Organisation MRC
Organisation Detail Medical Research Council, Head Office
Reference Number IRC254578
Location Swindon See on Map
Salary £38969
Date Posted 31 July 2020
Grade UKRI-Band E
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 23 August 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £38,969
Grade: UKRI E
Contract Type: Open-ended
Hours: Full Time (Part Time hours considered, please specify in covering letter)
Closing Date: 23rd August 2020
Interview Dates: 18th & 24th September 2020

Overall purpose:

You contribute to the MRC mission as a funder improving human health through world-class medical research, by leading the effective award of research funding through our research boards.

You will be responsible for:

  • Developing, testing, and overseeing the funding processes used by MRC Research Boards
  • Internal and external process guidance and induction and training for Research Board staff and Board members to promote best practice
  • The coordination, consistency and effectiveness of operations across the MRC Research Boards, including Panels as relevant and integrating these across UKRI
  • Engagement with Research Board leaders – Heads of Theme and Board Chairs – for two way feedback on opportunities for change and improvement
  • Obtaining and reviewing performance data to monitor Research Board operations, taking corrective action as needed
  • Incorporating new funding challenges seamlessly into board operations e.g. set up of new Boards, COVID-19 rapid response.

Key Responsibilities

Board Operations:

  • Lead delivery of application, assessment and award across the MRC Research Boards to quality and time targets
  • Coordination and alignment of funding process across all MRC funding types (ie. Boards, Translation, International, Careers, Institute/Unit)
  • Increasing alignment of MRC with equivalent UKRI funding processes
  • Oversee the annual Board/Panel member recruitment and induction programme, working closely with Events & Committees Team and leadon Board Observer programme
  • Prepare papers and presentations for the Research Boards on operational topics.


  • Significant people management responsibilities including line management of four Board Managers and a leadership role across four Board Teams
  • Oversee the activities of the Board Teams in delivering their respective Board meetings, promoting consistency and quality in the processes supporting funding decisions
  • Plan the optimal short-term use of available staff resources flexibly to support Board activities week to week
  • Lead the long-term resource planning for Research Board operations and ensure effective recruitment and development plans are in place for staff.

Communications & Coordination:

  • Ensure content about the MRC Research Boards is accurate and up to date on the MRC/UKRI website, including Research Board funding opportunities
  • Provide the secretariat, including the agenda, meeting papers and minutes, for the Research & Strategy Senior Team, Science Funding Group and Board Chair meetings
  • Lead the MRC Board & Panel Managers Group.


  • Prepare for and lead a major change project implementing the new UKRI Funding Service as the administration platform for MRC Research Board applications, assessment, funding decisions and awards, expected in 2021 or 2022
  • On a case-by case basis lead projects or provide essential support for larger scale initiatives in support of MRC or UKRI funding and operations.

Working relationships:

  • Reporting to: Head of Funding Operations
  • Staff Management: Line management of Board Managers (4x UKRI-D)
  • Interactions: In addition to close working relationships with Heads of Theme, Programme Managersand Board/Panel teams, the role involves developing and maintaining a broad range of working relationships within MRC and externally; including
    • MRC Research Board members and Chairs
    • Applicants for Funding
    • Other UKRI Councils
    • Other Funding agencies.

Additional information:

You will be based primarily in Swindon, but may be required to work at other MRC locations e.g. London and to attend meetings in other UK and international locations.

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.

The following criteria will be assessed at both Shortlisting and Interview stages:

Education/Qualifications/Training required:


  • Educated to degree-level or equivalent.


  • Degree relevant to science or health
  • Post graduate qualification or equivalent
  • Formal training in people or project management.

Previous work experience required:


  • Significant experience of working in a research or academic environment (e.g. research funder, university, charity)
  • Experience providing understanding of research funding processes and policies
  • Experience of managing effective relationships with a range of stakeholders
  • Experience of project management
  • Experience of staff management and supervision.


  • Experience of one or more of the following: research management; research & funding policy; business operations
  • Experience in information management and/or analysis.

Knowledge and experience:


  • Able to identify key issues and opportunities and make the case for change
  • Able to monitor complex activities and resolve problems quickly on own initiative
  • Communicating clearly and confidently across a range of topics and to a variety of audiences
  • Exceptional organisational skills including the ability to manage resources and conflicting priorities effectively.


  • Experience leading a team.

Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:

  • Proactive, confident and plans ahead
  • Has integrity and takes personal responsibility
  • Stays calm under pressure and consistently delivers on time and to a high standard
  • Numerate with attention to detail
  • Negotiate and influence
  • Enjoys working with people at all levels.

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.

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.

If you would like to receive this advert in an alternative format (e.g. large print, Braille, audio or hard copy), are unable to apply online or do not wish to create an account but would still like to apply for a specific role, please contact us by telephone on 01793 867000.

If you have not already logged into iRecruitment (including as a current employee) you will be re-directed to the login/register page by clicking the "apply now" button. If you don't have an account with us, by choosing to register you consent to UK SBS processing the information you provide as part of the Recruitment Service. You can select appropriate job alerts and notifications as part of your account preferences, and you are able to close your account (withdraw consent) should you wish to do so. Before starting your online application and inputting your personal details, please read our Privacy Notice which contains full details of how your information is processed once you have made an application.