Organisation MRC
Organisation Detail Medical Research Council, Head Office
Reference Number IRC247674
Location Swindon See on Map
Salary £48202 - £53588
Date Posted 05 December 2018
Grade UKRI-Band F
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 09 January 2019
Interview Date 24 January 2019

Brief Description

Salary: £48,202 - £53,588
Grade: UKRI-F
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time (but part time applications may be considered)
Closing Date: 9th January 2019
Interview Date: 24th January 2019


Overall purpose:

We are looking for candidates who will initially provide leadership in training, capacity and skills, but also with the potential to pursue other senior research manage mentor strategy roles in MRC or UKRI.

You will:

  • ensure there is a clear, well communicated and realistic plan for developing MRC’s research / training funding portfolio (in Capacity and Skills in the first instance), policies and strategy; and to lead implementation
  • build and nurture a broad network of relationships across stakeholder groups, both internally and externally
  • undertake and deliver key policy/strategic projects
  • be accountable for the financial resources for delivering research, training, and associated activities
  • manage and develop staff, and prioritise resources across a matrix structure to ensure effective and efficient delivery of key activities and projects
  • advise the Executive Chair, Council and Directors on key issues to inform corporate decision making and organisational direction
  • influence outcomes on behalf of the MRC.

Key work areas:

  • managing the MRC’s assessment, funding and review work on studentships and fellowships, portfolio of research in Studentship and Fellowships
  • understanding – ensuring an awareness of emerging opportunities and threats
  • upholding standards - ensuring sustained quality and fairness in decision-making and delivery of programmes;
  • making changes - choosing and using suitable ways of achieving MRC’s aims in the area, (through reviews, change management, partnerships, funding decisions, appointments etc.)
  • providing direction - contributing expertise (portfolio, problems, partners, possibilities etc) to MRC strategy development, budget setting and evaluation 
  • managing relationships, advice and policy development, and information sources and analysis on research training, skills and careers for the sector, looking across the total impacts of all MRC funding (not just studentships and fellowships) and wider activity in the sector, especially in health charities, and Health Departments/NHS (in relation to service and research), and industry, to ensure that MRC helps develop a shared view of what is needed and acts effectively in concert with others
  • supporting the development of cross-sector, cross UKRI training and skills policies and operations.

Other responsibilities:

  • ensuring that decision making is fair, defensible and properly documented, and that conflicts of interest are avoided
  • ensuring Board or Panel membership includes appropriate expertise via the annual Board/Panel member recruitment exercise
  • managing the relevant scientific commitment budget and corporate support budget
  • line Management of the Programme Managers in the team (c. 3 - 5 posts), including contributing to training and staff development; contributing to the management and development of other staff supporting the Board/Panel
  • representation of MRC on external committees and in other for a relevant to the portfolio remit
  • maintaining sufficient up to date knowledge of science, especially in areas where strategy or needs are changing, and advise senior colleagues on, major trends and significant opportunities
  • developing and maintaining good relationships with funding partners in current or possible future funding initiatives: maintaining an awareness of activities of UKRI’s constituent bodies, and other funders (both public and private sector), to identify potential partnership opportunities and ensure maximal impact for MRC investments
  • providing MRC input to developing or delivering international initiatives within the Board remit
  • contributing to MRC documents (e.g. Annual Report, Strategic Delivery Plan) in relation to areas within portfolio remit
  • risk management
  • contributing to strategy group activities and any other duties as required
  • working relationships:
  • reports in a matrix structure
  • daily operations: Director of Capacity and Skills
  • strategic decision-making: Chief Strategy Officer
  • staff Management: 3-5 Programme Managers.

In addition to close working relationships with RPG senior staff, Programme Managers, the role involves developing and maintaining a broad range of working relationships within MRC and externally including:

  • other sections within MRC Head Office Board/Panel members, in particular the Chair and Deputy Chair
  • MRC Strategy Board and Overview Groups
  • directors of MRC Institutes/Units, and Senior Institute/Unit staff
  • members of the scientific community, and Senior University Staff in HEIs
  • scientific consortia of relevance to the Board’s remit (UK and international), other Research Councils
  • charitable funding bodies, and commercial organisations with a medical R&D interest.

Additional information:

You will be based in either the London or Swindon Head Office, but will be required to work at the other site on a frequent basis and to attend meetings/workshops in other UK (or sporadically, overseas) locations.

You will need to work early and/or late when required – especially around key meetings and events.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is a publicly-funded organisation dedicated to improving human health. We support research across the entire spectrum of medical sciences, in universities and hospitals, in our own units and institutes in the UK.

Shortlisting and Interview Criteria:

Education/Qualifications/Training required:


  • PhD (broadly relevant to the work of the MRC).


  • post-doctoral research experience
  • previous work experience required.

Knowledge and Experience:


  • significant experience working in health research management – including both funding and open strategy development with broad expert engagement
  • broad knowledge of the UK health research sector in academia, the NHS and industry 
  • developing strategies for delivering major objectives in a multi-stakeholder environment
  • negotiating solutions in conflicting and politically sensitive environments
  • ability to manage and lead a team, including the management of departmental performance
  • experience of running high quality peer review
  • proven experience of representing an organisation at a senior level and the influencing favourable outcomes
  • familiar with UK medical or biological research in Universities and the NHS.



  • ability to engage in scientific issues across academic and applied NHS/industry R&D, with credibility at all levels 
  • ability to manage and develop highly qualified professionals; ability to empower others to take responsibility for delivery of business objectives
  • ability to think and plan strategically in research, relating long-range goals to short-term action 
  • strong organisational planning skills
  • the ability to handle, analyse and present complex information (scientific, financial, policy, ethical)
  • the ability to work under pressure and deliver targets to very tight deadlines
  • excellent oral and written communication skills, able to tailor style to a range of scientific, executive and lay audiences. 

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

Limited parking subject to waiting list (Polaris House, Swindon only).

Employee Benefits:

UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.

Developing Talent:

We are committed to developing employees in their roles throughout their career. Learning and development plans enable employees to continue their professional development through training and development opportunities such as e-learning, classroom training and on-the-job experiences. We encourage our employees to share their learning across teams and organisations.

Equal Opportunities:

We strive to make decisions based on individual merit and ability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. As holders of Disability Confident Employer status, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

Online applications only. Please submit a covering letter and CV ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Please note that failure to address the above criteria or submitted without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.

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