Deputy Director of Economic Development

University of Glasgow

Job Purpose

This role has been created to provide leadership of the University’s Economic Development remit, with a specific focus on the delivery of our Glasgow Riverside Innovation District (GRID) and GRID Discovery programme.  This is a multi-faceted role which will require a significant level of external engagement with government and NHS Scotland stakeholders, and extensive negotiation, problem solving, programme and people management skills.  The role-holder will work across our Glasgow Riverside Innovation District (GRID) and GRID Testbed programme to ensure delivery of our strategic objectives. S/he will develop and build our external engagement profile with key stakeholders, including Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow City Council, NHS Scotland, business organisations, local, national and UK Government bodies.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Ensure high-level support to the Director of Economic Development, Vice Principal for Economic Development and Innovation in the development of our economic development and impact agenda.

  • Engage with key stakeholders to establish a coherent vision on economic development activity as it relates to the Glasgow Riverside Innovation District and GRID Discovery programme. Take delegated responsibility for developing the GRID Discovery Action Plan on an ongoing basis.

  • Align our own testbed activity with wider testbed activities taking place across Scotland. Ensure delivery of projects are implemented in a timely, and financially robust manner. Develop wider understanding of innovative procurement activity as it relates to testbed activity.

  • Working alongside colleagues in MVLS and the Scottish health sector (Scottish Government, NHS Scotland, Public Health Scotland, NHS Scotland testbeds, Scottish Ambulance Service), support the development of the GRID Discovery testbed health theme, building effective relationships with senior stakeholders.  Develop comprehensive proposals that maximise the expertise and reach of the research excellence of our academic base.

  • Work alongside the Director of Economic Development and Executive Director of Innovation, Engagement & Enterprise to support the delivery of ambitious collaborative projects, particularly those that expand the city’s industrial and commercial base. Provide support on commercial issues as appropriate, and work with colleagues in estates and legal to aid the delivery of investment opportunities for UoG.

  • Lead the low carbon / renewables / environmental sustainability aspects of the GRID programme, work closely with colleagues who are taking forward the GALLANT project and develop a credible pipeline of projects which aligns with the UK and Scottish Government Net Zero priorities.

  • Provide support to the development of bids and business cases for UK and Scottish Government funds as they relate to GRID.  Engage with all levels of Government to maximise opportunities to secure co-investment and political buy-in from government bodies.

  • Provide expert advice on UK, national and local economic strategies and related developments.  Maintain links and represent the University at senior levels with partners and stakeholder groups, substituting for the Director of Economic Development and VP Economic Development and Innovation as required.

  • Working with Government Relations and Communications colleagues, lead on the development of policy briefs relating to GRID and GRID Discovery and participate in key meetings with external funders and stakeholders.

  • Undertake related duties at the request of the Director of Economic Development and Deputy Chief Operating Officer/ Vice Principal for Economic Development and Innovation.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience



A1 Relevant degree or professional qualification (inc Economics, Legal, Business)

A2 Significant HE, industry or public sector experience in an economic development / strategic industrial engagement capacity


B1.  A well-developed network of contacts with government, business organisations and agencies in the sphere of economic development / industrial engagement.



C1 Demonstrable strategic leadership capabilities – ability to define and develop strategy and translate into effective operational plans

C2 A focus on the service delivery productivity and leveraging external relationships to support internal capability

C3 Ability to influence others, working collaboratively across organisational boundaries to maximise opportunities

C4 Proven commercial / financial management skills, and ability to create develop complex commercial proposals.

C5 Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills

C6 Creativity; flexibility; innovative approach to problem solving with the ability to manage change in a complex environment

C7 Drive and enthusiasm with ability to deliver results to tight deadlines and to demonstrate resilience under pressure



E1 Leadership experience within HE, public sector or industry, or a similar complex environment

E2 Substantial track record of achievement in economic development or industrial engagement, working with external stakeholders to understand and challenge the commercial deliverability of projects, and understanding the procurement related challenges of working across private and public entities.

E3 Experience of effective multi–faceted partnership and collaborative working

E4 Experience of managing and delivering complex, sensitive projects and implementing innovative solutions

E5 Experience of successfully working across senior leaders within and outside a complex organisation, and leveraging those relationships for mutually beneficial outcomes.

E6 Experience of managing and controlling substantial budgets/resources/funding with a strong understanding of financial management procedures.

E7 Experience of successfully working on low carbon, renewables and sustainability projects, and of working with the specific key stakeholders to deliver against UK and Scottish Government priorities.

Terms and Conditions

Salary is competitive dependent on experience.

This post is full time (35 hours per week) and open ended.

As part of Team UofG you will be a member of a world changing, inclusive community, which values ambition, excellence, integrity and curiosity.

As a valued member of our team, you can expect:

1 A warm welcoming and engaging organisational culture, where your talents are developed and nurtured, and success is celebrated and shared.

2 An excellent employment package with generous terms and conditions including 41 days of leave for full time staff,  


, benefits and discount packages.

3 A flexible approach to working.

4 A commitment to support your

health and wellbeing

, including a free 6-month UofG Sport membership for all new staff joining the University .

We believe that we can only reach our full potential through the talents of all. Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our values. Applications are particularly welcome from across our communities and in particular people from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community, and other protected characteristics who are under-represented within the University. Read more on how the University promotes and embeds all aspects of equality and diversity within our community  



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