Bruno Kessler Foundation (FBK)

Trento, Italy



Art. 1  (foreword)

The Bruno Kessler Foundation has made a name for itself by the quality of its scientific research and its ability to drive socio-economic innovation, emerging over time as an agent of local and global change. With its 3,500 square metres of laboratories and scientific facilities, and drawing on a community of over 400 stable researchers, 140 PhD students, 200 visiting fellows and/or dissertation writers, as well as 700 affiliated and/or accredited students, the Bruno Kessler Foundation acts as a scientific and technological hub, its premises and platforms hosting a lively ecosystem of co-located ventures, spin-offs, projects and training opportunities.

Art. 2  (background and ground assumptions)

In a spirit of constant enhancement amid what is a radical change of paradigm in the relations among man, technology and the environment, the Bruno Kessler Foundation is poised to update its organizational and operative model. This updating process rests on the following pillars: the Foundation Strategy Plan (2018 – 2027); the impelling requirement for scientific excellence; self-funding and innovation (R&D); rigorous ranking and assessment systems on a national and international scale; a new managerial spirit; a novel platform of strategic marketing and business development.

Art. 3 (objectives)

The objectives pursued by the Foundation in updating its organizational and operative model may be summarised as: broadening the horizon of internal responsibilities by stepping up integration of its own research and innovation lines and activities; acquiring new management skills; increasing its capacity for funding itself out of its own resources; boosting its own ability to attract and hone talent; working towards a new generation and gender balance.

Art. 4 (job features)

The challenge facing the new operating model includes investment in qualities of strategic vision, bolstering scientific know-how, reinforcing management skills, as well as building up a culture of inclusion and harnessing of diversity. In such a perspective the Foundation is issuing the present Call for Applications for men and women who feel qualified to play a role of scientific and managerial leadership, in a high-value-added teamwork context, involving the following domains: cyber security; digital society; health and wellbeing; digital industry; sustainable energy; sensors and devices. The domains will fall into separate research structures organized in Centers operating according to the provisions of the Foundation Statute and respective regulations. Though strictly inter-coordinated, the Centers will implement the policies laid down in the Foundation Strategy Plan from their own finances and drawing on their researchers, technologists, technicians, PhD students and other affiliates.

The following profiles distinguish the Centers:

-  the “Sustainable Energy” Center will focus on simulating, modelling and testing systems for producing, storing and distributing renewable forms of energy (the Center will have nearly 20 researchers/technologists and 5 PhD students);

-  the “Health & Wellbeing” Center will focus on developing and experimentally testing ICT technologies and methodologies geared to personalised prevention and treatment (the Center will have nearly 60 researchers/technologists abd 25 PhD students);

- the “Digital Industry” Center will focus on developing industrial ICT tools and platforms designed to optimise the work of human resources, productivity, plant efficiency and highly automated working environment efficiency. Special attention will be devoted to designing and producing innovative systems to exploit the potential of Data Science so as to make production systems more efficient, autonomous, reactive, intelligent and flexible (the Center will have nearly 70 researchers/technologists abd 30 PhD students);

-  the “Digital Society” Center will focus on developing and experimenting with integrated methodological and technological platforms for Smart Cities & Communities, using ICT as the key transformative technology to improve quality of life and social inclusion in intelligent territories and communities (the Center will have nearly 80 researchers/technologists abd 30 PhD students);

- the “Cyber Security” Center will focus on developing highly innovative ICT security solutions warding off hazards and enhancing integration with people (the Center will have nearly 30 researchers/technologists abd 10 PhD students).

Art. 5 (personal requisites)

If conforming to the ground assumptions and objectives behind the Foundation’s new organizational and operative model as outlined in this Call, applications will be welcomed from persons with proven international experience and advanced scientific and/or managerial qualifications, as well as a proven network of relations within their respective domain communities.

Art. 6 (applications)

Applications for the post of Foundation research facility director must be received on by 31st July 2020 (12 p.m. GMT+2)  in the form of a written proposal in which the above-described bases and objectives of the new operating method are outlined as the candidate sees them over a 3-year and a 6-year time-frame (five pages at most). An updated Curriculum Vitae must be attached with the proposal, listing relevant publications and/or other R&D products of any description; the candidate’s scientific and managerial experience; and his/her relational network in the relevant community. Up to the closing moment for application submission, candidates may arrange a clarificatory meeting at the Foundation upon applying to the Human Resources Department and the Research Assessment Unit. Provided they are backed by suitable evidence, candidacies are accepted by one and the same person for more than one Center.

Art. 7 (terms of engagement)

The post of Director of a Foundation Research Center lasts 3 years and may be renewed for another 3. Provided there is no conflict of interest, a Director may hold other outside engagements. The contract applied will be the Foundation’s sole collective ad hoc contract for R&D posts in the private area. The professional category and basic salary will be those stipulated for senior managerial and scientific staff. Any bonus and incentive system will be subject to negotiation on an individual basis.

Art. 8 (selection process)

Applications conforming to requirements will be assessed by the Evaluating Commission appointed by the Foundation’s Board of Administration.

The Commission will comprise 2 experts of proven scientific and/or managerial experience, as well as the President, one Board Member, one member of the Scientific Committee and the General Secretary of the Foundation. In order to comply with our gender equality policy, the Evaluation Commission should ensure the presence of representatives of both genders. The Commission’s assessment will take the form of separate scores for: the written proposal; publications and/or R&D products or similar; scientific and/or management posts previously held; relational networks in relevant communities. After examining the various assessment scores, the Commission will interview a short-list of the best-placed candidates. Those called to interview will also be assessed for management skills and leadership. The final breakdown of assessment scores and a report on the procedure will be submitted to the Board of Administration who will make the final decision.


Prof. Francesco Profumo


Please read the “Guidelines for selection of Directors” before completing your application.

To request information, a preliminary interview or if you need technical support with your application, please contact the following e-mail address: 

Please apply via recruiter’s website.