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MDS Translational Team Lead

College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Finance Office

Birmingham, United Kingdom


  • Posted on: 01st Sep 2021
  • Salary: £42,149 to £50,296, with potential progression once in post to £56,587
  • REF: 210001OB
  • Closes: 29th September 2021
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time

Job summary
The College of Medical & Dental Sciences (MDS) hosts a number of Translational Medicine projects which bring together research excellence within and between key themes and disciplines, spanning Institutes and often other Colleges and external partners. A number of these are externally funded and represent a major investment in infrastructure and an opportunity to realise significant further external investment. This post will have responsibility for shaping the vision and remit for the Translational Research team who oversee the current portfolio of translational awards including the MRC’s Confident in Concept scheme, Wellcome Translational Partnership Award, UK SPINE, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (Entrepreneutship and Commercialisation), plus internally funded WT ISSF Howarth Collection (Chemistry Library) and DIF Drug Discovery programme.

We are looking for a confident self-starter with excellent interpersonal skills with experience in translational research project management. The individual will need to work with relevant stakeholders across the Birmingham campus and with partner institutions to explore the best approach to deliver exemplary translational project support for our researchers. The post-holder will develop the strategy for the team and will manage a small team of Translational Research Project Managers to deliver on this activity. The Team will sit within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences Research Delivery Team, part of the Research & Knowledge Transfer Office (R&KTO), and will work alongside the University’s Business Partnership and Enterprise Teams.

The post-holder and their team will actively manage a portfolio of translational research projects in
biomedical sciences with the goal of increasing the successful progression of projects. The Translational Research Manager will lead in the development and implementation of strategies designed to increase the number of successful translational funding applications and awards, and will be responsible for seeking out and progressing new opportunities. The postholder will be responsible for the strategic coordination of a range of internal funding streams to support translational projects in order to optimise the efficient application of these funds. This post will be based in the Institute of Translational Medicine Birmingham.

Main duties
• To provide key management support to a number of Projects and act as a key point of contact within the College with regard to the development of new Translational Medicine projects including:-
• Reviewing project ideas to identify those which would benefit from dedicated support
• Lead the joint development of project plans and funding bids with academics and the relevant teams in the R&KTO.
• To co-ordinate, where appropriate with the University Research Finance Office, the preparation of financial reports and other regular progress reports, to internal management and to external funders.
• Liaison with any funders to ensure that the Centres have delivered any formal reporting and ensure contract compliance and that they are on track with any agreed deliverables against timelines associated with these.
• Identify and review the specific scientific and sectoral skill sets required to effectively deliver new translational research.
• Working with the Head of Research Delivery to understand the requirements for translational project support in the College to ensure the current processes are appropriate and the resources for successful delivery are available.
• Develop a strategy for the successful delivery of current and future translational research projects in partnership with relevant stakeholders within the University including the Business Partnership and Enterprise Teams.
• Provide leadership and line management for the Translational Research Team.
• Lead on efforts to secure more funding to grow the team as required.
• Manage local goal-setting, planning, and resource allocation for the team.
• Develop appropriate metrics to track the team’s success, understand trends and adjust the strategy accordingly.
• Organise access to expertise for translational project development.
• Build an excellent understanding of external resources for translational project funding.
• Review the current mechanisms to manage accountability for scientific and investment decisions for translational research projects.
• Manage the allocation and strategic application of internal funding streams for translational
research (comprising MRC Confidence in Concept (CiC) and Wellcome Translational Partnership Award (TPA) funding) and support the College’s committee processes and strategy development and lead the annual reapplication bid writing and reporting to the MRC for CiC and Wellcome for TPA .
• Seed funding;
• working closely with Birmingham Innovations, develop an understanding of the existing seed fund landscape and pipeline of projects.
• Combine and simplify seed fund mechanisms, wherever possible.
• Match projects to opportunities and support researchers to take the correct pathways.
• Provide direct bid writing support to researchers to provide the strongest cases for support in new applications for translational e.g. MRC DPFS, Innovate UK, Wellcome, NIHR etc.

• Support the REF submission through engagement with the relevant teams, and help to identify and generate impact case studies.
• Prepare regular reports to communicate progress on translational research projects for the R&KTO.
• Proactively liaise where appropriate with the Project partners, administrative groups, academic members, the wider R&KTO team and any other appropriate stakeholders to coordinate, and in particular deal with challenges and provide solutions or recommendations to resolve matters.
• Duties and responsibilities within the post and the obligations placed upon post holders may vary and develop over time. Any resulting changes will be subject to consultation with the post holder and the Head of Research Delivery, through the agreed annual review process.

Required Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications, Experience

• A graduate with a good honours degree with experience in life or clinical sciences.
• Proven relevant administrative skills with experience of coordinating and management support of projects in the higher education sector.
• Proven experence of managing intellectual property.
• Experience in translational project planning and delivery.
• The ability to grasp scientific and commercial concepts quickly and to understand what expertise and resources are required to successfully deliver a translational research project
• Proven experience of grant management including compiling monthly expenditure reports and annual reports to funders.
• Experience of successful external funding proposal development.
• The ability to write clearly and effectively about scientific matters and experience of drafting applications/bids for grant/industry funding.
• Clear and articulate communication and high level interpersonal skills are an essential part of the role in order to establish the necessary key relationships both internally and externally.
• Experience of external communications, particularly producing promotional material; web-based and conventional.
• Experience working alongside academics to promote research.
• Detailed awareness of the funding environment for research and knowledge transfer including an in-depth knowledge of the UK translational funding landscape.
• Ability to interpret and advise on complex guidelines, legal requirements and financial regulations.
• Excellent office management and organisational skills, including relevant practical experience of setting up project meetings, conferences and events.
• Good attention to detail and methodical approach to work with an ability prioritise workloads in order to meet deadlines, and have demonstrable problem solving skills.
• Excellent interpersonal, organisational, negotiation and multi-tasking skills to deal effectively with wide-ranging academic and industrial partners and external organisations.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills.
• An ability to work proactively, with little supervision, under pressure and to deadlines.
• An ability to deal with people and organisations at all levels.
• Ability to work effectively as part of a team
• Experience of developing and monitoring project including Gantt Charts and databases.
• Ability to work on own initiative and making decisions confidently.
• Accuracy and attention to detail.
• Experience of working in a medical research environment and an understanding of scientific/medical terminology.
• Experience of complex, long-term, multi-partner projects.
• Experience of recruitment, line management and development of staff.

Informal enquiries to Claire Potter email: C.Potter@bham.ac.uk

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