Research Development Manager (MHLS)

United Kingdom
Oct 11, 2016
Nov 21, 2016
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

Research Managers play an integral role in supporting the growth of the University’s research portfolio. The post holder will operate individually, and as part of a team across the University, and will be responsible for developing and leading a strategic approach to research funding helping shape how professional support services can work in partnership with senior academics to deliver strategic research objectives.


  • To establish key relationships with senior staff, including the PVC (Research, Enterprise and Postgraduate Affairs), Deans of Research, Heads of Schools, Global Research Institute Directors, Pioneer Research Programme Directors and Directors of Research, in setting priority research areas for strategic development. To actively develop and pursue new opportunities to enhance the performance of research in these areas.
  • To identify and evaluate opportunities to bid for research funding streams, ascertaining their significance and relevance to the
  • University. To brief senior staff regarding strategically significant funding opportunities and recommend an appropriate course of action (supporting the bid process).
  • To assume full responsibility for the Managed Bid process including managing the selection of proposals that fall within the process and recommending changes to the process, as required.
  • To provide pro-active support to academic colleagues within the Faculty of MHLS and to researchers within the Global
  • Research Institutes and Pioneer Research Programmes for the development of high-quality proposals to be submitted to identified funding schemes; providing expert, professional guidance in bid preparation, as required.
  • To work closely with academic colleagues to identify research development support needs, and ensure the timely, targeted dissemination of information regarding funding policy and opportunities. To design and deliver training events, seminars, workshops, networking events and other initiatives to raise the profile of research funding opportunities.
  • To carry out horizon scanning in order to identify where developments in government and funder policy have the potential to result in research funding opportunities for the University. To scope such opportunities through, for example, mapping of the current research strengths and disseminate them to appropriate groups.
  • To promote the University’s strategic research agenda with regional and national funding bodies, including identifying and managing high level visits (incoming and outgoing) in order to influence and align future funding opportunities with the University’s research agenda.
  • To develop high-level relationships with a network of significant funders’ and other external stakeholders in order to support our research growth ambitions. Active membership of relevant University working committees/working groups/cross functional groups.
  • To review University research strengths in the light of anticipated funding opportunities. To highlight priorities for strengthening and bringing together research capability in key areas, promote and manage activities (such as thematic workshops and networking events) to build capacity in the areas identified and, where there is potential, follow this through to preparation of research bids. To maintain specialist knowledge of current and future policy developments in order to inform the development of new or revised University policies and practices. Drafting and maintaining such policies in consultation with all relevant University Committees and users. To identify best practice relating to winning research funding through consultation with successful applicants, funding bodies and members of review panels/committees within the University. Disseminate this knowledge, in a targeted fashion, to academic colleagues. To act as the link between the Directorate, Faculties and other Professional Support Services in order to ensure that the Directorate’s activities are strategically aligned with the University research priorities.

Planning and Organising:

  • Coordinating research grant applications in conjunction with academic colleagues and in line with externally determined deadlines.
  • Organising training workshop activities with academic colleagues within Schools/Institutes/Centres, presenting and coordinating networking activities.
  • Organising visits from funding organisations and facilitating information and briefing sessions for staff.
  • Managing and coordinating bids across a range of academic Schools/Institutes/Centres and including a range of academic colleagues.

Resource Management Responsibilities:

  • Providing advice in early stage development of budgets for externally funded initiatives, and monitor and report on expenditure for strategic initiatives, as required.
  • Assisting in the development of budgets for externally funded initiatives (in conjunction with Finance Business Partners), and monitor and report on expenditure for strategic initiatives, as required.
  • Setting and prioritising personal day to day activities in order to realise goals and deliverables within agreed timescales. Supervision of Research Development Officer(s) and additional staff, as required when acting within a project environment.

Internal and External Relationships:

  • Work closely with PVC (Research, Enterprise and Postgraduate Affairs), Deans of Research, Global Research Institute
  • Directors, Pioneer Research Project Directors and Directors of Research to support the delivery of research strategies.
  • Liaise with and provide professional direction to academic colleagues ensuring that they are aware of University strategies and
  • policies and to identify training needs. Work alongside academic colleagues to offer guidance and assistance in developing their research funding portfolios.
  • Work closely with members of University staff who sit on key external committees/boards to ensure timely flow of information.
  • Provide a link between the Directorate and academic and Professional Support colleagues and provide representation and expert advice at meetings such as Research Strategy Group and Faculty Research Committee (or their equivalent). Work with colleagues in the Directorate to ensure that appropriate services are offered, combined and utilised to maximise the alignment of research, the achievement of research funding, the undertaking of research that is ethical and the exploitation of its results. Work closely with and within the academic community, and engage widely and at all levels with University Professional Support Services (e.g. Finance Business Partners, Estates, Graduate School), during bid preparation and delivery of initiatives.


  • Primary or postgraduate degree. Minimum of three years’ recent experience of working within a relevant research (academic, public-sector or commercial research environment) or research funding environment.
  • Detailed and current knowledge of higher education policy issues and research funding landscape in the UK.
  • Proven track record of assisting the initiation and development of successful large-scale collaborative/grand challenge research funding applications.
  • Proven track record of developing strong relationships and effective interactions with senior academic colleagues.
  • Evidence of strong interpersonal skills and ability to build links with key internal and external stakeholders.
  • Experience of using IT at an appropriate level (e.g. Microsoft Office suite and presentation tools).
  • Evidence of drafting clear and grammatically correct documentation on complex issues. Ability to assess, organise and prioritise in a complex and busy working environment.
  • Willingness to travel nationally and internationally, as required.


  • Educated to PhD level.
  • Demonstrable evidence of building effective relationships with research funding organisations.
  • Experience of working as part of a virtual team or network.
  • Experience of contributing and driving outcomes from committees or working groups.