Organisation MRC
Organisation Detail Medical Research Council, Head Office
Reference Number IRC251741
Location Swindon See on Map
Salary £38318
Date Posted 04 November 2019
Grade UKRI-Band E
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 24 November 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £38,318 per annum
Grade: UKRI E
Contract Type: At least 4 positions with a variety of Open Ended/Fixed Term contracts
Hours: Full Time (Part Time hours will be considered)
Closing Date: 24th November 2019
Interview Date: 9th December 2019

Positions are available in both the London and Swindon Head Offices.

In addition to the Board Programme Manager role, we are also seeking to fill vacancies in the Training & Careers, Translation and Data Science Teams. Further information on these positions is below.

Training and Careers Role

MRC has a leading national role in training future research leaders across a range of biomedical, clinical and health disciplines. The team looks after a range of fellowship and studentship funding schemes. As Programme Manager, you will play a key role in the development and implementation of MRC's strategy across all aspects of research training, careers and skills. Experience of clinical academic careers would be particularly valuable in this role.

Translation Role

The team looks after a diverse range of initiatives and translational funding schemes, identifying opportunities for the UK and supporting the research community in moving exciting research outputs towards the clinic. Core business includes management of high-profile translational funding schemes and partnerships. The team plays a leading role in the development and implementation of innovative and strategic partnerships with industry, and other funders focusing on maximising UK discovery science and fostering cross-sector and interdisciplinary working.

Data Science

The team plays a critical role in MRC's data science and data infrastructure, both in a leading role, and supporting and interfacing with others, across the entire spectrum of biomedical research and innovation, including data policy/regulation. Data science is a highly complex and changing landscape with a wide range of stakeholders and emerging opportunities. Experience in any field of data science (in its broadest sense) would be welcomed, but not essential for this role.

If you have a preferred position from those on offer, please highlight this in your cover letter, noting that we cannot guarantee you will be given your preferred option. Please also consider that PMs move between teams/patches every few years at the MRC.

For insight into the Programme Manager role at the MRC, please see the blog on our website from one of our very own Programme Managers.

Overall Purpose

To manage a portfolio of research (a ‘scientific patch’) within one of MRC’s broader science areas. Including:

  • Being the knowledge-holder of the scientific issues relating to the patch in question, spanning new research developments, research partnerships and policy-related issues
  • Advising grant applicants and overseeing the peer review process for research funding
  • Acting as the primary interface for stakeholders, both internally (across sections of the MRC office and UKRI partners) and externally (e.g. researchers in the academic and commercial sectors, funding agencies, policy makers)
  • Assisting senior staff in the review of research fields and the development and implementation of scientific initiatives and policy
  • Developing and manage funding schemes and innovative initiatives.

Main duties/key responsibilities:

  • To oversee the peer review of research funding applications, including discussing scientific proposals with applicants; selecting reviewers or providing quality control for outsourced selection; providing advice during triage and attending the Board/Panel meetings or interviews in order to answer specific queries; to minute the discussion, and to take any follow-up action appropriate
  • To act as the point of contact for the ongoing management of grants, which may include: monitoring the grant’s progress at critical stages to ensure it is meeting its objectives; considering requests for supplements or alterations to the grant and, if appropriate, recommending action to senior staff
  • To keep abreast with research and developments in the subject fields and to be a primary source of scientific information for Head Office in these areas
  • To visit Units, Centres and other holders of significant MRC funding in the patch
  • To prepare briefing documents relating to the scientific patch allocated to the job
  • To act as MRC representative, liaison or observer as appropriate (e.g. external scientific committees, working parties, Government departments, research charities, regulatory agencies, patient groups)
  • To assist senior staff with the preparation of briefing documents and other material on scientific matters for committees, and assist in advising on the line of replies to parliamentary questions and other external queries
  • To carry out any other duties that may be required of the post as delegated by line manager/senior staff.

Working relationships:

Reporting to: Head of Theme.

Staff Management:

No direct line management (unless specifically advised); working with administrative teams on peer review delivery.


In addition to close working relationships with senior staff, other Programme Managers and various MRC office groups, the role involves developing and maintaining a broad range of working relationships within MRC/UKRI and externally; including:

  • Board/Panel member
  • Researchers
    Peer reviewers
  • Directors of MRC Units and Centres or strategic programmes within the Board/Panel remit
  • Other UKRI funders, NIHR, the charity sector, the university sector and government stakeholders.

Additional information:

You will be required to frequently work in the opposite (London) office and be willing to stay overnight and work long hours on an occasional basis. Additional, infrequent UK & European travel may also be necessary.

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 or equivalent.


  • Post-doctoral experience in a clinical, academic or industrial setting.

Previous work experience required:


  • Significant research or research related experience, providing a broad understanding of scientific issues
  • Experience of working directly and achieving results with a wide range of stakeholders e.g. research funder, the pharmaceutical industry, NHS, scientific publishing or academia.


  • Experience of planning, managing and delivering strategic and policy projects
  • Experience of acting as an organisation representative to external stakeholders
  • Experience of delivering peer review process.

Knowledge and experience:


  • Ability to communicate clearly – both orally and written, across a range of issues (beyond own academic focus)
  • Ability to identify key issues within a project and analyse essential information
  • Able to appraise science and partnership opportunities, identify strategic objectives and their implications, and make adaptations for own area of work
  • Ability to manage conflicting priorities and time effectively
  • Strong interpersonal skills including ability to build relationships, negotiation, influencing, persuasion and “people” skills.


  • Ability to lead a team
  • Sensitivity to stakeholder needs
  • Knowledge and expertise in drug discovery (small molecule, antibody or advanced therapeutics), biomarker development and or experimental medicine/early phase clinical trials from an academic or industry background welcomed.

Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:

  • Positive advocate for medical research and the MRC
  • Drive and determination
  • Has integrity and takes personal responsibility
  • Resilience – ability to stay calm under pressure
  • Committed to self and organisational improvement.

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.

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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