Head of Strategic Planning (maternity cover) – NC3Rs 2098

Medical Research Council


View Vacancy — Head of Strategic Planning (maternity cover) – NC3Rs 2098
Open Date
06/03/2023, 00:00
Close Date
27/03/2023, 16:00


Science-led and evidence-based, the NC3Rs is the UK’s national organisation for the 3Rs, established to accelerate the development and uptake of new models and tools that replace, reduce or refine the use of animals in research and testing. We have shown that science and technology focused on minimising animal use or improving animal welfare can deliver benefits to human health, protection of the environment and business opportunities.

The NC3Rs has an annual budget of approximately £10 million and is primarily funded by Government through the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), which in turn are part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Our activities are divided between our role as the UK’s major 3Rs research and innovation funder and programmes led by our own team of scientists. Further information can be found at www.nc3rs.org.uk .

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, more information can be found atwww.ukri.org

MRC – 2


£52,877 – £65,348 (plus London allowances if applicable)

Fixed Term

Administration & Management

Full or Part Time options

12 months

The NC3Rs delivers its mission in three ways – funding research and early career development, driving open innovation and technology exploitation, and stimulating changes in policy, practice and regulations. Its portfolio is complex covering a range of scientific disciplines with a variety of stakeholders nationally and internationally.

The role of the Head of Strategic Planning is to ensure the overall effectiveness of the Centre through its operations, practices and procedures. The role will work in collaboration with the Senior Management Team to effectively use available resources to operationalise the NC3Rs strategy, in addition to identifying and implementing improvements and efficiencies.

The main elements of the role are:


  • Working with the Chief Executive to ensure that all programmes are appropriately resourced and supported to operationalise the NC3Rs strategy.
  • Working closely with the Operations Manager to review recruitment and induction processes and procedures to maximise their effectiveness.
  • Maintaining the high quality operation of the funding processes, with the support of the funding teams, during the transition to using a new funding service.
  • Working with the NC3Rs team to capture and collate performance indicators to support the regular review of activities.
  • Leading on NC3Rs interaction with MRC-UKRI on research funding operations and other corporate services via the UKRI Funding Service Team and MRC Operations Board.


  • Ensuring effective mechanisms are in place throughout the Centre to support good Corporate Governance including risk management, assurance and knowledge and information management.
  • Maintaining the NC3Rs governance framework.
  • Ensuring applicable corporate and local policies are implemented, and developing and implementing NC3Rs policies where appropriate.
  • Ensuring the integrity and transparency of NC3Rs funding mechanisms, including review and assessment processes, are maintained.
  • Supporting the optimal functioning of Board meetings including working with the Chief Executive and Senior Management Team in preparing Board papers and presentations.
  • Managing all aspects of the Board and Panel recruitment and appointments process.
  • Ensuring that appropriate agreements are in place for external funding and collaborative activities.
  • Acting as the main point of contact for audits of the NC3Rs, preparing materials and ensuring any recommendations are actioned.
  • Overseeing the completion of the annual assurance reporting exercise.


  • Working closely with the NC3Rs Finance Manager and Chief Executive to ensure organisational and financial plans are well aligned, with robust processes in place, including:
  • Ensuring reliable and realistic multi-year forecasts and modelling from current funding commitments.
  • Effective frameworks for assessing and deciding levels of new commitments and budget allocations for new and existing research areas.
  • Overseeing short term (in-year) monitoring and controls of new commitment from Panels and proposing adjustments to maximise use of available commitment.
  • Oversight of the Centre’s operating costs, addressing both forward financial planning and in-year controls in collaboration with the Finance Manager.
  • Reviewing the Centre’s internal delegated authority levels with the Chief Executive.

Data and risk management

  • Responsibility for data management policy and plans for the NC3Rs and for keeping up to date with changes in legislation and practice as it relates to data protection and use.
  • Working with the Operations Manager to implement the retention policy across the team and share relevant communications internally.
  • Overseeing the operation of risk management and assurance processes.

Line management

  • Overseeing and inspiring the work of the Operations and Finance Manager, and the Research Funding Officer; setting clear objectives in line with our organisational priorities and providing regular guidance, feedback and oversight.
  • Enabling these individuals to develop professionally and personally in their role and contribute fully to the organisation.

Contributing to other activities where appropriate.

Education and qualifications

  • Educated to a degree level and/or extensive experience within the relevant field(s)

Knowledge and experience

  • Experience working in research funding in the public sector is desirable
  • Negotiating solutions in sensitive environments
  • Managing and leading a team
  • Proven experience of representing an organisation at a senior level and influencing favourable outcomes
  • Experience of building and maintaining strong relationships both internally and externally
  • Experience of managing significant budgets
  • Experience of risk management and assurance processes
  • Experience in overseeing recruitment and onboarding processes
  • The ability to handle, analyse and present complex information
  • The ability to work under pressure and deliver targets to tight deadlines
  • Comfortable working with legal documents
  • Ability to manage and drive multiple projects simultaneously.

Personal skills, behaviours and qualities

  • An awareness of the use of animals in research and the 3Rs is desirable.
  • Comfortable and confident in working in a changing environment
  • Strong critical thinking skills with the ability to diagnose problems, make quick well-informed decisions, with foresight into potential issues.
  • Strategic and pragmatic thinker
  • A strong leader who empowers others
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills, including a demonstrated ability to prioritise tasks and handle time-sensitive requests.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to influence and interact with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.

This role will be a part of the Senior Management Team and will include line management responsibility. This role will report to the Chief Executive. Salary will be in the range of £52,877 – £65,348 per annum (plus London allowances if applicable) depending on skills and experience.

The successful candidate will be subject to security checks.

The closing date for applications is 27 March 2023.

Please ensure to submit a CV and covering letter. Your cover letter should clearly outline how you fulfill the criteria listed in the personal specification  and your motivation for applying for this role. Please note failure to address the criteria or submit a covering letter may result in your application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV. 

Interviews are due to take place in April 2023.

The NC3Rs is an autonomous body responsible for setting and delivering its strategy and managing its resources. It is not an independent public bodyand for this reason it operates under the umbrella of the Medical Research Council (MRC), using some of the MRC administrative systems. A service agreement exists between the NC3Rs and the MRC. NC3Rs staff are appointed to the appropriate MRC Band and immediately seconded to the NC3Rs.
Choosing to come to work at the NC3Rs (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the NC3Rs and UKRI on your CV in the future.
Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As”Disability Confident” employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.
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.
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.

View or Apply
To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where (vacanciesin.eu) you saw this job posting.

Job Location