European Patent Office

Head of Council Secretariat (11461)


Job group: 3

Grade: G13/3 (net (basic) montly salary* for this vacancy: EUR 12 865.08, which may be supplemented by various allowances depending on your personal circumstances)

Duration of appointment:  5 years

Career path: Managerial 

Location: Munich 

Application deadline: 22.04.2020



With almost 7 000 employees, the European Patent Office (EPO) is the second-largest public service institution in Europe. It supports innovation, competitiveness and economic growth across Europe through a commitment to high-quality and efficient services delivered under the European Patent Convention, its founding treaty. It has a yearly budget of EUR 2.3 billion, entirely financed by the fees paid by its users.


The Administrative Council is one of the two organs of the European Patent Organisation, the other being the EPO . The Council acts as the EPO's supervisory body and is composed of the representatives of the 38 EPO member states.

The Council Secretariat is the official secretariat of the Administrative Council . The EPO  places it at the disposal of the Council to enable it carry out its duties. It is responsible for organising and co-ordinating all meetings of the Council and its sub-committees, which include the Budget and Finance Committee, the Patent Law Committee and the Boards of Appeal Committee. It also provides the Organisation's Board of Auditors with administrative support.


As set out in its Strategic Plan 2023, the EPO is committed to enhancing the support it offers the Administrative Council to help it perform its duties. To this end, the Council Secretariat's position was recently strengthened in a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the EPO President and the Chairperson of the Council.


To fulfil this important commitment, the EPO is now seeking to appoint a Head of Council Secretariat who will report directly to the Vice-President in charge of the Directorate-General Legal and International Affairs.

Your main responsibilities 


  • Assisting and advising the chairpersons of the Administrative Council and its sub committees on all operational matters, in particular all aspects of Council proceedings. 
  • Organising and co-ordinating all meetings of the Administrative Council, including drawing up agendas, handling scheduling matters, preparing topics for discussion and co-ordinating documentation, as well as providing the Council delegations with high quality and timely services.
  • Handling of all relevant human resource issues on behalf of the Administrative Council, including procedures for the recruitment, appointment and promotion of staff appointed by it.
  • Interacting closely with all EPO departments contributing to the activities of the Council Secretariat, in particular Legal Services. 
  • Managing the Council Secretariat team and its resources efficiently with a view to ensuring effective delivery of the services expected by the Chairperson and the delegations of the Administrative Council and its sub committees.

What we expect from you 


  • A deep understanding of the European Patent Organisation, its mission and institutional framework
  • Ability to plan and prioritise and a proven track record in the effective delivery of services 
  • High degree of service orientation, diplomacy and integrity
  • Ability to handle highly sensitive information with the utmost confidentiality
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills 
  • Experience of international relations and ability to establish collaborative and effective relationships with internal and external stakeholders 
  • Managerial experience and ability to lead and motivate a team in an agile and collaborative way
  • Experience in legal matters would be an advantage 

Your qualifications


  • Diploma of completed studies at master's level or – in exceptional cases – equivalent professional experience
  • Excellent knowledge of one official language and ability to understand the other two; in exceptional cases, excellent knowledge of one official language and ability to understand another
  • Citizenship of one of the member states of the European Patent Organisation


Process and timeline 


The successful candidate will be selected on the basis of qualifications and relevant experience, supplemented as appropriate by interviews, tests and/or a personality questionnaire. It is intended to hold the interviews in week 19, in 2020. The Chairman of the Administrative Council will be consulted during the recruitment procedure.

*after deduction of EPO internal tax and before deduction of staff contributions to the social-security and pension schemes.

To foster gender diversity, EPO encourages applications from women. 

The EPO is an equal opportunities employer and supports workforce diversity as a signatory to the Diversity Charter (Charta der Vielfalt) since 2010.
All applications for vacant positions will be welcomed and considered on the professional merits of the applicant against the role profile for the position regardless of nationality, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, parental responsibilities, age, religion or belief.

About the EPO

The European Patent Office

With almost 7 000 employees, the European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the largest public service institutions in Europe. Its headquarters are in Munich and it also has offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna. The EPO was founded with the aim of strengthening co-operation on patents in Europe. Through the EPO's centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in up to 44 countries, covering a market of some 700 million people. The EPO is also the world's leading authority in patent information and patent searching.

In 2018, the EPO received over 174 000 patent applications and granted over 127 000 patents. Its free online patent database, Espacenet, contains more than 100 million technical documents from 100 countries, and its free neural machine translation service, Patent Translate, provides instant, high-quality translation in 32 languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian.

What we offer

  • intellectual challenges and empowerment through professional development
  • the chance to work with inspiring people from various different cultures
  • an excellent social package
  • contributory medical-insurance and pension schemes
  • relocation benefits and various allowances (e.g. household, dependants', childcare, education, expatriation, installation and rent allowance), depending on their personal circumstances


> Application procedure

> Recruitment process


🖂 jobinfo@epo.org