Project Manager

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 11th Nov 2021
  • Salary: £42,149.00 - 44,706, with progression to £50,296 per annum
  • REF: 13904
  • Closes: 21st November 2021
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • 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: £42,149.00 – 44,706, with progression to £50,296 per annum

Closing Date: 21 November 2021

The role

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced Project Manager (PM) to join the Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering (SAgE) Professional Services and manage the coordination, operations and governance of a major collaborative Living Lab project between a new Newcastle University partner, multiple stakeholders and Newcastle University.

This Living Lab project is multifaceted and the funding source, management and reporting requirements are non-standard for Newcastle University. You will be required to quickly apply specialist knowledge of defence sector operations and apply their professional expertise and judgement to generate original suggestions and innovative solutions for collaborative working and ongoing project progression. Reporting to the Project Directors (internally and with a partner organisation), you will work collaboratively with stakeholders to manage and deliver all project planning, coordination and reporting for and into the Operational Management Group, User Group and Advisory Group.

Engagement is key to the success and longevity of the project, therefore you should be a professional communicator with the ability to engage internal and external stakeholders at all levels of seniority. You should be adept at problem solving and multitasking; enabling the project to run smoothly and simultaneously. You will be working with established and acclaimed SAgE Faculty academic colleagues across multiple disciplines (and Schools). You will need to be a skilled at conflict resolution and be adept at managing differing priorities whilst simultaneously juggling the demands of the Principle Investigators and research groups. Ultimately, you will have the ability to intrinsically appreciate the project and articulate the vision to stakeholders.

We are looking for an individual who can readily adapt to the challenges and changes that arise as the project comes to fruition and to support projects partners. Ideally we are looking for a PM with leadership potential and the ability to motivate a team and instill confidence from our stakeholders.

You should be willing to travel locally and nationally, spending a proportion of your time away from Newcastle University campus. Ideally you will have a full UK driving license and your own transport.

The position is available on a full time (40 hours per week), fixed term contract basis until 06th October 2024

To apply, please complete the online application and attach a CV and covering letter. In your covering letter, please outline how you are either working towards, meet or exceed all of the essential requirements for the role holder as outlined below

For more information, please contact Rachel Sparks, Strategic Project Manager via email:

For more information about the SAgE Faculty, please click here

Security: As the Living Lab is with a partner in the Defence sector, you should be prepared for security checks if you are selected as the preferred candidate. For example, individuals working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

We’re celebrating 150 years of Science, Agriculture and Engineering that made Newcastle University the institution it is today. Although a huge amount has changed over the last 150 years, one thing has stayed the same: our commitment to making a difference. We’re educating the next generation of experts and tackling the biggest challenges facing our planet. Our innovative work has always focused on making a difference to people’s lives, and you can be part of it.

Key Accountabilities

  • Support the Living Lab Directors, University partner and User Groups to set up the Living Lab including; agreeing both a project plan and quality assurance plan, site exploration, reporting requirements and, participation and execution of the Living Lab framework and management structure.
  • Take the lead on and have responsibility for managing compliance with contractual terms. This includes establishing additional personnel and procedural measures for the project. The PM will manage and run inductions and ongoing training for NU personnel participating in the project.
  • The PM will work with the Principal Investigator (PI) to take overall responsibility for project delivery; monitoring deliverables against plan and implementing any corrective actions where required. The Living Lab has 8 work packages. The PM will lead on WP 1 (Project management) and 8 (Dissemination and communication). The PM will develop a communications and engagement strategy and represent the project at national and international meetings or networking events when required. In addition, the PM will work with the University partner, the academic and professional teams on the project to deliver work packages 2 to 7 (experimentations) within agreed activity parameters and timelines. Includes University experts, Users, academics, research associates and subject matter experts with responsibility for directing and running experiments.
  • Lead on the strategic direction of developing relationships for the University and University partner. For example, the PM will lead on activity to bring new Defence, industry and international participants into the project. This will crucially expand the impact potential of the project and form a basis for continued post 3-year funding. The PM will lead on interactions with all participants, ensuring appropriate management and governance functions are undertaken, supporting the work of the Operational Management Group, User Group and Advisory Group.
  • Provide the main point of contact for external partners to promote, share knowledge and profile project.
  • Work out of the partner’s premises as and when feasible to develop ‘one team’ approach across both organisations, acting independently where appropriate to explore opportunities, create solutions and resolve issues. Lead, develop and implement the project, to ensure the University meets its funder requirements and is best positioned to bring in additional funding when the project ends.
  • Financial reports: design, implementation and monitoring of quarterly project financial reporting and periodic audit schedule; ensuring compliance with specific regulations, including also internal regular reports to the project team and University finance officers.
  • Activity reports: design, implementation and monitoring of research programme reporting, including regular reports to the project team.
  • Line management of the project administrator including absence recording/monitoring, responsibility for PDR and development (in a 50% capacity).
  • Lead on the development and production of a Living Lab brand including marketing materials and other resources about the project in conjunction with the University partner and for use with a variety of key audiences.
  • Support the University partner programme of mentoring and training of next generation sustainability professionals within the organization.
  • Lead on activities for the Living Lab to input into Government policy development agendas. Maximise networking opportunities with key decision makers in the Department for Transport and Defence for example.
  • Lead on the implementation, delivery and monitoring of the Data Management Plan (DMP) with input from the academic team.
  • Lead on the implementation of a robust framework for University ethics approval and compliance of the Living Lab’s activities, working with the University partner and NU project Directors.
  • Close liaison with relevant departments within the University especially the Business Development and Enterprise (BDE) team responsible for partnership initiation and bid development, ensuring clear channels of communication.
  • Lead from a NCL perspective on securing follow-on funding for the Living Lab. The PM will be responsible for driving forward growth in future collaboration for the Project with partners. This will include further later stage bid development in conjunction with all partners, industry and internal support areas such as BDE.
  • Any other duties commensurate with the role and grade as required to achieve the Living Lab’s vision

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Knowledge and understanding of University practices in relation to research management, innovation and partnership development;
  • Experience of managing complex projects to successful completion;
  • Analytical skills to manage and project budgets, manage and control risk, draw conclusions and make recommendations to the project team;
  • Extensive project management experience in a Higher Education and/or development environment;
  • Substantial experience of partnership working across a range of roles and managing potentially conflicting priorities;
  • Experience of working with senior, key decision makers across sector;
  • Experience of financial reporting and budget management;
  • Experience of financial reporting and budget management;
  • Experience of line managing;
  • Knowledge of the net zero challenge for the Defence Sector


  • Knowledge of the Defence Sector, operational capability and strategic objectives and where and how the University can add value;
  • Knowledge of DSTL funding, reporting requirements and Practices;
  • Experience of running defence projects including compliance with security classifications, cyber essential certification and defence procedures, policies and systems;
  • Knowledge of contracts negotiation and IP management;
  • Knowledge of project legacy planning, grant applications and business/ bid development;
  • Knowledge of project management and collaboration tools (e.g. Mindview, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint etc.).

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Ability to think strategically and identify opportunities;
  • Ability to influence and inspire staff, partners and participants across job types and levels;
  • Ability to prioritise conflicting demands and work under pressure to tight deadlines;
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a team;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Ability to make decisions independently in managing a complex research programme, but also know when to seek wider input;
  • Ability to work flexibly when required.


  • Educatedtodegreelevel(orcanshowequivalent experience)

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: 13904

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