Policy Research Unit Manager

Faculty of Medical Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 13th Jan 2022
  • Salary: £42,149 - £50,296per annum
  • REF: 15532
  • Closes: 12th February 2022
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £42,149 – £50,296per annum

Closing Date: 12 February2022

The Role

This senior management post within Population Health Sciences Institute will lead the strategic delivery of the NIHR Policy Research Unit (PRU) in Behavioural Science to ensure the deliverables and objectives of this complex, national, multidisciplinary project are achieved. You will be responsible fordirect line management and development of the unit support staff team based in Newcastle as well as the overall coordination of PRU members across four institutions (Newcastle, UCL, Warwick; LSHTM), managerial support for PRU projects across Universities and their partners and the full budget of £4.8 million. You will also work closely with external contacts including research units and universities, government organisations, patient organisations and the funding body (NIHR) https://research.ncl.ac.uk/behscipru/

You willreportinternally to the Director of the Unit and the Head of Operations within the Faculty of Medical Sciences, with external responsibility to NIHR.

This is a full time, fixed term post until 31st December 2023.

For informal enquiries please contactNIHRPRU.BehSci@newcastle.ac.uk.

Key Accountabilities

  • Deliver and refine (where necessary) the unit’s strategies for the development of an integrated, quality-assured and comprehensive project plan, to ensure the unit’s short, medium and long-term objectives are achieved
  • Participate in the unit’s annual planning by developing and overseeing implementation of the unit’s operational plan, monitoring milestones with all unit members, reporting on progress and advising on adjustments etc. to ensure the unit and the Directorate can deliver the unit’s strategic objectives
  • Manage the overall project budget by controlling and authorising expenditure from four members to ensure budgetary objectives are met, with immediate responsibility for the Newcastle Directorate and member budgets. Contribute to financial planning and reporting from all members to ensure submission deadlines are achieved. Offer guidance on the unit’s research costing model and procedures for budget management and financial planning to ensure understanding across the unit’s member institutions. Support project costings across institutions
  • Take responsibility for collating and reporting management information on unit activities and outcomes, specifically overseeing the governance and reporting structures of the unit. Work closely with all partners to ensure an integrated approach to planning, costing and resource utilisation
  • Provide management support to the Executive team and support the PRU projects to achieve their annual and long-term objectives
  • Provide management support to the Director, co-Director and to the unit members, associated partners and the unit’s committees and advisory boards to ensure efficient operation and delivery of coordinated projects and other PRU work
  • Provide management support to the various committee Chairs working with them to identify issues for discussion, actions and to ensure appropriate communications with academics, patient organisations, clinicians, companies, researchers and other stakeholders. Work to prepare and run all meetings held under the auspices of the unit
  • Be the primary point of liaison for the unit with the NIHR for all performance and management responsibilities, including meeting the funder’s financial and deliverable reporting deadlines, on behalf of the Director and unit members
  • Manage the performance and risk management processes and support structures for the unit to ensure it achieves its objectives. Oversee unit performance management; and implement action plans to ensure delivery of objectives. Oversee management and maintenance of the directorate information systems to meet the unit’s requirements
  • Lead on the unit’s strategic communication, involvement and engagement planning to publicise the work of the unit. Co-ordinate the work of colleagues in the member institutions to ensure a cohesive unit-wide approach to communications and appropriate branding of publicity materials and research outputs, to conform to NIHR’s identity guidelines
  • Represent the unit at meetings, national and international conferences, making presentations as appropriate. Deputise for the Director and co-Directors in relation to unit issues when necessary
  • Act as the senior/main point of contact for the unit, directly engaging with internal and external parties
  • To contribute to the general running of the Institute and any other duties within the scope and general nature of the grade which may be required to provide a coordinated and efficient managerial service. This includes managing the unit administrator

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Proven high level decision making and problem solving skills, and a demonstrable ability to undertake initiatives, prioritise and plan appropriately within a strategic framework
  • Substantial relevant experience demonstrating development through involvement in a series of progressively demanding work/roles
  • Developing effective working relationships with colleagues at all levels in an organisation and preferably across organisational, professional and geographical boundaries
  • Leading, managing and developing a team
  • Working on externally funded projects (University or commercial setting)
  • Developing and implementing policies and procedures
  • Budget planning, management and monitoring of large budgets
  • Excellent project management skills and the ability to deliver results on time and within budget
  • IT literate across a wide range of applications, preferably with specialist skills in areas with direct relevance to the position
  • Strong communication, team and interpersonal skills including motivating, negotiating and influencing
  • Experience of costing and overseeing large, funded research studies (Desirable)
  • Effective report writing skills and the ability to research and present information clearly (Desirable)
  • Knowledge of behavioural science or applied health related research field and funding frameworks (Desirable)
  • Experience of conference or event organisation and management (Desirable)

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Thinking Strategically – has the ability to see the “big picture”, to think strategically and to manage complex problems and issues
  • Influencing – persuades, convinces, and influences others to achieve results and gain support
  • Communicating – uses clear, concise and accurate communication, tailoring the approach accordingly and encouraging a two-way communication process
  • Finding solutions – generates as range of viable options and decides on an appropriate course of action that best fits organisation and area goals
  • Team working – works collaboratively with others; plays a positive role in teams and establishes and grows relationships across the organisation where different skills, expertise and options are valued


  • Educated to degree level or equivalent in a relevant subject
  • Postgraduate qualification (Desirable)


  • Willing to travel and be available for overnight stays (in line with any national guidance / restrictions in place) (essential)

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all. You can learn more about what is available here on ourBenefitsWebsite page.

Requisition ID: 15532

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