Legal Officer | COST Association


For the COST Association, I am looking for an experienced Legal Officer with excellent command of English and good knowledge of French.


The COST Association is an international non-profit association based in Brussels with a membership of 43 European countries. It draws its funding from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe, through Specific Grant Agreements signed under the umbrella of a Framework Partnership Agreement with the European Commission.

COST (European CO-operation in Science and Technology) provides networking opportunities for researchers and innovators to strengthen Europe’s capacity to address scientific, technological and societal challenges, with three strategic priorities:

  • Promoting and spreading excellence
  • Fostering interdisciplinary research for breakthrough science
  • Empowering and retaining young researchers and innovators

COST implements its mission by funding bottom-up, excellence-driven, open and inclusive networks for peaceful purposes in all areas of science and technology.


As a Legal Officer, your main responsibility will be to provide legal support and assistance to the COST Association and to help reduce exposure to legal risks. Your position will mainly cover the following areas:

Corporate and governance

You will be responsible for dealing with issues relating to COST's statutory rules and procedures:

  • Leading the regular update of all COST Rules and annotated rules, ensuring stable terminology, coherence and consistency
  • Conducting legal analyses of issues related to COST’s operations and the legal framework of the COST Association
  • Monitoring European Commission and COST legal and financial regulations to ensure the consistency of COST agreements, rules and procedures
  • Assisting the COST Association in drafting, amending and interpreting legislative documents
  • Representing COST at relevant external meetings and conferences when necessary
  • Supporting governance-related legal issues (COST Association statutes, internal rules...)

Data Protection

Together with the DPO, you will also ensure that the COST Association complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR):

  • Assisting colleagues with legal and administrative matters relating to COST's operations and COST Association’s legal framework
  • Developing sound policies for the processing of personal data
  • Informing and advising the data controller or processor and employees on their obligations
  • Monitoring compliance with European data protection legislation and internal organisational policies (training staff, organising awareness campaigns, performing internal audits…)
  • Providing advice on privacy impact assessments
  • Cooperating with the Data Protection Authority and acting as a point of contact

Grant Agreements

You will participate in the formulation and preparation of documents such as grant agreements, memoranda of understanding, supplier and service contracts, and other contractual and legal documents:

  • Checking and revising, where necessary, the COST Action Grant Agreement, amendments and related procedures; checking Grant Holders’ statutes where appropriate
  • Providing support to the Grant Holders and beneficiaries of COST Action Grant Agreements
  • Developing COST’s financial regulations and procedures; contributing to the revision of COST’s decentralised management (known as the ‘COST Grant System’)
  • Providing legal support for the preparation of specific grant agreements with the European Commission and annual reports, as appropriate

You will also deal with general legal issues and take on other responsibilities and tasks in the interests of COST, at the request of the Head of Policy Unit (to whom you will report directly) or the COST Director. You will work closely with your COST colleagues and, where appropriate, with external experts.


  • You hold a Master’s degree in law
  • You have acquired solid legal experience 
  • You have experience in Belgian corporate law, GDPR and contract law
  • Understanding of the functioning of an international non-profit organisation under Belgian law is a major asset
  • Experience in research, higher education, academic or not-for-profit environments is a plus
  • Experience with EU legislation and procedures, grant agreements, grant assessment and review processes is desirable
  • You have a service-oriented attitude, a strong sense of purpose and the desire to make a meaningful contribution to COST's mission
  • You are able to work both independently and as part of a team
  • You have excellent interpersonal and communication skills in a multinational context, including diplomacy, discretion and confidentiality
  • You are solution-oriented, responsible, organised, creative and willing to take initiatives
  • You have a very good command of English, making you efficient in a European context, and a good knowledge of French. Fluency in other European languages is an asset


  • A permanent, full-time and rewarding position in a European working environment located in Brussels
  • A responsible and varied position with room for initiative
  • A pleasant and collegial working atmosphere 
  • Many training and development opportunities within the function
  • Offices easily accessible by public transport
  • A good work-life balance with flexible working hours and remote working possibilities
  • An attractive salary package with many fringe benefits

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