Strategic Lead
UK Shared Business Services Ltd
Swindon, United Kingdom
1d ago

Grade : F

Contract Type : Open-Ended

Hours : Full Time / Part Time and job-sharing will be considered - minimum of 0.6 FTE

Closing Date : 31st October 2018

Interview Date : 20th November 2018

Organisational Position

This is an existing role whose focus is being redirected to support the transformation of ESRC’s research funding operations and policy as part of fulfilling UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) new target operating model.

The creation of UKRI as a single organisation brings significant opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of ESRC’s operations within a simplified and harmonised UKRI research and innovation policy framework, delivering new benefits to the ESRC’s broad stakeholder community of academics and users of research.

The focus of the role for the coming two years will be dynamic as UKRI establishes its new ways of working; the role will lead the ESRC’s input to the UKRI-

wide Research and Innovation Funding Service, ensuring that the ESRC’s implementation of its part of the service is well-

planned and that any changes are well-supported, minimising any impact on delivery of ESRC’s core business as set out in the Strategic Plan and Delivery Plan.

The role will also ensure that ESRC is able to shape the UKRI research and innovation policy framework, particularly in the areas of peer review, eligibility and ethics.

You will be a member of the ESRC’s Senior Management Team, made up of all Band F staff and ESRC Directors. You will be expected to work in partnership with a network of Band F colleagues who lead on different aspects of the Council’s work (for example, skills and methods, research and international, data infrastructure) as well as colleagues across UKRI in the research and innovation funding, policy and business improvement areas.

You will report to the Deputy Director Organisational Change, Dr Fiona Armstrong.

Team Purpose

The team leads on a portfolio of operational improvement and change projects :

  • ensuring ESRC is able to meet its strategic objectives by supporting the right capabilities to deliver its grants funding operations
  • seeking continual improvements and efficiencies in ways of working
  • leading local in-Council transformation as part of the broader UKRI Transformation Programme
  • ensuring the research and innovation funding policy environment is appropriate to support ESRC’s portfolio of investments.
  • 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 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s leading research agency for funding research and training in the social sciences.

    Investing over £180 million a year every year our mission is to enable government, business and the public to learn about social change and the reasons behind it.

    Further details can be found here.

    Job Purpose

    You will be expected to achieve high quality outcomes in the following areas :

  • supporting effective delivery of Business As Usual Grant funding operations, ensuring that ESRC is well-prepared to transition to the UKRI Research and Innovation Funding Service
  • leading the ESRC’s input to deliver the UKRI Research and Innovation Funding System inputting to work packages, responding to requirement requests and ensuring full involvements in its implementation
  • leading ESRC’s involvement in UKRI-wide business improvement activities, seeking to continuously improve support for grant funding operations whilst balancing the transition to the research and Innovation Funding System
  • leading ESRC’s research and innovation policy work, ensuring that UKRI draws upon expertise held within the social sciences, for example on new approaches to peer review and ethics
  • leading on the area of research integrity for ESRC, to ensure that ESRC influences and complies with UKRI policy.
  • Key relationships

  • ESRC Directors Group
  • UKRI Research and Innovation Funding Service team
  • UKRI Corporate Services team
  • UKRI Policy lead
  • ESRC Senior Management Team, especially ESRC Head of Insights
  • external stakeholders, including research organisations and intermediaries, the academic community and learned societies.
  • You should have, or be able to acquire quickly through training the following knowledge, skills and experience : -

    Shortlisting & Interview Criteria

    Essential :

  • must be able to develop and deliver strategies and implementation plans, which ensure we continually improve our services in alignment with UKRI’s operating model
  • must be able to influence up, down and across the organisation as well as outside the ESRC
  • must work well under pressure and be able to thrive in a highly disruptive and fast changing environment
  • ability to analyse complex business policy and processes and identify areas for improvement
  • able to balance the different demands of policy development, operational implementation, team management and external liaison
  • well-developed communication analytical and problem-solving skills and ability to devise creative solutions to complex problems and issues.
  • Desirable :

  • thorough understanding of the Higher Education sector, having been gained through experience of working in the Research Councils, Learned Academies or Higher Education Institutions
  • experience of working with continuous improvement tools and techniques
  • experience of different formal project management methods and tools
  • knowledge of and interest in the social sciences.
  • Apply
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