Research Development Manager

King's College London

Job description            

The Health Research Development team supports research income generation activity across the four health faculties at King’s. Academic staff in health faculties have multiple collaborations with colleagues in other faculties, requiring collaborative working with professional services and academic colleagues across the university. Our team focusses on helping faculties deliver King’s health research strategy. Our work is enormously varied and ranges from supporting the implementation of major organisational strategic priorities, to supporting individuals seeking their first research grant. We help group leaders, departments, schools and faculties develop their plans for grant acquisition, provide insight into funder priorities and processes, and support the development of grant proposals from concept, to drafting, to interview preparation.   

In this senior role, responsible to the Director of Research Development (Health) you will help develop and deliver University and Faculty health research funding priorities, supporting the development and coordination of research funding applications to public and third sector funders. Initially you will act as a key point of contact for three of the Schools in the Faculty of Life Science & Medicine, and for the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care, working closely with academic staff to understand their research funding goals, encouraging and supporting applications to appropriate opportunities from concept to award offer. Using your professional services and academic networks you will work with colleagues across the University to maximise opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.  

This is a senior role with significant scope, suitable for someone with substantial experience in research development, or research programme management. To thrive in this role you’ll bring a strong grounding in a relevant field of research with deep understanding and experience of how health research funding works, ideally complemented by experience in research strategy development. You will be solution focussed, with an organised and adaptable approach and be able to quickly understand complex concepts. And you will bring the motivation and personal qualities to engage with senior academic staff and professional service colleagues to understand their goals and challenges and help address them. In return we offer an unbeatable collaborative working environment, with opportunities to develop your career in a team that is highly valued by the scientists you will work with. 

This post will be offered on an indefinite contract. 

This is a full-time post.

Key responsibilities

1.   Acting as first point of contact for a defined part of the health portfolio

  • Providing a visible and responsive research development service to academics
  • Developing a high level of awareness of the research goals and funding needs of individual academics in your portfolio
  • Building and maintain strong relationships with academic leaders in faculties and schools, to understand their research funding priorities and support needs
  • Providing a sounding board for academic leaders to help solve complex problems

2.  Grant application development

  • Working with faculties and schools to promote relevant recurrent funding opportunities
  • Working with academics to encourage applications to appropriate funding streams
  • Providing application advice and support for academics, from project scoping to funding scheme selection, providing advice and feedback on application drafts, securing institutional sponsorship and preparation for interview
  • Identify and promote high impact strategic funding calls, targeting relevant academic experts across disciplines to help build effective bid teams, then support applications
  • Lead drafting of defined strategic research infrastructure applications

3.    Scoping new opportunities for research investment

  • Developing relationships with key sector funders and their personnel, to understand and influence their goals and approaches to delivering them
  • Lead the arrangement of strategic visits by key funders to the University
  • Lead strategic projects to deliver insight and options for research development in research areas of importance to the University or individual Faculties

4.    Provision of training

  • Provide training that increases capability to apply to specific funders and funding streams
  • Providing targeted training to faculties and schools in response to specific needs

5.    Internal funding process management

  • Lead the development and delivery of internal funding schemes
  • Delivery of triage processes for external funding schemes

6.    Team work

  • To work with colleagues in the Health Research Development team to agree priorities and responsibilities for new work, balance workloads and share best practice
  • To work with colleagues in the Arts and Sciences Research Development team to maximise “One Team” working across academic research interactions and in our research development practice
  • Promote effective academic partnership and interdisciplinarity in all of our work
  • Contribute to management reports and the collection and analysis of performance data

7.    Working with others research management professionals

  • Build strong working relationships with research management staff in Faculties and the Research Management and Innovation Directorate to improve practices, systems and reporting that supports research grant applications

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria

1.      Graduate degree or equivalent experience in a subject relevant to health sciences

2.      Significant relevant experience of working in an academic research or research funding environment

3.      Deep understanding of the health research funding landscape and and experience of supporting the research development pipeline from concept development to application, through funder review processes

4.      Deep experience of managing relationships with scientists, with proven impact and a customer focussed mind-set, motivated to help academics find timely solutions to their problems

5.      Excellent listening skills, able to quickly understand and explore key scientific concepts

6.      Excellent communicator, able to interpret and explain complex information with clarity and confidence. An experienced and effective facilitator, able to lead individual and group conversations that deliver actionable insight

7.       Excellent writing skills, with demonstrable experience of delivering clear, structured outputs that deliver results. Excellent qualitative and quantitative analytical and problem solving skills, with a solution focussed approach.

8.      Experience of initiating, managing and delivering strategic projects with proven impact

9.      An engaging and inquisitive individual who thrives on building trusting relationships with experts and stakeholders at all levels. Builds and maintains good working relationships with colleagues to foster team spirit, commitment to the team and achievement of shared goals

10.   A confident decision maker, who knows when to ask permission and when to inform. Comfortable with ambiguity and able to work flexibly and at pace in a rapidly changing environment

11.   An independent thinker, able and willing to challenge the status quo, with the ability to achieve goals through influence and negotiation in a complex organisational environment

12.   High level of work organisation, self-motivation, resilience and determination, drive for performance and improvement, and flexibility in approach and attitude

Desirable criteria

1.      PhD or equivalent research experience in a subject relevant to health sciences

2.      Experience of the scientific peer review process

Formal interview and assessments for this post are expected to be held in the first week of December. Details will be provided to shortlisted applicants. Informal queries about the role are encouraged and can be directed to [email protected]   

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