Assistant, Business Operations, France

  • Full Time
  • France

CGIAR System Organization (CGIAR)


Assistant, Business Operations Montpellier, Occitanie, France System Organization, Business Operations and Finance Full time SO Role #46


This vacancy is intended to urgently fill a vacant position in the CGIAR System Organization.

Location: Montpellier, France. This position is only open to candidates who have the right to work and live in France.

Grade: Grade 1 (The position is graded in accordance with the CGIAR System Organization staff salary and grading structure, under which jobs may be graded between grades 1 to 9, with grade 9 being the highest).

Date Published: 9 November 2022

Closing Date for Applications: Monday, 5 December 2022 at 09h00 CET


CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. CGIAR science is dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources and ecosystem services. Its research is conducted in close collaboration with hundreds of partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations, and the private sector.

About the CGIAR System Organization

Established in 2012, the CGIAR System Organization (“System Organization”) provides governance to the CGIAR System in collaboration with the System Council and has about 60+ staff. The System Organization is committed to cultivating a work environment that reflects teamwork, gender equality, and respect for diversity.

It is a truly exciting time to be joining the System Organization as CGIAR undertakes a transformation into a more integrated “One CGIAR” that will allow us to achieve a more significant impact with our research. One CGIAR is a dynamic reformulation of CGIAR’s partnerships, knowledge, assets, and global presence in key areas where innovation is needed to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. It focuses on collaborating more closely to enable us to deploy scientific innovations faster, on a larger scale, and at a reduced cost so that they can have a more significant impact where they are needed the most. The transition to One CGIAR will have profound implications on how CGIAR and its constituent parts are structured and operate: with unified governance, an integrated structure, a new research modality, and more pooled funding, One CGIAR will be better positioned to achieve its mission.

Please find more information about CGIAR at (link) and about One CGIAR here.

Job Summary

As part of the System Organization’s office administrative functions, the Business Operations Assistant provides a range of administrative and general support services to ensure effectiveness and efficient office operations.

Broad areas of responsibility include:

  • Supporting the delivery of efficient and effective office services
  • Facilitating efficient information and document management
  • Other general support

This role requires a dependable, flexible and well-organized assistant. Strong attention to detail, a high degree of professionalism, and excellent customer service orientation are essential for ensuring proactive administrative, operational, and procedural support that is consistent with the standards and practices of the CGIAR System Organization. The role requires being on call beyond official working hours on the basis of an agreed schedule.

Specific Responsibilities

Delivery of efficient office services

  • Schedule and keep track of appointments for routine maintenance and/or ad hoc repairs of the building(s), facilities, and non-IT equipment to ensure the efficient functioning of the office.
  • Prepare purchase requisitions and orders for the acquisition of office supplies and other required purchases, liaising with the Procurement function as appropriate to ensure compliance with the applicable policies and procedures.
  • Coordinate with the appropriate team members and liaise with third parties, relevant authorities and other entities for the timely delivery of security services and implementation of internal security controls and systems, including providing Office Services back-up on the basis of an agreed schedule or as needed to cover unplanned absences.
  • Draft a variety of correspondence related to the provision of protocol services and communication with the appropriate authorities necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements of the System Organization’s Headquarters Agreement with the Republic of France.
  • Handle visitors and incoming and outgoing communications, screening and sorting calls, emails, mail and other correspondence to direct them to the appropriate person(s) promptly and efficiently.
  • Support the coordination of administrative activities, including organizing and delivering on-site meetings and events (e.g., preparation of meeting rooms, catering and other meeting requirements).
  • Contribute to the implementation and improvement of administrative business processes and workflows, and participate in awareness-raising and capacity-building initiatives to support the correct use and compliance with administrative policies and standard operating procedures.

Information management

  • Maintain accurate and complete files and records of contracts with vendors and service providers, and inventories for office supplies and non-IT equipment to ensure staff have access to the supplies and equipment they need to work efficiently.
  • Create, organize and maintain databases, inventories, contact lists and other documents, ensuring the accuracy and integrity of data to support efficient document management and retrieval and access to reference materials relevant to the management of the office.

Other general support

  • Foster and contribute to highly collaborative teamwork and communication within the designated Unit/team and across the System Organization and CGIAR as a whole, including proactively engaging others and providing support to other units on an ad hoc basis as required to support organizational priorities or to cover for another assistant’s absence and ensure the smooth flow of operations.
  • Carry out other relevant functions as assigned by the Supervisor, including providing back up, as appropriate, in the absence of the Office Services Coordinator to ensure continuity of services.


Education and Experience


  • A higher education qualification (diploma, advanced diploma, or equivalent certification) from an accredited academic institution in office administration, logistics, or another related field
  • Minimum of 3 years’ experience in a similar role
  • Demonstrated knowledge of standard office administrative practices and procedures


  • Work experience in an international, cross-border or cross-cultural setting

Key Competences

  • Good knowledge of general office administrative good practices and procedures.
  • Proficient computer skills and in-depth knowledge of relevant software such as MS Office Suite (including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and SharePoint)
  • Experience in working with processes and information management applications or software (e.g., Oracle, Unit4, Agresso Office etc.)
  • Ability to liaise with a broad range of stakeholders and partners with varying cultural and educational backgrounds and with differing levels of seniority, and doing so with sensitivity, discretion, and tact considering different organizational and cultural considerations
  • Professionalism and integrity in dealing with all aspects of work, particularly those of a sensitive and/or confidential nature
  • Demonstrated coordination, organizational, and planning skills
  • Strong attention to detail and information gathering skills
  • Strong customer service orientation
  • Good judgement and effective problem-solving skills
  • Ability to multi-task prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Adaptability and flexibility


  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and French


The CGIAR System Organization is an equal opportunity employer and offers competitive compensation with favorable taxation arrangements in France and, subject to eligibility, comprehensive employee benefits comprising extensive insurance coverage, a retirement plan, an education grant, and relocation support at the start of the appointment and upon conclusion of appointment for staff members and eligible dependents. All benefits are denominated and paid in Euros.

System Organization appointments are typically for a fixed term of three years, with a possibility of renewal subject to effective performance, operational needs, and funding.

Submitting Your Application

All applications must be submitted online by clicking the ‘Apply’ button below. If you require assistance or face challenges in submitting your application, please email [email protected] with the position title in the subject line. Please note we will not accept applications through this email.

Please ensure that your resume and cover letter are in English and do not contain your marital status, age, or photograph. Documents provided in a language other than English will not be considered.

CGIAR is committed to fair, safe, and inclusive workplaces. We believe that diversity powers our innovation contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. We offer a multi-cultural, multi-color, multi-generational, and multi-disciplinary, collegial working environment, with a competitive salary, excellent benefits, and flexible working arrangements. We consciously create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character and commitment to gender equity. We, therefore, encourage applicants from all cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, and gender identities. If you require accommodation due to a disability, please email your request to [email protected] and include “Diversity and Inclusion Accommodation” in the subject line.

All received applications will be acknowledged; however, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Tags: cgiar, document management, ecosystem services, food and nutrition, good practices, information management, internal security, logistics, natural resources, nutrition security, office administration, oracle, oral communication, procurement, reference materials, sharepoint, support services, sustainable development, sustainable development goals