Organisation UKRI
Organisation Detail UK Research and Innovation - Central Services
Reference Number IRC248257
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £71354 - £79282
Date Posted 31 January 2019
Grade UKRI-Band H
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 24 February 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £71,354 - £79,282
Grade: H
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 24th February 2019
Interview Date: TBC

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of the seven UK Research Councils. STFC’s research seeks to understand the universe from the largest astronomical scale to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates impact on a tangible level. From clean energy to crop protection, dementia research to data-centric computing, its impact is felt across many aspects of daily life. Through collaboration with industry and long-term research and development we underpin sectors that contribute billions of pounds annually to the UK economy, including space, pharmaceuticals, digital communication, microelectronics and physics-based manufacturing.

Within UKRI, STFC’s specific vision is “Discovering the secrets of the universe, developing advanced technologies, solving real world challenges”. We deliver this by focusing on our longstanding strategic goals of world-class research, innovation and skills. More specifically, this includes:

  • maintaining the UK’s world class research capability and output in Astronomy, Particle Physics and Nuclear Physics, through the grants and facilities made available to scientists by STFC
  • providing access to world class scientific facilities at the Rutherford Appleton and Daresbury Laboratories, such as the ISIS neutron facility, the Central Laser Facility, and Diamond Light Source
  • managing UK interests in international collaborations including CERN, the European particle physics laboratory in Switzerland, and ESO, the European Southern Observatory, to ensure long term access to these world leading facilities
  • supporting PhD students, postgraduate and early career researchers, augmented by an active public engagement programme, to help ensure the UK develops the STEM skills needed to support future productivity growth
  • developing Science and Innovation Campuses to promote academic and industry collaboration and thus drive economic prosperity.

This role is key to deliver the professional Finance support needed to enable delivery of STFC’s programme, now and in the future.


You'll have specific responsibility for the provision of high calibre professional financial management support to all STFC Directorates. You'll enable efficient and effective deployment of funding in order to meet STFC’s objectives and to drive its financial sustainability, thus protecting and supporting STFC’s Executive Chair, the Chief Operating Officer and the wider STFC team.

 A key challenge will lie in working with tight funding levels to maximise research and innovation while managing expectations in an intelligent, sensitive and realistic manner. You needs to be an experienced accountant, with extensive senior level experience, excelling in diplomatic and shrewd negotiation and collaboration and in evaluating complex financial issues.

A critical aspect of the role is to provide visible leadership in delivering STFC’s corporate vision: taking STFC wide responsibility for strategic financial planning and decision-making, implementation of the financial aspects of STFC’s Strategic Delivery Plan and monitoring and evaluation of STFC’s financial performance.

You'll have a seat on the STFC’s Executive Board, as the Executive’s key Financial advisor, helping to influence important funding decisions for some of the highest quality research carried out by the UK’s scientific community throughout the world.

Reporting Lines

Reporting to: Strategic Finance Business Partner UKRI, with a dotted line reporting relationship to STFC’s Chief Operating Officer.


Lead effective Finance business partnering for STFC by:

  • providing strategic Finance support to help drive performance and continuous improvement in standards in support of STFC’s objectives, working closely with the STFC Chief Operating Officer, Executive Chair and other Executive Board colleagues
  • ensuring the delivery of a financial outturn consistent with STFC’s budget allocation (current annual spend approx. £700m), working closely with the STFC Chief Operating Officer, Executive Chair and other Executive Board colleagues
  • developing a long term financial plan for STFC
  • supporting STFC’s commercial and quasi-commercial activities through strategic financial analysis and advice (e.g. Campuses, Commercial activities, International collaborations)
  • supporting the creation and subsequent delivery of robust, achievable project and programme business cases, including Financial sign off of cases requiring UKRI investment committee approval
  • demonstrating and modelling a personal commitment to UKRI and STFC’s vision, values and strategic objectives
  • supporting the maintenance of a robust internal control environment, consistent with HMT’s Managing Public Money, working closely with UKRI GARI and STFC colleagues
  • supporting the UKRI Strategic Finance Business Partner in achieving the Finance strategic objectives, as set out by UKRI Finance and Commercial Director, by acting as the STFC Finance lead on a range of different projects and responsibilities
  • leading the effective delivery of a local high performing Finance service, through the further development of the Finance Business Partners, ensuring that the high standards within the team are developed and maintained
  • acting as an ambassador for the Finance Business Partner model, actively driving up standards to highlight the benefits of the model for all staff and managers
  • actively managing direct reports, ensuring that PDRs, Probationary meetings (where applicable) and regular one-to-one meetings take place to assist the Lead Strategic Business Partner to develop the skills and behaviours of the Finance team
  • implementing succession planning, identifying, mentoring and developing the next generation of local Finance Business Partners.

You'll be responsible for a team of 30 staff with 5 direct reports. Maintaining an appropriate balance between the specific requirements of STFC and UKRI’s other corporate imperatives will require complex matrix management skills.


You'll be a requirement to travel to various STFC and UKRI locations including the Daresbury Laboratory, the Edinburgh Astronomy Technology Centre and UKRI’s Swindon office. There may also be an occasional requirement to travel to some of STFC’s overseas based partners.

Organization Description

What is UK Research and Innovation?

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, 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. UKRI will build on the successful elements from the current funding system and maximise the contribution of each of the component parts to create the best environment for research and innovation to flourish.

Building on success

The UK has a world class research and innovation system. Our expertise spans all fields of knowledge, from the discovery of penicillin and monoclonal antibodies, to the jet engine and the world-wide web. Our inspirational creative industries are strong in art, design and the innovative use of new materials and technologies. Our universities and laboratories produce a disproportionate percentage of the world’s top research, and their academics are highly-sought as international colleagues and co-authors and are among the world’s best at attracting overseas students Nor is this excellence confined to university campuses and research centres. Our engineering, automotive and pharmaceutical industries are successful in part because of the superb graduates they can hire and the top rate researchers that support them.

Our partners

The nine UK Research and Innovation partners each bring unique assets to this cooperation. Innovate UK helps businesses to identify the commercial potential in new technologies and turn them into the new products and services that will drive economic growth and increase productivity; Strong discipline-facing Research Councils encourage breadth and diversity, curiosity-driven research, and priority-driven initiatives; Research England’s work on knowledge exchange will focus on capacity and culture in universities and provide balance to the funding system. It will drive quality and impact through the REF and work closely with its counterparts in the devolved administrations.


  • extensive experience and qualification at senior level of financial management in medium or large sized public or private sector organisations
  • advanced ability to positively influence stakeholders and collaborators
  • excellent communication and relationship building skills
  • excellent leadership and strong team working, development and collaboration skills
  • ability to operate at a strategic level, demonstrate strategic vision and make a substantial contribution to corporate plans
  • advanced ability to positively influence stakeholders and collaborators
  • commercial know-how and the ability to play a lead role in advancing business development activity
  • change leadership and delivery with a focus on achievement and continuous improvement
  • working strategically to balance the conflicting demands of multiple stakeholders whilst protecting the integrity of key financial processes.


  • experience of international partnerships and of working closely with the Higher Education sector
  • experience of accounting/finance in the public sector.

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.

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.

As this job does not fulfil the Home Office Code of Practice criterion for obtaining sponsored migrant worker status we will be unable to apply for sponsorship for anyone not eligible to work in the UK.   At interview, all shortlisted candidates are required to bring with them identification documents and original documents that prove they hold or can obtain the right to work in the UK. You can check your eligibility here:

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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