Organisation AHRC
Organisation Detail Arts and Humanities Research Council
Reference Number IRC255868
Location Swindon See on Map
Salary £60026
Date Posted 17 November 2020
Grade UKRI-Band G
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 30 November 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £60,026
Grade: G
Contract Type: Fixed Term (1 Year)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 30th November 2020
Interview Date: TBC


UKRI is a new, independent, non-departmental public body, it will bring together the functions of the seven Research Councils[, Innovate UK, and Research England. The new body seeks to maximise value from government’s investment in research and innovation of over £6bn per annum by 2020. It will lead the overall strategic direction of research and innovation funding in the UK, pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through research, and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research and business-led innovation. The Research Councils, Innovate UK, and Research England will continue to provide strategic leadership to their disciplines and thematic areas and continue to control their own delegated budgets and manage institutes and facilities.


Responsible for oversight  of AHRC’s programmes of research including AHRC’s portfolio of skills funding and postgraduate training.


Programme Management

  • Play a key role in the strategic development of the AHRC’s programmes and funding strategies to establish and maintain effective support for high-quality research, postgraduate, knowledge exchange, international funding and broader impact activities in the arts and humanities. This includes the development and management of systems, contribution to corporate planning and risk management, and ensuring that policy is developed through engagement with stakeholders
  • Oversee AHRC’s portfolio of skills funding and postgraduate training including extensive engagement with major investments such as the AHRC’s network of Doctoral Training Partnerships. It will also involve leading on the interface between skills and cross-cutting research policy areas such as equalities and diversity, international collaboration, knowledge exchange and impact
  • Prioritise on the most effective use of resources to ensure that strategic and operational programme aims can be met. Working with Team Heads in Programmes the other Associate Directors oversee operational and resource planning to ensure that existing programmes and new developments can be delivered on time and to budget
  • Provide strategic leadership and financial oversight of the work of Programmes’ teams, focussing on the delivery of key strategic aims, including the development and implementation of thematic and priority areas and cross-Council collaboration outlined in AHRC’s Strategy and Delivery Plan
  • Provide leadership in the development of narratives and evidence for the economic, societal and cultural impact and value of arts and humanities research and for the collection, collation and analysis of management information to support the effective management and strategic development of the Programmes portfolio and monitoring of progress to key policy commitments (e.g. equalities and diversity) particularly in areas relating to skills development, career pathways and health of disciplines.


  • Provide direction and support to AHRC’s development of partnerships and collaborations with the public, private and third sectors and promote the contribution of insights from the arts and humanities to policy development and practice
  • Provide direction and support in raising AHRC’s leadership role in the arts and humanities research community internationally through identifying strategic international collaborations and partnerships, leveraging additional funding through international programmes, creating mutually beneficial opportunities for researcher exchanges and placements in line with the current AHRC Delivery Plan priorities
  • Play a key role in representing the AHRC in discussions with the research community and other stakeholders, including other Research Councils. This includes formal and informal visits to higher education institutions, including engagement with senior academics, leading high-profile events, and meetings and participating in conferences; working with other Research Councils to ensure an arts and humanities perspective is recognised in cross-Council initiatives; collaborating with other funding organisations to promote the development of arts and humanities research skills, careers and capabilities
  • Support the successful operation of AHRC’s Council, building effective relationships with Council members, effectively and proactively managing the business of Council, leading the cyclical review of the effectiveness of Council, and overseeing the future recruitment of members;
  • Ensure high-quality administrative support is provided to facilitate the effective planning and operation of senior leadership and Director meetings
  • Working with the Chief Operating Officer, oversee AHRC’s assurance activities, ensuring that robust assurance and internal control systems are implemented in line with UK Research and Innovation’s overarching control framework. This includes overseeing the successful operation of AHRC’s Assurance Board.
  • Work collaboratively with the UK Research and Innovation Head of Governance, Assurance and Risk to ensure the implementation of effective corporate governance and robust integrated risk management to enable delivery of the strategic priorities
  • Ensure that AHRC has a robust and efficient funding assurance strategy within the wider context of UK Research and Innovation’s assurance strategy, that doesn’t place undue burden on its funding recipients or involve unnecessary duplication of data or processes by public bodies.


  • Play a significant leadership role as part of the senior leadership team inputting to strategic decision making, and supporting the staff across AHRC.  Facilitate open, prompt and effective communication between the leadership team and staff within the Council
  • Lead and inspire a diverse team to deliver strategically focused activities, creating a culture of professional excellence, innovation, flexibility and expert services. Deliver a high quality, timely and resilient function, which combines horizon scanning and strategic planning with the ability to react to urgent/immediate requirements.

As Delegated

  • Oversee the management staff resource requirements, deploying staffing to support successful delivery of AHRC’s mission and objectives
  • Positively and proactively engage across UK Research and Innovation to support the delivery of collective activities and objectives, including representing AHRC on UK Research and Innovation groups.
  • Engage with counterparts in the other UK Research and Innovation Councils to share best practice, ensure consistency of approach (where appropriate) and deliver the implementation of effective policies, processes and practices
  • Provide motivational and active leadership as a leader within UK Research and Innovation.

Key Skills

  • Proven leadership skills with an ability to motivate and develop capability within a team.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills;
  • Strong numeracy and analytical skills, a track record of evidence-based decisions;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, able to influence, build and maintain strong working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders; collaborative and consultative;
  • Enthusiastic, motivated, adaptable and proactive with the ability to work flexibly in a changing environment
  • Knowledge and understanding of the UK higher education system, of the issues that relate to the funding of research and of the ways in which it makes an impact beyond academia.

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 www.ukri.org.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) supports world-class research that furthers our understanding of human culture and creativity. It supports research and postgraduate training in a wide range of subject areas, from ancient history and heritage science to modern dance and digital content. Research into these areas helps us to interpret our experiences, probe our identities, interrogate our cultural assumptions and understand our historical, social, economic and political context. It adds to the economic success of the UK, through its contributions to the knowledge economy and innovation agenda. The research we fund can lead to improvements in social and intellectual capital, community identity, learning skills, technological evolution and the quality of life of the nation.

Experience – shortlisting criteria


  • Demonstrable experience of planning and analysis
  • Demonstrable ability to write strong, persuasive business cases;
  • Demonstrable experience of managing the development and delivery of major projects and programmes;
  • An appreciation of governance and risk management principles;
  • Experience of working at a senior level with diverse internal and external stakeholders
  • Experience of developing high performing teams to deliver high-quality and resilient project and programmes.
  • Experience of building effective cross functional working relationships.


  • Experience in or an understanding of the research and innovation sector
  • Knowledge or experience of working within the public sector.

Qualifications – shortlisting criteria


  • Undergraduate degree (or equivalent)
  • Strong understanding of and interest in arts and humanities research.


  • Project / Programme Management.

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 (Swindon site only).

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: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y.

Only online applications will be accepted and should be submitted in the form of an up-to-date c.v. and covering letter (ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded), which clearly outlines why you are applying for this post and how you meet the criteria described in this advertisement. Please note that applications submitted without a covering letter, or which fail to address these points, may not be considered further.

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