Principal Adviser – European Union Project Management Unit

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 16 June 2018

Job Description

The role – Principal Adviser European Union Project Management is a member of the Director-General’s Office (DG) and reports to the DG. This position is also part of the extended SPC Executive Management team, headed by the DG. The Adviser will lead a team of five, with indirect oversight, at times, of up to 15 project managers.

The Adviser will provide support to the DG to ensure all contractual obligations for all European Union-funded projects executed by SPC are met, and to ensure the projects are implemented and managed effectively and efficiently. The Adviser will maintain high-level liaison with the European Union Delegation in the Pacific, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Secretariat, and the Office of the Regional Authorising Officer.

This purpose of this position is to establish the EU PMU, as well as lead the EU PMU team in meeting all contractual obligations for the Pacific Community. This position will work closely with all divisional directors and their teams in ensuring effective implementation and performance of EU-funded projects.

The key responsibilities of the role include:

  • Providing strategic leadership and management that ensures effective implementation of EU-funded projects in all locations
  • Overall establishment and management of the EU PMU
  • Provision of high-level project management advisory and operational expertise to the senior leadership team as well as technical teams
  • Strengthening SPC’s capacity to meet contractual obligations with the EU
  • Ensuring successful execution and completion of EU-funded projects with desired outcomes based on EU expectations

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the job description provided.

Key selection criteria


  • A master’s degree in a relevant field, such as project management or international development

Knowledge and experience

  • At least 10 years of project management experience, including project cycles, log frames, monitoring and evaluation, and risk management
  • Previous experience managing European Union-funded projects or multi-beneficiary projects, ideally in the Pacific region
  • At least 7–10 years of experience working within a regional or international organisation
  • Demonstrated experience with financial management and reporting procedures for the European Union
  • Thorough understanding of European Union processes, agreements, and commission decisions
  • Proven ability to influence collegially and in partnership with stakeholders and internal partners towards an agreed outcome
  • Leadership experience, including development and performance management
  • Strong knowledge of corporate affairs and budgetary processes

Essential skills

  • Ability to influence and drive change across a diverse stakeholder base
  • Strong negotiation and coordination skills, including with EU and project-implementing entities
  • Capacity building and mentoring skills, including the ability to motivate, inspire and promote teamwork
  • Sound analytical, technical and organisational skills
  • Results-orientated problem solving and effective management of risks
  • Ability to prioritise with sound and practical decision making
  • Excellent PC-based computer skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint, and Internet

Language skills

  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) with a working knowledge of French being an advantage

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Ability to communicate effectively with member country governments and other regional and international organisations
  • Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment

Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – Three years

Remuneration – The Principal Adviser – EU Project Management is a Band 13 position in SPC’s 2018 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 3,890‒4,863 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 11,126–13,907 (USD 5,368–6,710; EUR 4,810–6,013). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.

Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,170–2,625 per month. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and 30 days of sick leave per annum, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

As an equal-opportunity employer, SPC recruits on merit; however if two interviewed candidates are ranked equally by the selection committee, preference will be given to nationals of Pacific Island countries and territories.

SPC is committed to child protection, irrespective of whether any specific area of work involves direct contact with children. SPC’s Child Protection Policy is written in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Successful candidates will be required to provide a police clearance certificate.

Application procedure

Closing Date – 13 July 2018

Applicants must apply online at

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume
  • contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. These documents may be requested at a later stage.

For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. The Pacific Community does not support dual spouse employment.

Please ensure that you respond to all the screening questions. If you do not respond to the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.

Screening questions:

  1. In your view, what are the critical basic functions required for a successful project management unit? Additionally, how do you see the Project Management Unit supporting the Pacific Community?
  2. What are two key elements that would be required to influence others and affect change in an organisation’s culture with regard to project management?
  3. Can you identify what are some of the key documents guiding the European Union’s presence in the Pacific?
  4. A child protection policy screening requirement: Have you been convicted of any offences involving children?

About the Organization

The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The European Union Project Management Unit (EU PMU) is a newly established unit within SPC. The European Union supports SPC in the financing of technical projects that meet the priorities of the Pacific region. Over the past several years, EU-funded projects were managed by the implementing divisions with varying degrees of compliance to financial management, procurement and standards policies. The purpose of the EU PMU is to ensure that SPC effectively manages all EU-funded projects in a standard, centralised manner, and to drive greater levels of project execution.

More information

JD Principal Adviser - European Union Project Management Unit.doc

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