Position: Assistant Manager – EU

Location: Amsterdam


Adam Smith Europe

This role will be embedded within Adam Smith International’s European subsidiary, Adam Smith Europe.

Adam Smith Europe was established in the Netherlands at the end of 2017 and leads the ASI Group’s work in the EU. Headquartered in Amsterdam, Adam Smith Europe focusses primarily on engaging with the European Commission and supporting the delivery of EU funded development assistance programmes overseas.

As a fully compliant and registered legal entity in the Netherlands, the establishment of Adam Smith Europe further cements the company’s long-standing history of implementing EU funded work and illustrates the company’s commitment to continue delivering challenging and innovative programmes for the EU in the long term. 

About the role

Adam Smith Europe is looking for someone who is excited by the prospect of working in and growing our small Amsterdam office. Coordinating with EU team members based in London and Paris and working closely with other colleagues from the ASI Group in our Amsterdam office, you will build on the success of Adam Smith Europe and expand our Dutch registered business.

While there are many people involved in bidding for and delivering EU funded programmes, you will join a core EU Team who specialise in understanding the market, procurement rules and contract management. The Professional Development Scheme is a 12 month programme that offers you the opportunity to perform different business development responsibilities to create, identify and pursue project opportunities funded by EU institutions. The scheme is designed to both challenge and support you and give you the knowledge and skills to kick-start your career in international development. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with, support and learn from more experienced Managers across different teams and discover which areas of the business best align with your skillset and interest.

As an Assistant Manager, we will support and prepare you on the following:

  • EU compliance and administration management
  • Recruiting consultant teams
  • Writing technical and financial proposals;
  • Understanding local delivery contexts and political economies;
  • Managing complex delivery tasks and project risks;
  • Working on corporate projects and business services.

After successfully completing 12 months with the company, and depending on your performance, you will have the opportunity to progress into a Manager position.

In addition to a competitive compensation package, we offer you a friendly and supportive team environment and the opportunity to work on a highly successful portfolio of programmes. As a certified B Corp, we care about the wellbeing and growth of our people and are committed to supporting your personal development and actively facilitating opportunities to build skills and knowledge in your areas of interest.

About you

Our work requires people with a ‘can do’ attitude tempered with insight and pragmatism. The successful candidates will not just be evaluated on their technical knowledge and skills, but also their alignment with our values and culture.

You should have demonstrated ability to think creatively about complex problems; perform tasks autonomously and at pace; build productive relationships with people from a wide range of professional and cultural backgrounds and work effectively in politically sensitive and challenging environments.

You should be energetic, positive, a team player and committed to achieving lasting positive change. It is this combination that ensures we deliver real societal impact and measurable results with high integrity.

Key responsibilities

Business Development:

  • Manage the full recruitment cycle to create consultant teams for EU bids (identification, approach, rate negotiation, agreement, write-up of qualifications, collecting proofs of experience)
  • Perform market mapping and partner identification research, and present this to bid manager
  • Contribute written inputs to bid
  • Understand the ethical considerations for conducting business development, and always conduct oneself in a compliant manner
  • Gain an understanding of the company’s capabilities and experience
  • Seek to further technical knowledge in at least one sector relevant to Adam Smith Europe
  • Forge own networks in the business
  • Provide concise check-ins/updates to bid managers, including to flag any risks
  • Analyse ToRs and extrapolate key points
  • Develop an understanding of commercial considerations for business development and project implementation
  • Support initiatives to communicate project successes to a wider audience.

Firm Building:

  • Contribute to the growth and development of Adam Smith Europe through:
    • Compliance: Support day-to-day administrative management in compliance with EU and Dutch requirements
    • Marketing: Creating strong networks and contacts in the European development sector, and contributing content and articles to external channels
    • Knowledge management: Ensure all knowledge is shared via agreed team systems and processes (e.g. updating and improving Adam Smith Europe’s databases of experts, projects and partners)
    • Personal development: Take ownership to grow own capability, experience and expertise 

Project Management (where feasible):

  • Support the management of the successful delivery of projects to terms of reference, time, quality, cost and donor and Government satisfaction. This will include assistance in the following areas of project management:
    • Finances
    • Operations
    • Team
    • Quality assurance
    • Risks & issues
    • Evaluations
    • Client relationships
  • Maintain awareness of and conversance with political economy and key topics in priority countries
  • Build strong working relationships with the project team 


  • Develop skills in technical advisory areas identified with line manager and agree approach to developing the same further.
  • Where feasible, support delivery of technical deliverables. 

Candidate specifications

Essential Desirable
  • Undergraduate degree in a relevant subject
  • Outstanding English and Dutch communication skills, both written and oral
  • Master’s degree in a relevant subject
  • Experience in writing proposals
  • Experience in project management
  • French language skills
  • Experience in the development or consultancy sector



  • Understanding of the international development sector
  • Knowledge of EU institutions and international development priorities
  • Some understanding of the company’s technical services.
  • Some political, social and cultural understanding of the countries and regions we work in.


  • Understanding of our client processes and procedures i.e. EU, EIB, EU Member States cooperation agencies, DFID, FCO, WB etc
  • Strong understanding of/expertise in one or more of the company’s technical services.
  • Strong understanding of/expertise in one or more of the regions we work in


  • Ability to work autonomously once assigned specific tasks
  • Ability to research and put together information needed for proposals
  • Ability to build productive working relationships with internal and external colleagues
  • Ability to work well in teams, and under pressure
  • Ability to write clear, concise, comprehensive and persuasive proposals
  • Ability to manage workload, and provide clear and concise reporting into line manager
  • Good numerical ability with a focus on financial awareness and ability
  • High level of emotional intelligence
  • Strong sense of business ethics
  • Excellent relationship building skills.
  • Proactive, self-starter, resourceful.
  • Open-minded, flexible approach to problem-solving.
  • Resilient to changing circumstances and challenges.
  • Achievement oriented.
  • Determination to complete work.
  • Trustworthy, reliable, professional, conscientious and accountable.

Heard Enough? Ready to Apply?

Please submit a CV (no more than 2 pages) and short cover letter with the subject headline “Assistant Manager – EU” to


Shortlisted applicants only will be contacted.

Deadline for Applications will be COB Monday 7th September 2020

ASI is committed to continually improving the diversity of our workforce through the attraction, retention and development of a diverse range of talented people. We want people to be comfortable bringing their whole self to work and recognise that inclusion brings further opportunities for innovation and creativity.

#We’re happy to talk flexible working