Organisation UKRI
Organisation Detail UK Research and Innovation - Corporate Hub
Reference Number IRC255471
Salary £31305
Date Posted 15 October 2020
Grade UKRI-Band D
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 11 November 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £31,305 per annum
Grade: D
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 11th November
Interview Date: TBC (likely to be on the last week of November)


The UK Research Office (UKRO) is a European office of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The UKRI Brussels presence is jointly delivered by UKRO and the Innovate UK Brussels office. UKRO delivers a subscription-based advisory service for research organisations (in the main UK HEIs) and provides National Contact Point services on behalf of the UK Government. UKRO's mission is to maximise UK engagement in EU-funded research, innovation and higher education activities by:

  • Enabling sponsors and subscribers to participate confidently in EU programmes and fully exploit the opportunities available to them;
  • Supporting UK input into European research, innovation and higher education policy development by informing, advising and liaising with the appropriate bodies both in the UK and the EU;
  • Delivering a set of unique, specialised services that are tailored to meet the evolving needs of sponsors and subscribers.

The Office operates on a membership basis, receiving subscriptions from universities and other research organisations.

Further information on UKRO can be found on the website at (all Research Council employees can create a profile on the UKRO Portal to access subscriber only information).


The UKRO European Advisor role is based in Brussels at the heart of  European Policy developments, within the supportive environment of a friendly, specialist team. The role is fast paced, with a considerable degree of autonomy and agency required by the successful candidates. The day-to-day role is varied: As well as monitoring policy updates, supporting the UK MSCA and ERC helpdesks, issuing written briefs, networking and building key contacts within the European Institutions, individual European Advisors are issued with a portfolio of subscribing organisations for whom they are the main contact, in addition to a Research Council. European Advisors must be able to build a rapport with their subscribing institutions in order to deliver a tailored service which reflects the varying interests and needs of their portfolio. European Advisors must also have the ability to understand the practical issues facing universities pre and post-award with regards to the acquisition and management of European funding. In addition, European Advisors are given the opportunity to specialise and become expert in key EU research policy areas, and within this have exciting opportunities to network and interact with Commission colleagues and policy makers.

Communication is key to the role: European Advisors must be able to understand and convey complex messages and policies in clear, jargon free language, both verbally and to a high written standard.

Whilst primarily based in Brussels, the nature of the role requires after-hours work and travel in Brussels, and extensively in the UK, specifically during visits to subscribing universities. The role is both busy and rewarding, particularly due to the rapidly changing European research funding landscape.

The UKRO team is part of UKRI International. European Advisors contribute to cross-UKRI International priorities relating to wider European Engagement. The priorities of the UKRO team and these roles are expected to evolve over time to reflect the outcome of the negotiations of the UK’s relationship with the EU.

In order to thrive as a European Advisor, candidates must be able to work independently as well as in a team, be a confident presenter and networker with outstanding communication skills. Finally, candidates should be excited about the chance to play a role in supporting and developing the UK research community through the crucial services that UKRO provides.


You will have significant freedom and flexibility when it comes to playing a key role in the work of the Office, but also be expected to manage a variety of monitoring tasks and contribute significantly to outputs while always providing added value services to UKRO’s customers. Tasks include:

Supporting UKRIs:

  • You will be the primary UKRO point of contact for one of UKRO’s sponsors from UKRI (currently seven UKRI Research Councils) and will carry out specific policy support activities for the individual Council and contribute to cross-Council policy support work.
  • UKRO is part of UKRI International and European Advisors contribute to the work across UKRI International European Partnerships and European Funding Teams. 

Effective monitoring and outputs:

  • Gathering, analysing and disseminating relevant information on EU programmes (with an important focus on Horizon 2020) and policies in research, innovation and higher education. Each European Advisor has responsibility for liaison in Brussels with respect to areas of research and policy, although all Advisors are expected to have knowledge of all European research and higher education policy areas
  • Expected outputs include daily articles for the UKRO Portal, effective monitoring of relevant funding and policy developments, and drafting of factsheets and other resources for UKRO’s sponsor and subscriber audience. 

Quality advice and customer service:

  • Providing high quality guidance and advice on EU funding programmes and their implementation by telephone and e-mail, as well as by carrying out regular presentations, briefings and training sessions to UK researchers and research administrators. This includes bespoke, full-day briefing visits to subscribing institutions in the UK
  • The Office places particular importance on the support for research managers, meaning that the jobholder will be expected have and further develop significant expertise on EU funding implementation, including in the field of EU grant finances and grant rules
  • Playing a role in the delivery of UKRO’s two UK National Contact Points on the European Research Council (ERC) and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)
  • If the event that the UK does not associate to Horizon Europe or in the case of a delay to association the scope of the European Advisor role will evolve to include providing advice and guidance on short term alternatives or the Discovery Fund as well as supporting the UK’s participation in EU programmes as a third country.


  • Fundamental to the achievement of the above objectives is the need to liaise and develop effective contacts with the European Commission and other European institutions and organisations, the Research Councils, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the UK research community, and other stakeholder organisations with a role in research policy.

Teamwork and knowledge sharing:

  • In addition to managing an individual portfolio of tasks, the You will be expected to work as an integral part of the European Advisor team. This involves briefing colleagues on portfolio areas, and contributing to joint activities and team discussions and projects.

Other Key Information

One of the key elements of the position is direct engagement with subscribers (through +/- 15 annual visits as well as UKRO events) and networking in Brussels (the jobholder will have the opportunity to attend workshops and events, some of which are outside the core working hours.

You will be classified as a ‘Self-Managed Hours’ employee and will be required to attend for whatever hours are necessary in order to fulfil the requirements and objectives of the job, within the Working Time Regulations.  Such staff do not have fixed working hours but are instead expected to self-manage their hours so as to achieve those requirements and objectives.

UKRO European Advisors are provided with further guidance on working patterns and responsibilities which include details on core hours for answering queries/delivery of UKRO services. Self-Managed Hours employees are not be eligible for overtime pay or other payments for working longer hours.

COVID-19 restrictions could impact on the start date or initial modalities for taking up the post (starting the post remotely may be explored). This would be evaluated taking into account the restrictions still in place and the situation of the successful candidate.

Organization Description

What is UK Research and Innovation?

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 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


  • Strong team working skills
  • An ability to prioritise work against competing deadlines
  • The ability to draft written documents, including preparing concise briefing material drawn from a range of sources
  • A demonstrable ability to work pro-actively
  • An understanding of the European funding landscape.

Interview Criteria


  • Good communication skills and evidence of working together with colleagues to achieved team objectives
  • An understanding of the work of UK Research and Innovation and its constituent councils
  • An understanding of UK research and higher education funding systems
  • Excellent presentation and drafting skills in English
  • Ability to attend regular evening networking meetings in Brussels as well as frequent travel to the UK to visit subscribers or attend events
  • Experience of working with customers and responding to customer expectations
  • Strong time management and organisational skills
  • An ability to handle a large volume of information, interpret material and convey key messages to a variety of different audiences both internally and externally
  • Manage a diverse portfolio and conflicting demands with the ability to prioritise workload
  • General IT skills, including working knowledge of MS Office packages.


  • Experience of working in a role that promotes effective UK engagement in EU Research, innovation and high education activities, or equivalent qualification.



  • An undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification, or appropriate experience relevant to the job.

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.

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