Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC254577
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £38318 - £42576
Date Posted 29 July 2020
Grade UKRI-Band E
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours No Defined Hours
Closing Date 30 August 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £38,318 - £42,576 per annum, pro rata if part time
Grade: UKRI-E
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time or Part Time
Closing Date: 30th August 2020

The RAL Particle Physics Project Support Office supports the management of many of the UK’s national and international particle physics projects. You will primarily be project manager for the UK contributions to the Compact Muon Solonoid (CMS) detector project located at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN on the Swiss/French border; and projects to develop the Boulby Underground Laboratory in the UK, but will also manage other projects and contribute to the work of the Project Support Office as needs arise and change.

The post(s) are UK-based and non-technical, ranging from 0.5 part time up to full time depending on the wishes, fitting in the resource requirements. Working conditions are flexible reflecting the geographically distributed nature of the projects, although it is primarily office-based. You will be a member of the Project Support Office team.

The CMS experiment is an international collaboration of scientific institutes from all over the world, each contributing specific components and expertise to the central experiment construction, commissioning and operation based at CERN. In the UK this consists of three university physics departments as well as STFC RAL each contributing, and working together to produce software, technical components, analysis tools and to provide scientific and technical expertise. Once commissioned, the upgraded CMS experiment will contribute to fundamental understanding of the building blocks of the universe. The international CMS collaboration consists of over 4,000 members from 206 countries with a detector upgrade budget of £225m, the UK budget for the project is about £11m. Similarly the projects at Boulby (ATI and NEO) are collaborations with US scientific colleagues.

The Project Manager will work alongside the Principal Investigator to ensure that contributions are delivered most appropriately to the international project within the established constraints and to maximize the benefits. The Project Manager will ensure that suitable management of the project is in place to enable credible planning and informed decision making, and will undertake accurate and informative reporting as well as ensuring the maintenance of appropriate project tools. The Project Support Office follows closely the approach promoted by the UK Association for Project Management whilst being tailored for use within a collaborative science environment. The project manager will be expected to help develop these methods and processes as part of the Project Support Office team.

You must exhibit a pragmatic attitude towards the work of others, particularly in a collaborative environment where there is no line-management control of participants, whilst themselves having a good eye for detail interpreting and presenting project performance data.

Technical expertise is not required as part of the role of project manager since this is provided by the project’s scientific and technical participants. However an ability to interpret and document these requirements is highly beneficial, particularly in developing plans and identifying risks – this can be achieved by asking sensible questions and intelligent interpretation of answers. However an analytic approach to the interpretation of project (management) data is vital, as is an ability to drill-down and investigate project issues.

Some project support is provided via processes and support staff within the Project Support Office but it will be the successful candidate’s responsibility and accountability to ensure that the project is managed in the appropriate manner following guidelines, making up shortfalls in support where necessary.

A more junior candidate without all the skill set may be selected if it is considered that there is potential and enthusiasm to grow into the role.

Not only is this an exciting role at the forefront of science and technology, you will also gain excellent experience of formal project management in a collaborative environment, as well as further training, aiming to reach Chartered Project Professional within a suitable time frame.

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 Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Shortlisting Criteria (S), Interview Criteria (I) or both (S&I)


  • Project management qualification equivalent to at least IPMA Level D (e.g. APM PMQ) (S)
  • A bachelors degree (or equivalent) in a numerate subject (S)
  • Up-to-date knowledge and understanding of formal project management methods and processes, particularly risk management (S&I)
  • Strong experience as project manager (a less experienced but qualified candidate could be selected if there is demonstrable evidence of ability to grow in the role) (S&I)
  • Strong communication skills: ability to interact with technical and non-technical individuals in a mutually beneficial manner, extracting necessary information and promoting reasoned arguments; a confident speaker, able to present quantitative/factual information (I)
  • Self-starter, able to work autonomously, pragmatically and flexibly (S&I)
  • Good time management, enthusiasm to take responsibility for the delivery of work and promote continuous improvement (S&I)
  • Exhibits a pragmatic approach to the work of others, and an eye to detail and analytical approach in the candidates own work (I)
  • Good writing style, confident use of the English language, quality of cover letter. Experience of comprehensive and quantitative reporting (S&I)
  • Confidence in the use of project scheduling software (e.g. MS Project, Merlin project or Primavera P6) and office tools (e.g. Excel, Word), enthusiasm to learn others (e.g. Power BI) (S&I)
  • Ability to undertake some travel within the UK and perhaps abroad (S&I)
  • Enthusiasm for the science and technology underpinning the projects. (I)


  • Higher level project management qualifications (S)
  • Membership of a relevant professional institution (e.g. APM) (S)
  • Strong experience as project manager in complex/collaborative environments (S&I)
  • Experience of and enthusiasm for creating and implementing formal project management methods with a pragmatic approach to the project environment (I)
  • Evidence of experience gained managing projects in a variety of environments and disciplines (S&I)
  • Familiarity in the use of Primavera P6 software (S&I)
  • Experience of other analytical software (e.g. Power BI, SQL). (S&I)

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.

Polaris House is located next to Swindon Train Station and has excellent public transport links. 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.

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.

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:

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