Organisation MRC
Organisation Detail Medical Research Council
Reference Number IRC239669
Location London See on Map
Salary £32132
Date Posted 11 January 2017
Grade MRC-4a
Contract Type Contractor
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 29 January 2017
Interview Date 08 February 2017

Overall purpose

·                under the direction of the DRI Project and Partnerships Manager, to help manage the project plan for  the establishment of the UK Dementia Research Institute (DRI), taking responsibility for its practical delivery.


Main duties / key responsibilities:

·                oversee and maintain the DRI project plan, and ensure that progress is monitored and reported in a timely manner, and that issues regarding delivery  are identified and resolved appropriately as guided by the DRI Project Board

·                maintain the DRI risk register, assurance and gateway review procedures

·                keep senior staff at MRC, AS and ARUK advised on important developments and other relevant matters connected with delivery of the project plan

·                assist the DRI Project Director / Team in preparation of papers, background briefs and other material on DRI project-related matters for committees, senior staff etc

·                support the management of university stakeholder relationships regarding DRI governance and contracts

·                help manage the relationship with AS and ARUK, and other DRI partners as needed, to provide effective support for the DRI project

·                undertake regular visits to the DRI hub and centres to keep abreast of the operational issues impacting on delivery of the DRI mission

·                carry out any other duties that may be required of the post as delegated by line manager/senior staff.

In more detail, this will entail:

Project Management

·                Assisting in developing and implementing the project management strategy for the DRI

o    ownership of project plan and delivery, ensuring dependencies are identified and worked through, capturing and addressing issues which arise

o    overseeing the deliverables and progress of all work streams, working with work stream leads to maintain project initiation documents and plans, track actions and help resolve issues

o    ensuring progress is achieved at required rate and providing input to work streams as required to meet overall project objectives and milestones

·                Supporting the DRI Project Board (PB):

o    Ensuring PB is well informed of project progress, issues and risks, to enable PB to approve key project decisions in a timely fashion to meet project milestones

o    Secretariat support to PB: preparing agendas, drafting Board papers, minute-taking and disseminating information in a timely fashion

·                Reporting the use of the MRC DRI budget (£150m), with MRC finance staff

o    Ensuring DRI project management and science costs are recorded and accounted for, working in liaison with finance staff to ensure planned budget profile reflects practical delivery plans and communicating any deviations to PB.

·                Responsible for ensuring all resources are appropriately engaged across the project; e.g. to progress legal, financial, risk management, communications requirements

·                Working with MRC Estates and the host universities to support timely and effective delivery of capital investment projects to establish DRI scientific facilities

·                Responsible for maintaining project assurance procedures, as advised by the DRI Project and Partnerships Manager

o    Planning and provision of adequate support for Government Gateway reviews and internal audits conducted by AASG, ensuring reviewers have adequate information and any arising recommendations are actioned promptly

·                Implementing internal project policies, including risk management process

o    Maintaining a DRI risk register, identifying new risks and conveying updates to key project governance bodies, ensuring risk owners are aware of their responsibilities

o    Managing declarations of interest and ensuring lessons learnt are captured and disseminated.


·                Acting as a key knowledge holder for the DRI project, ensuring progress is communicated internally and to project partners and stakeholders. Ensuring the DRI Project Director and Project Board are kept fully informed of project progress.

·                Liaison with charity partner leads, including disseminating key project information, options and decisions in a timely fashion. Organising and supporting regular trilateral meetings between the MRC, AS and ARUK.

·                Drafting updates for MRC and DRI governance bodies, including MRC Management Board, MRC Strategy Board and MRC Council

·                Preparing ad hoc briefings as required for senior staff, including the DRI Project Director and DRI Institute Director.

Stakeholder engagement

·                supporting the maintenance of a stakeholder map for the DRI project, as guided by the DRI Project and Partnerships Manager

·                providing secretariat support to the DRI Stakeholder Board, chaired by the SRO (CEO-level members)

o    communicating with SB members, ensuring they are well informed of project developments and have opportunity to feed in strategic advice

o    preparing agendas and drafting Board papers, minute-taking and following up on actions

Legal and Corporate Governance

·                support for the shaping and implementation of the legal and corporate governance model plans for the DRI

Working Relationships:

·                Close liaison with DRI Project Director, DRI Project and Partnership Manager, MRC Programme Manager for Neurodegeneration, DRI Communications Officer, DRI Project Officer and DRI project workstream leads

·                Working with colleagues across the MRC Head office, including with the NMHB team, CSO, Finance Director and Communications team.

·                Close liaison with charity partners AS and ARUK

·                Liaison with DRI Ltd, DRI Stakeholder Board, DRI host universities, and DRI scientific review panel members as needed.

Reporting structure

·                Reporting to the DRI Project and Partnership Manager

·                Line management - none

Education / Qualifications / Training Required:


Essential:   First Degree. 

Desirable:   formal qualification in Project Management (e.g. PRINCE 2) or equivalent; Degree in a scientific discipline relevant to the MRC.


Previous Work Experience Required:



  • Project Management experience with a track record of delivering on projects, including leading different workstreams
  • experienced user of project management tools
  • experience of running/supporting a Project Management Office, including maintenance of accurate records and document management.


  • experience of working in the public or charity sectors, or in higher education
  • experience of working with  multiple stakeholders
  • good understanding of biomedical and health research

Knowledge and Experience:


Creativity and Initiative



  • excellent organisational and prioritisation skills
  • adaptable and, willing to work flexibly and in response to changing needs of the project 
  • ability to support others.


  • experience of research organisations, and/or interest in understanding the requirements of biomedical research.

Independent Working



  • proven ability to drive forward projects to completion, with a can-do attitude
  • experience of working on fast paced projects, with tight deadlines, and working simultaneously across different workstreams. 
  • able to deliver practical solutions, while working within approved governance structures.

Verbal and Written Communication Skills



  • very good interpersonal skills, able to influence and engage with staff at all levels 
  • very good written skills, including report writing and accurate minute taking
  • confident and a clear presenter.

Organisational and IT Skills



  • Excellent organisational and prioritisation skills.
  • Very good document management skills.
  • Able to use IT software packages to manage projects, maintain document libraries, and keep accurate records.

Personal skills / Behaviours / Qualities:



  • A can-do attitude, with ability to identify problems, foster consensus and deliver practical solutions.  
  • Highly organised and focused. Able to juggle workloads to meet requirements.
  • Able to work independently, while being a strong team player
  • Able to motivate people and can negotiate and compromise


Additional information:


  • Need to be flexible and willing to travel, occasional overnight stays may be required.
  • Post holder will be required to work early and/or late from time to time to meet business needs.

Salary £32,132 (including London weighting allowance)

Grade: Band 4a

Contract type: Fixed term for 18 months (Secondments are welcomed)

Hours: Full time (37hrs).

Closing date: 29 January 2017

Interview: 8 February 2017



The UK Dementia Research Institute (DRI) is a £250m initiative being established by the MRC in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society (AS) and Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) in fulfilment of the ambition identified in the Prime Minister’s 2020 Challenge on Dementia. The DRI will lead the UK’s dementia research efforts aimed at transforming the treatment and care that people with dementia receive as well as lead the way in identifying risk reduction strategies for future generations.

The establishment of the DRI requires substantial planning and project management, given the need to:

·                deliver a new institute with partnership funding from two Alzheimer's research charities

·                establish a central hub and regional centres in partnership with a number of UK universities

·                recruit a DRI leadership team and executive and establish an array of research programmes that will support up to 450 scientists

·                establish the DRI as charitable company

·                establish review and reporting procedures to implement/assess progress of DRI science

·                allocate and monitor capital funding to equip and refurbish, and/or newly build, the facilities at the DRI hub and centres

·                forge significant partnerships with research charities, the biopharmaceutical, diagnostic and digital industries, and international research centres/ initiatives

·                progress Gateway Reviews and assessment of benefits realisation.


The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions. The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. We pride ourselves on giving you the opportunity to undertake formal and informal development activities to help you get the most from your role here and to support your career development.

Choosing to come to work at the MRC means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a final salary pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme and childcare vouchers, as well as the chance to put the MRC on your CV in the future.

Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As users of the "Two Ticks" disability symbol, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

Final appointments will be subject to pre-employment screening.


The closing date for applications is Sunday 29 January 2017. Interviews will be held: 8 February 2017. Only online applications will be accepted and should be submitted in the form of an up-to-date CV and covering letter (ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded).

Applicants who would like to receive this advert in an alternative format (e.g. large print, Braille, audio or hard copy), or who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone on 01793 867000. Please quote the appropriate reference number when calling.

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