications received. Only applicants meeting all the requirements and submitting their application within the deadline will be considered for an interview. 

 Pre-selected candidates will be contacted between 16-17 March 2023 and invited for an interview. Indicative period for the online interviews: 20-24 March 2023, subject to mutual agreement.  

Envisaged start date: April-May 2023 


About ACA 

The Academic Cooperation Association (ACA) is a leading Brussels-based stakeholder organisation supporting research, innovative practice-development and smart policy-making in international higher education. ACA has a dual identity, being both an influential think tank – exploring and researching multiple facets of internationalisation in higher education – as well as a strong member-driven association.  

As a member-driven platform, ACA provides a shared voice to national agencies for the internationalisation of higher education (many of them also Erasmus+ national agencies), being a unique type of organisation in the world. Within ACA, the members enhance their capacities and join forces in supporting, ‘doing’ and influencing the development of future-oriented, top-quality internationalisation. As a brain-trust, with a sound track record in conducting applied research and providing – through its active members, as well as its very knowledgeable and well-linked Secretariat – ACA provides expert advice on key developments in international higher education to HEIs, governments and supra-national organisations.  

Further information about the association and its strategy 2023 - 2027 is available on the ACA website. For any further information about the association in the context of this application, contact Ms Irina Ferencz: