Organisation MRC
Organisation Detail Medical Research Council, Head Office
Reference Number IRC249973
Location London See on Map
Salary £48877
Date Posted 21 June 2019
Grade UKRI-Band F
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 28 July 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £48,877 (Plus London Allowances if Applicable)
Grade: UKRI - F
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 28th July 2019
Interview Date: 3rd September 2019

Overall purpose

  • to ensure there is a clear, well communicated and realistic plan for developing MRC’s research portfolio; and to lead its implementation 
  • to build and nurture a broad network of relationships across stakeholder groups, both internally and externally
  • to undertake and deliver key policy/strategic projects for the director of Group/MRC 
  • to be accountable for the financial resources allocated through the Board for delivering research and associated activities
  • to manage and develop staff, and prioritise resources across a matrix structure to ensure effective and efficient delivery of key activities and projects
  • to advise the CEO, (Council) and directors on key issues to inform corporate decision making and organisational direction
  • to influence outcomes on behalf of the MRC
  • managing the MRC’s portfolio of research in an area of medical research (e.g. a Research Board)
  • understanding – ensuring an awareness of emerging opportunities and threats
  • upholding Standards - ensuring sustained quality 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
  • relationships - representing the portfolio and MRC’s successes and plans in the area to MRC full range of stakeholders in order to maintain MRC’s position and profile.


  • managing the funding decision meetings (board or panel) and peer review processes, 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 member recruitment exercise
  • managing the relevant scientific commitment budget and corporate support budget 
  • line management and development of other RPG staff supporting the Board
  • oversight of relationships with MRC units and centres within the portfolio, including annual reviews of the delivery of unit objectives with the Board Chair, planning and delivery of Quinquennial Reviews, and the recruitment of new Directors as required
  • ensure effective working with other HO sections in relation to MRC Units and Institutes
  • lead RPG contact for institutes (or divisions therein) in the portfolio area
  • representation of MRC on external committees and in other for a relevant to the portfolio remit
  • maintaining sufficient up to date knowledge of science within the portfolio remit to identify, and advise senior colleagues on, major trends and significant opportunities
  • contributing to the development and implementation of MRC scientific strategy within the portfolio remit, including responsibility for delivery of strategic projects and related reporting, ongoing horizon scanning, and obtaining input from board or panel members and other experts to identify scientific 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
  • liaison with other Research Councils in relation to areas of cross council activity relevant to the portfolio area
  • providing MRC input to developing or delivering international initiatives within the board remit
  • providing briefing for the MRC Executive Chair, MRC Management Board, UKRI, BEIS and other Govt departments and preparing responses to external consultations or enquiries as required
  • contributing to MRC documents (e.g. annual report, delivery plan) in relation to areas within portfolio remit.

Risk Management

  • contributing to RPG wide activities and any other duties as required. 

Working relationships

  • reports to: Chief Science Officer (Director of RPG)
  • staff management: of 3-5 Programme Managers in the team.

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, and in particular strategy group, corporate affairs group and finance
  • board/Panel members, in particular the Chair and Deputy Chair
  • members of MRC Strategy Board
  • directors of MRC institutes/units within the portfolio remit, and senior institute/unit staff
  • members of the scientific community, and senior university staff in HEIs with significant MRC investments (e.g. MRC centres, national research resources etc)
  • scientific consortia of relevance to the board’s remit (UK and international), other RCs across UKRI, charitable funding bodies, and commercial organisations with a biomedical 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 and/or overseas locations.

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

Equality and Diversity

The MRC values the diverse skills and experience of its employees and is committed to achieving equality of treatment for all. Our objectives are that all individuals shall have equal opportunities for employment and advancement on the basis of their skills, aptitudes and abilities. The MRC is committed to the engagement and retention of the best possible talent and to creating an environment that encourages excellence in scientific research through good equalities and diversity leadership and management. 

Corporate/Local Responsibilities and Requirements

You must at all times carry out their responsibilities with due regard to the MRC’s:

  • code of conduct
  • equality and diversity policy
  • health and safety policy
  • data Protection and Security policy.

Job descriptions should be reviewed on a regular basis and at the annual appraisal. Any changes should be made and agreed between the post holder and their manager.

The above lists are not exhaustive and the job holder is required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be requested within the scope of the post. All employees are required to act professionally, co-operatively and flexibly in line with the requirements of the post and the MRC.

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.

Personal Requirements


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


  • postdoctoral research experience.

Previous work experience required


  • significant experience working in health research management
  • 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.


  • experience of managing high performing partnerships.

Knowledge and experience


  • familiar with UK medical or biological research in Universities and the NHS
  • ability to engage in scientific issues, 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. 
  • persuasive and credible in winning support for MRC’s agenda.

Personal skills


  • high level of insight and credibility in medical research and research funding issues
  • committed to organisational development and guides others through change
  • comfortable and confident in working in a changing environment
  • strategic and pragmatic thinker
  • a strong leader who empowers others.

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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