University of Cambridge

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Head of Research Operations


The University is one of the world's leading research-intensive academic institutions. The Cambridge Research Office, of which the Research Operations Office is part, provides strategic and operational support to the University's research activities, working closely with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research (PVC(R)), and in partnership with our academic staff to secure and manage funding from external organisations globally, nationally and regionally.

The University's external research income was in excess of £480 million in 2015/16. Research Operations is responsible, annually, for submission of approximately 3000 applications totalling ~£1.2bn in value and approximately 1400 new awards totally ~ £500m in value. The Research Operations team has a staff complement in excess of 90 and is the central administrative hub for research activities at the University. The role-holder will maintain clear oversight of all Research Office policies and procedures, communicating these clearly to all levels of Research Office staff and across the full range of pre- and post-award grants and contracts administration including quality assurance, risk management, audit and compliance. The post holder will also have oversight of key elements of the University's research administration IT systems including those supporting external reporting, for example the annual return of research outputs to ResearchFish.

The Head of Research Operations plays an essential role in prioritising the work of the office in order to meet the operational needs of the University in the context of an evolving national and international research funding landscape. He/she will lead and manage the Operations team, working closely with the group of Assistant Directors to align the work of the office with the needs of the University's six Schools. He/she is responsible for ensuring that the Operations team delivers a professional and efficient service, and, working closely with the faculties, departments and Schools for meeting operational needs and providing essential advice and guidance to our internal and external clients.

The post holder will lead the Research Operations Office team and will carry first line of responsibility for all aspects of the work of the Operations Team. He/she will also act as Deputy to the Head of the Research Office and will play a key role within the University Research Office management team to ensure that the office can provide a consistently high standard of research support commensurate with the excellence of the University's research.

This role will offer the successful candidate the opportunity to:

Work within one of the most dynamic and varied research centres in the world;

Work with and foster close relationships with academics that are at the forefront of their fields;

Develop their business-relations skills, liaising with a wide range of colleagues, sponsors and collaborators, often at a senior level;

Develop their management skills through managing a professional and dedicated team of managers and administrators;

Be at the forefront of developments within the funded-research sector, frequently finding solutions to respond to new challenges;

We are looking for a candidate educated to degree level or equivalent, with people management experience and significant experience in research administration at a senior level.

If you are well organised and self-motivated, can demonstrate a strong service ethic and positive attitude, can thrive under pressure and take pride in meeting your own and your team's objectives then we would love to hear from you. In addition to the above, we offer a full range of benefits.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please contact lisa.christie@admin.cam.ac.uk if you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process.

Closing date 15th September, interviews will be held w/c 9th October.

Please quote reference EW12727 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online