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Senior Research Contracts Manager

University of Birmingham - Finance Office

Location: Birmingham
Salary: £40,792 to £48,677
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 23rd August 2019
Closes: 22nd September 2019
Job Ref: 80805

The Senior Research Contracts Manager plays a vital role in the negotiation of research collaboration agreements as part of major University partnerships, as well as managing a team of Contracts Officers working to provide expert contracts support to academic staff on a wide range of research collaborations with commercial, charity and public sector bodies.

Main Duties

As a team leader the post holder will be required to monitor service performance and where appropriate implement system and process improvements to respond to changing needs and circumstances and ensure that their team can deliver consistently outstanding support to instructing academics.

You will have a key role in coaching and supporting their team to recognise the appropriate balance of maximising benefit and minimising risk to the University as a result of the academic activities undertaken to deliver the University’s external research portfolio. This requires an understanding and interpretation of external influences and their effects on research activities and attendant risk, and the ability to instigate and lead change in response to these influences.

The post holder should be able to understand, interpret and communicate relevant features arising from the complex structure of the University’s system of financial control, with particular regard to research business, to staff at all levels.

The post holder will be expected to contribute proactively to the continuous improvement of research support systems and processes leading to the delivery of consistently outstanding support services to the academic research community.

Responsible for ensuring effective and professional delivery of contracts review and advisory services by the team of Contracts Officers, in accordance with agreed review and negotiation frameworks, providing fully worked out, informed solutions to individual academics and Budget Centres for external contracts.

Ensure service standards and KPIs are continually monitored and where appropriate make changes to the team’s prioritisation and internal resource allocation to ensure that the expectations of the research community and collaborative partners are met

Required Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications, Experience

  • Educated to degree standard.
  • Understanding of the role of research contracts in a University’s knowledge exchange and collaborative research activities with a wide range of partner organisations (e.g. small and large commercial organisations, health sector bodies, charities, public bodies, etc.).
  • Extensive knowledge of contract law and practical experience in drafting and reviewing contracts, preferably including experience gained in a research contract role within the higher education sector.
  • Experience of negotiating agreements for collaborative projects, working proactively with the academic and other stakeholders to seek as far as possible mutually agreeable terms in view of the risks, the partners involved, and University priorities.
  • Good understanding of team management, motivation and development; demonstrable experience of successfully leading a team in a high-throughput customer-focused environment is desirable
  • Proven ability to deliver service quality improvements, with a strong preference for a demonstrable track record of using KPIs to monitor service standards and drive innovative service quality improvement initiatives.

To download the details of this position and submit an electronic application online please click on the Apply Online button below, please quote the appropriate Job Ref in all enquiries, alternatively information can be obtained from

Valuing excellence; sustaining investment

Informal enquires to Amelia Petch, email:

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £40,792 to £48,677, with potential progression once in post to £54,765

Closing date: 22nd September 2019                       

Reference: 80805

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