Head of Communications

Ghent VIB Headquarters

29 Nov 2022

Ghent

VIB Headquarters

Senior Scientific (Managerial)

1

VIB is an entrepreneurial non-profit research institute, with a clear focus on impactful strategic basic research in life sciences. VIB translates the gained insights and scientific breakthroughs into real-world applications, which leads to both societal and economic benefits. The institute operates in close partnership with the five universities in Flanders – Ghent University, KU Leuven, University of Antwerp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and Hasselt University.

To lead the Communications & Events team, VIB is seeking a Head of Communications.

Role purpose

To contribute with passion and conviction to developing the VIB brand, both internally and externally, in the region and internationally, by engaging audiences through diverse communication channels that bring the institute's strategy and activities to life.

Responsibilities

  • Develop an integrated communication strategy, plan, and budget
  • Lead the Communications & Events team
  • Enhance VIB’s image towards external and internal stakeholders, on the local and the international scene; strengthen the visibility of VIB abroad
  • Expand and maintain partnerships with stakeholders to collaborate in the area of communication and scientific events
  • Promote VIB’s activities through communication tools and activities with a focus on digital media, media relations, public outreach, and conferences, in close collaboration with the 9 VIB research centers
  • Manage the institute’s reputation through a dedicated media relations strategy
  • Safeguard the institute’s reputation by developing a crisis communication strategy
  • Strengthen internal communication and provide support for the deployment of internal programs, strategic decisions, and information towards collaborators in close collaboration with the VIB research centers
  • Support the managing directors with preparing messaging and speeches, when required
  • Develop metrics to track program performance, and make recommendations based on results

Required knowledge and experience

  • Several years’ experience in leading a corporate/institutional communications team
  • Extensive hands-on experience in public relations and/or communications
  • Proven track record in developing and implementing a communications strategy
  • Up to date with the latest trends and best practices in digital media
  • Capacity to convey fundamental and complex concepts to a lay audience
  • Excellent project management skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to establish effective working relations with colleagues and a wide range of stakeholders in a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment
  • Experience in change management
  • Creative spirit
  • Proficiency in English and Dutch
  • Experience in a life science or academic environment is an asset
  • Knowledge of the Belgian stakeholder landscape is an asset

What we offer

  • A chance to contribute to an innovative institute with a major impact on society
  • An attractive salary package with extra benefits
  • A smart working environment in our state-of-the-art head office (move foreseen Q4 2023)

Start date                                         1 January 2023 or as agreed upon
Work city                                           VIB headquarters, Ghent, Belgium
Employment fraction                      80-100%

VIB values diversity - in backgrounds and in experiences. The institute needs people from all backgrounds and ways of life to help build a thriving scientific environment. VIB is therefore looking for candidates who are not only strong in their own aptitudes but care deeply about supporting each other's growth. VIB's collaborators are people with different strengths, experiences and backgrounds, who share a passion for science that generates impact in science and in society. Diversity not only includes race and gender identity, but also nationality, age, disability status, sexual orientation, religion and many other parts of one’s identity. All of VIB’s employees’ points of view are key to its success, and inclusion is everyone's responsibility.