To be the main point of contact and support for
a number of Principal Investigators (academic research leads) across the
college for pre- and post-award research management, including application and
costing support and post-award project tracking and reporting.
To liaise with other teams within the College Research Support Office and University Services to ensure that effective communication takes place and a seamless research management support service is delivered to Principal Investigators.
To work with other college Project Coordinators in relation to college–wide research management support activity, as well as interdisciplinary activity between colleges and with external partners.
Main Duties and Responsibilities
1. Provide pre-and post- award advice and support to Principal Investigators, as required, from the initial identification of the funding opportunity through to the closure of the project. This will include application development, costing, bid writing support where appropriate, milestone planning and post-award reporting and financial management.
2. Liaise with College research development staff to identify and actively manage the pipeline of funding opportunities and with the University Services Research Support Office regarding funder terms and conditions and other specialist advice, eg, for legal, insurance and contractual matters.
3. Develop and maintain appropriate relationships with key funders and provide expert advice to prospective applicants.
4. Undertake risk and feasibility assessment of proposed funding applications to mitigate risk and optimise funding.
5. Coordinate, plan, prioritise and execute application, costing and submission activities (including bid writing support where applicable) for grants and contracts, resulting in robust applications for approval and timely submission to funders.
6. Progress application outcomes and process awards from funders, sourcing feedback from funders where available and updating system accordingly. Maintain and ensure the integrity of all relevant project data on University systems.
7. Provide post award support, including that for ethics applications, project coordination, portfolio management (where appropriate), financial management and project change processes and control.
8. Support funder and other audits, ensuring adequate audit records are maintained and attend meetings with auditors, as required.
9. Provide management information and analyse data to inform both day to day decision making and also college research budgeting and strategy. Support the input to future College submissions to the Research Excellence Framework (REF).
10. Be actively involved in appropriate cross-college collaborative working to build networks, share best practice, develop web based resources and provide training.
11. Work with Principal Investigators and other College teams to ensure that the College maintains an accurate and complete record of staff publications. Promote an understanding of Open Access and support the process for obtaining open access rights for all possible publications.
12. Work with Research Administrators, delegating tasks as appropriate and providing support and coaching to ensure effective research administration support to Principal Investigators.
13. In liaison with college HR and Principal Investigators, assist in the workforce planning across different bids and awards to maximise the efficient use of research teams and minimise staffing disruption.
Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience
A1 Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 9, (Ordinary Degree, Scottish Vocational Qualification level 4, or equivalent in a relevant discipline/business area with evidence of continued professional development in an area relevant to the role.
A2 Knowledge of the Higher Education research environment.
A3 An understanding of grant application processes including costing and funder guidelines.
A4 Knowledge and understanding of interrogating and maintaining databases.
A5 Knowledge and understanding of data integrity and its importance.
B1 PhD or knowledge and experience in a subject relevant to the College.
B2 Knowledge of the regulatory framework which governs research in a particular College area.
C1 Project management – both short-term deadline driven and longer-term involving multiple conflicting deadlines and coordination across multiple organisational units.
C2 Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to communicate at all levels.
C3 Excellent organisational and planning skills and the ability to work to tight deadlines.
C4 High degree of numeracy.
C5 Excellent eye for detail and accuracy.
C6 High level of influencing and negotiating skills.
C7 Highly developed IT skills, particularly database and excel related.
C8 Ability to network effectively.
C9 Ability to exercise initiative and work independently but also as part of a team.
C10 Ability to work flexibly and adapt to changing environments.
C11 Ability to interpret complex guidelines and prepare reports and budgets in line with the requirements set out.
C12 Ability to assess risks and financial implications.
E1 Significant experience of relevant research administration or project management experience in a similar or related role.
E2 Experience of processing, analysing and presenting data.
E3 Experience of successfully overseeing the work of staff.
E4 Experience of preparing costing models and tracking budgets.
E5 Experience in delivering a customer focused service.
E6 Experience of working successfully in a complex matrix organisational structure.
F1 Experience of Higher Education environment and supporting the work of academics.
F2 Experience of research in academia.
F3 Experience of providing high quality advice and guidance on research management.
Income from grants, contracts and commercial activity contributes approximately £160m to the University annually.
The University’s college system enables interdisciplinary collaboration. We have four colleges, each bringing together the research and teaching expertise of a number of schools and research institutes
A Project Coordinator in any of the colleges is likely to be supporting multiple projects at different stages from inception and pre-award to post-award. The total value of the portfolio could range from approximately £13m-£17m. Complexity is driven by a number of factors with less complex projects typically having only one Principal Investigator, being of a lower value and linked to an existing funder with clearly defined application requirements.
The post-holder will work as part of the College Research Management Support team, covering an area of a College and number of Principal Investigators in proportion to the volume and complexity of awards. Project Coordinators in the:
College of Arts will typically be handling a higher volume of lower value, less complex awards relative to the larger colleges.
College of MVLS may have a large number of medium to small projects or a small number of large, more complex ones (eg, a multi-million pound grant and one Principal Investigator and an extended team potentially across several organisations).
College of Science and Engineering may have a large number of medium to small projects or a small number of large, more complex ones.
College of Social Sciences are likely to manage a portfolio covering a large number of low to medium value projects.
Planning and Organising
Plan and organise own workload and work with the Research Administrators, effectively and efficiently meeting any required deadlines.
Project management – both short-term deadline driven and longer-term involving multiple conflicting deadlines and coordination across multiple organisational units.
Respond in a timely manner to the needs of Principal Investigators.
Be proactive, reactive and flexible, working effectively and efficiently unsupervised.
Ensure that academic staff prepare adequately for and meet the deadlines for funding applications.
Maintain systems and procedures for major exercises eg REF and ensure their effective coordination.
The role holder must ensure that deadlines for application submissions and post-award reporting across the College are met.
Decisions required for the management of research-based database systems.
Advise and direct academic staff on all aspects of funding applications.
Resolve issues of conflict based on knowledge and experience of funders and their rules.
Inform decisions on costing to maximise the return to the University from funding revenue.
Assessing risks associated with proposals, including any regulatory, insurance or commercial sensitivity and ensuring these are mitigated.
Advise on post-award project management and phasing to minimise the risk of under-utilising available funding.
The role holder must have frequent interaction with College and University Service staff including:
The provision of ‘cradle to grave’ advice and guidance to Principal Investigators involving project and portfolio management, where appropriate.
The provision of information on all aspects of research to the Head of College, Research institutes, Schools and Dean of Research as and when required.
Regular communication by e-mail, telephone and in person with College staff of all categories, and within University Services.
Expertise sharing with other Colleges.
The role holder will be required to liaise with a range of external parties, including interaction with research contacts from external organisations, as necessary, eg, funding bodies and other Universities.
Deal with research enquiries from both external sources and all categories of College staff and provide appropriate, timely solutions.
Use initiative and judgement to resolve issues/problems that arise between College staff and University Services concerning all aspects of funding.
Provide advice to ensure maximum benefit to the College from funding applications.
Deal with conflict between competing demands of stakeholders.
Maximise the utilisation of staff and other resources, resolving potential conflicts arising from different grants and their phasing.
Standard Terms & Conditions
Salary will be on the Management, Professional and Administrative Grade, level 7, £34,520 - £38,833 per annum.
New entrants to the University will be required to serve a probationary period of 6 months.
The successful applicant will be eligible to join the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme. Further information regarding the scheme is available from the Superannuation Officer, who is also prepared to advise on questions relating to the transfer of Superannuation benefits.
Vacancy reference: 019352; Closing date: 19 November 2017.
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