Organisation UKRI
Organisation Detail UK Research and Innovation - Central Services
Reference Number IRC250096
Location Swindon See on Map
Salary £70000
Date Posted 04 July 2019
Grade UKRI-Band G
Contract Type Secondment
Hours Part Time
Closing Date 27 August 2019
Interview Date 19 September 2019

Brief Description

Salary: £70,000 per annum (pro rata)
Grade: G
Contract Type: External Secondment Only
Hours: 0.5/0.8 FTE
Closing Date: 27th August 2019
Interview Date: 19th September 2019

Organisational context:

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries through:

  • challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research
  • strengthening capacity for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries
  • providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need.

GCRF forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment, which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The GCRF delivery partners are: UK Research and Innovation, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Higher Education Division Northern Ireland, Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and UK Space Agency.

UK Research and Innovation is the largest Delivery Partner for GCRF and hosts the GCRF Challenge Leaders in the International Development Team. The International Development team sits within the International Shared Capability Group within UKRI. The team works on activities that form part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. The main focus is the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Newton Fund.

The role of GCRF Challenge Leaders:

The following six strategic GCRF Challenge portfolios, aligned with the UN Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) have been established across the whole GCRF programme:

Global Health

Food Systems

Security Protracted Conflict, Refugee Crises and Forced Displacement


Resilience to Environmental Shocks and Change

Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure

GCRF Challenge Leaders are responsible for the building and success of individual Challenge portfolios, and together collectively responsible for maximising the portfolios’ overall research excellence and real-world impact. They are supported by the UKRI International Development team, led by Professor Helen Fletcher, and they are responsible and accountable, through her, to the UKRI GCRF senior sponsor Professor Andrew Thompson. They are able to draw on the knowledge and experience of the GCRF Strategic Advisory Group[1] in discharging their responsibilities, as well as on the various GCRF groups in the UK Research and Innovation and Academies.

Purpose of the post and key responsibilities:

We are looking to appoint a GCRF Challenge Leader for Global Health. As GCRF Challenge Leader for Global Health, you will be charged with maximising the coherence and impact of the Global Health portfolio.

You will be embedded within your portfolio, but mandated to work with UK Research and Innovation, other Delivery Partners and to seek opportunities beyond GCRF, through alignment/integration with the ODA portfolios (for example the Newton Fund) across UK Government and with other funders.

You will be responsible for strengthening international engagement and promoting high-level dialogue with a wide range of international development funders, actors and agencies. You will work closely with the GCRF Hubs and other strategic investments as they come on stream, to ensure a close match between new insights emerging from GCRF researchers and the strategic needs and ambitions of development partners as framed by the SDGs.

There will be a requirement for extensive travel both across the UK and overseas, including regular travel to Development Assisted Counties; staying overnight as and when necessary.

The Challenge Leader for Global Health will be required to work with UKRI and the other delivery partners to:

  • shape future strategy by:
    • developing priorities for Global Health relevant to Global South priorities and the SDGs and that align across portfolios and delivery partners
    • enabling GCRF investments to be deliver the aims of the Global Health portfolio
    • ensuring investments are adding value in the wider context of delivery partner and other funder investments
  • build strategic partnerships by:
    • building a network of key stakeholders, organisations and investments relevant to portfolio aims
    • maximising the value from strategic partnerships ensuring benefits are brought back to GCRF and the delivery partners
  • maximise research-into-use by:
    • optimising the contribution that investments in the Global Health portfolio make towards positive impact on developing country challenges
    • ensure the impact of the GCRF Global Health portfolio is communicated with key stakeholders including the public.

Corporate Responsibilities and relationships:

As an employee of UK Research and Innovation, GCRF Challenge Leaders will be expected to:

  • take individual and collective professional responsibility for championing the collective research, innovation and growth agenda; for actively championing its equality, diversity and inclusion policies and practices; and other policies which support its mission
  • work at all times with integrity and to the highest professional standards
  • build co-operative team-based relationships with colleagues across and outside the Research Councils and Academies both through formal governance arrangements and informally
  • be sensitive to potential conflicts of interest, both perceived and actual.

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.

Shortlisting and Interview Criteria


Research achievement

You must demonstrate credibility within the portfolio through personal leadership or portfolio management of a significant programme of international development relevant research and have practical experience facilitating interdisciplinary working.
Thought leadership

You must be a strategic thinker with the ability to develop and deliver a vision, have an aptitude for identifying, exploring and developing research opportunities more broadly and across different interfaces and have an awareness of the current research landscape beyond their own research area.
Representation and advocacy

You must demonstrate that you can act as a figurehead for GCRF demonstrating how you would act as an ambassador and advocate for your portfolio and for research and innovation in general.
Global profile

You must demonstrate an understanding of the global research landscape including key initiatives such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well achievement through networking internationally with research partners and stakeholders within developing countries.

Community building

You must demonstrate your ability to guide and inspire others, bring people together to reach consensus and build common purpose and have experience nurturing early career researchers, providing a supportive environment from an equality and diversity (E&D) perspective

You must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and will be expected to assemble key information across disciplines to build a compelling narrative and communicate this, effectively, to the right stakeholders at the right time.
User engagement

You must have a track record delivering impact from interdisciplinary research, experience advising and/or influencing research users, practitioners and policy makers, and will be expected to implement comprehensive stakeholder mapping, to identify important audiences and priorities for engagement.
Approach to role

You must understand the distinctive contributions from different delivery partners and demonstrate a realistic appreciation of what might be achieved over the timescale, including overcoming key barriers and management of risks.
Capacity and commitment

You must explain your plans to manage existing responsibilities and activities during the period of the secondment.
Host institution support

The host institution must demonstrate how it will support the applicant during the secondment, and demonstrate commitment to developing the applicant’s career.

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:

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.

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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