Organisation UKRI
Organisation Detail UK Research and Innovation - Central Services
Reference Number IRC252464
Location Swindon See on Map
Salary £30782
Date Posted 14 January 2020
Grade UKRI-Band D
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 27 January 2020
Interview Date 06 February 2020

Brief Description

Salary: £30,782
Grade: D
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time/Part Time (minimum 0.8 FTE)
Closing Date: 27th January 2020
Interview Date: 6th February 2020

This role will be based in Swindon but travel to London may be required.

You will provide comprehensive business management, secretarial and administrative support to the leaders of the UK Research and Innovation Corporate Hub. In particular, acting as an Executive Assistant to the Director of Risk and Assurance. 

You will ensure that the leaders they support are well prepared with background information and papers, in the right place, at the right time with the right set of people, and making good use of their time and focus – so that they can deliver their roles and responsibilities as effectively and efficiently as possible, both in terms of their specific areas of accountability and as a member of the wider leadership team for UK Research and Innovation. Whilst some of the ‘Heads of’ within the Corporate Hub governance structures may have PA’s/Diary Secretaries some ad hoc support may also be required.

You will act as an important interface with external and internal colleagues and stakeholders at the most senior levels. You will be an exemplary ambassador for the Corporate Hub, demonstrating the values and behaviours of the team and the organisation. Whilst also ensuring that all work is carried out to high professional standards and in a timely manner maintaining confidentiality at all times.

You will be required to support the logistics and operations of relevant team meetings and other committees as appropriate. You may be tasked with ad-hoc projects to deliver, which may involve utilising staff across the Corporate Hub as well as experts elsewhere within UKRI. Some project work may be required.

A key component of this role is the requirement to work flexibly as part of the executive support team within the Corporate Hub. There will be a requirement to provide cover, work collaboratively and flexibly across the team in line with work pressures to ensure that all the Directors in the Corporate Hub are supported. The role will be at the centre of the organisation and will require responding to different types of challenges and tasks on a daily basis in a pressurised, fast paced environment.

This role will require you to be willing and flexible to occasionally working outside core business hours. In addition, you may need to work at different locations.


  • Effective planning and organising to provide comprehensive and proactive support to the Director to facilitate smooth working relations within the Directorate and with the rest of the Corporate Hub
  • Manage a range of support functions for the Director including undertaking timely preparation for meetings, including complex diary management, travel arrangements, ensuring that sufficient briefs are prepared in advance, all action points are followed up, and all logistical arrangements are made, including when they are elsewhere on business, or working from a different office, ensuring they are dealt with promptly, courteously and with discretion
  • Proactively manage the schedules and the prioritisation of actions for the Director, ensuring they are focusing their time as efficiently and effectively as possible
  • Utilise technology and develop ways of working to ensure that the Director and their team can use their time and resources as efficiently as possible
  • Act as the first point of contact for all enquires for the office, exemplifying professionalism at all times
  • Prioritising and delegating work to team members as required, recognising urgent issues and ensure they are brought to the attention of the relevant area
  • Collate materials, research and analyse background information to assist the Director as required
  • Compile all necessary paperwork and maintain a ‘bring forward’ system to ensure the Director is fully briefed prior to appointments and can respond to deadlines on differing requirements
  • Assist with, and at times lead, the planning and co-ordination of the team events
  • Ensure join up across the Corporate Hub support team and with the Private Secretary to the Chief Finance Officer, sharing information and providing support where necessary.

Effective Communication

  • Monitor and manage all correspondence and e-mails for the Director, taking the initiative to redirect queries to the right individual or respond on their behalf where appropriate; filtering and prioritising inwards communications to ensure that they are up to speed on their inboxes, actions and background information
  • Communicate effectively to a variety of internal and external stakeholders, using the appropriate media including emails, written briefing and verbal communications
  • Maintain confidentiality and confidence of the Director and their teams
  • Build and maintain relationships at all levels within the organisation and with external stakeholders
  • Use own judgement to respond to issues or escalate as appropriate.

Document management and preparation

  • To ensure that all reports and correspondence are prepared in time and are available for decision making
  • Manage, prioritise and respond to all communications including drafting letters, presentations, other documents such as briefing and respond to email correspondence, prioritising and escalating issues if required
  • Undertake and manage business support activities including acting as the secretariat for meetings where necessary, undertaking all the associated responsibilities including planning, working with the meeting Chair to agree an agenda, taking meetings and managing actions to ensure they are complete
  • Diarise meetings and provide all logistical support, including recording actions and filing minutes for ARAPC and other necessary Boards and ad-hoc groups
  • Distribute agenda and commissions and gather papers ensuring they have sign off in line with agenda set by Chair
  • Co-ordinate updates to relevant documentation, shared sites, distribution lists to reflect changes to key contacts.

Other Key Information

UK Research and Innovation has teams located nationally and internationally and strives to be a world leader in the research and innovation sectors. Due to the complex and international nature of the organisation, Executive Assistants will be required to undertake complex logistical tasks to organise the diaries and travel for their Directors including coordinating schedules and travel arrangements for locations nationally and internationally; You will require building and management of relationships with a vast array of stakeholders across all levels internally and externally. This will range from liaising and negotiating with executive support colleagues from across all areas of UK Research and Innovation to discussions with senior executives and managers within the organisation. Externally, you will liaise with teams across the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), other Government Departments and agencies, Councils, Universities and independent research organisations, researchers and other areas of the sectors.

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 Criteria


  • A proven professional PA/Executive Assistant with experience of providing high quality support
  • The ability to work effectively with senior managers and senior stakeholders from a variety of organisations, with ability to build and maintain good and professional relationships at all levels, remotely as well as face to face
  • Able to write clear and accurate correspondence, appropriately tailored to the audience
  • Strong organisational skills
  • Able to proactively manage workloads, resolve competing demands, and cope with changing priorities in a flexible and proactive way
  • High attention to detail and a conscientious approach to work the ability to remain calm and professional under pressure and in the face of conflicting and changing priorities to ensure that business critical tasks are delivered, showing awareness of the impact of any decisions and actions
  • Able to proactively listen and apply feedback regarding quality, performance and value in continually improving business processes and operations; demonstrate an ongoing commitment to learning and development
  • A creative, flexible and positive approach to problem-solving. Questions established ideas and generates solutions to problems.
  • Able to collaborate to achieve results high level of ICT skills and ability to work with a variety of IT systems and applications, including MS Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Educated to at least A level standard or equivalent.

Interview Criteria


  • A confident and approachable communicator able to communicate with people at all levels, in a clear, concise and fluent manner
  • The ability to show initiative, manage ambiguity, able to think and adapt quickly; and be able to operate independently when required
  • Maintain confidentiality and discretion, using judgement to resolve or escalate issues
  • Demonstrate strong team-working skills and support for other team members
  • Demonstrate good team building skills - ability to work with senior stakeholders to facilitate better working together across the wider function
  • Interest in developing knowledge of the higher education sector in which UKRI operates.

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 aims to provide a pay and reward package that motivates staff to the best of their ability. The reward and benefit package includes a flexible working scheme, an excellent Defined Benefit 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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