MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda research Unit Head of Research Support Office Jobs

MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda research Unit Head of Research Support Office Jobs


Overall Job Purpose:

  • The Head of Research Support Office (RSO) leads the RSO department to achieve effective and efficient management of the Unit’s research portfolio in support of the Unit/s vision and mission.

  • The post holder ensures the office optimally supports the development of research funding proposals, that the status of pipeline/submitted is known at all times and followed-up on, the development of funding and collaboration agreements is effectively coordinated and sign-off achieved in a timely manner, and that all reporting (interim/final) to donors and partners is completed as expected.

  • The post holder is expected to develop and direct a team of Project Managers which will be funded through external projects and will directly facilitate the delivery of research projects at the Unit.

  • This involves all aspects of project planning, project setup, facilitation of internal and external approvals, meetings and contracting, as well as recruitment of project staff, procurement of project materials, logistical support.

  • The project management team is expected to monitor progress, facilitate communication and reporting to other Unit departments (e.g. Finance) and external stakeholders, including donors. Through the department team, the Head of RSO ensures the Unit’s compliance with donor, regulator, collaborator and sponsor requirements and supports inspections and audits as applicable.

    Key Responsibilities

  • The principal duty of the post-holder is managing the Unit’s Research Support Office department ensuring that RSO teams optimally support the attraction, contracting, delivery and reporting of research projects and that core costs are recovered appropriately through the following;

    Principal Duties & Responsibilities

    Strategic Planning and Management

    • Translate the Unit’s strategic vision and plans into departmental objectives and KPI;

    • Oversee the Unit’s research portfolio, identifying priorities and gaps, and regularly brief the Unit Chief Operating Officer;

    • Continually review and prioritize funding opportunities according to Unit and Programme scientific priority; and,

    Grants Management

    • Keep knowledge of research management matters in the department up to date, including operational concepts of UK Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) and Full Economic Cost (fEC) methodologies, Quality-related research funding (QR), allowable and unallowable costs for major donors, overheads as well as directly allocated (DA) and directly incurred (DI) costs;

    • Work with potential partners to build partnership relationships for collaborations on research projects ensuring that partners’ interests are aligned and within scope of funder priorities and Unit research strategy;

    • Ensure researchers are aware of expectations regarding intellectual property, data management, sample sharing procedures and other research management-related matters (in collaboration with Research Governance Department);

    • Work closely with other research support services within the Unit and LSHTM to ensure a high quality, consistent, integrated research support;

    • Lead in the introduction of an electronic grants management system;

    Governance and Compliance

    • Monitor Unit research indicators and prepare regular and ad hoc reports as needed;

    • Ensure appropriate administration of awards including timely submission of high quality and accurate funder reports;

    • Advise researchers on funder requirements for specific calls to support Unit compliance;

    • Put in place robust grants, contracts and compliance management systems;

    • Develop and implement best practices to meet funder compliance requirements;

    Leadership, Planning and Organization

    • Monitor and identify changing trends in the Unit’s research portfolio and adjust staff numbers, capacity and services pro-actively to ensure highly effective research support at all times;

    • Actively support the planning and coordination of research operations;

    • Ensure that Policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are in place and up to date to effectively facilitate development, administration and implementation of grants as well as their oversight;

    • Lead and supervise the work of the RSO team to ensure that adequate systems and procedures are in place for the implementation of projects. This involves appropriate planning, management and coordination of the activities in projects across the Unit;

    Donor Intelligence

    • Build and maintain a strong departmental knowledge base of Unit’s research strengths and scientific direction;

    • Build and maintain a network of funder contacts, identifying and promoting opportunities internally;

    • In collaboration with LSHTM Strategic Research Office, map out Unit research strengths to funders thematic priorities;

    Reporting and Other Responsibilities

    • Ensure that up to date
    and accurate records of Unit applications and awards are maintained;

    • Validate and monitor material and information entered into the Unit’s grants management system for accuracy and integrity and contribute to the preparation of reports and analyses for activities;

    • Provide regular and ad-hoc reporting on grant portfolio performance and other metrics;

    • Provide regular summary reports and guidance to Unit Chief Operating Officer and Heads of Programmes;

    Financial Management

    The post holder is responsible for the management of the RSO department budget, ensuring that:

    • The budget available is utilised to the maximum benefit of the Unit’s operations;

    • There is full transparency and accountability;

    • All expenditure is within budget and any trends indicating a potential budget overrun or underspend are identified and addressed promptly;

    • Support research teams, Project Managers and the Finance department to ensure all projects are delivered within budget;

    • Resolve financial issues relating to research grant as they arise and escalate significant matters to Unit Leadership Board as required;

    • Monitor information on applications and awards and identify synergies between projects for effective resource management;

    The post holder manages a diverse and multidisciplinary team of Grants Officers, Grants Assistants and Project Managers. As such the Head of RSO is responsible for ensuring that:

    • Staff are enabled to perform their assigned duties as expected;

    • Staff professional development is nurtured in line with the Unit’s and LSHTM’s capacity building goals;

    • Staff feel included and valued and their professional feedback and proposals are heard and considered;

    • Staff expectations are clearly communicated;

    • Staff performance is regularly monitored;

    • Potential conflicts are resolved promptly and decisively, involving HR support where needed;

    Quality of Service

    It is important that the Units Research Support Office services are delivered in a customer-oriented fashion. This post-holder ensures the department is;

    • Responsive;

    • Promptly communicating to users new developments such as new services, changes to services, service disruptions etc;

    • Pro-actively resolving issues;

    • Upholding high standards of professionalism;

    LSHTM Integration

    The Unit has transferred to LSHTM in 2018. The post-holder is expected to support the further integration of the Unit by:

    • Support development of consistent, uniformed and compliant funder approaches with UK and Gambia, taking the lead with Uganda based funders;

    • Engage constructively with departments across all LSHTM locations (UK, The Gambia) as needed;

    • Support the harmonization of policies and procedures across all LSHTM locations;

    Environment

    • Develop and support strategies to reduce adverse environmental impact of the Unit’s research portfolio;

    Specifications:

    • Bachelor’s Degree or higher related to Accounting or Finance and 8 years’ experience in a related field or Master’s degree in a related field and 6 years’ experience in a related field;

    • Possession of a professional certification in PRINCE2, PMI or another relevant Project management course is an added advantage;

    • Minimum of 6 years’ experience in grants financial management, finance, accounting, and/or auditing;

    • Minimum 4 years’ experience in senior role managing a grants office with direct supervision of personnel;

    • Demonstrated experience in strategic planning;

    • Demonstrated experience in policy and procedure development and implementation;

    • Experience in a medical research, humanitarian or international organization is desired;

    • Experience managing complex change processes is an added advantage;

    • Good knowledge and experience with spreadsheets and databases.

    • Ability to interpret complex grant funding requirements, submissions, and budget projections

    • Ability to interpret laws and regulations of Uganda and major donor countries and regions

    • Ability to positively manage conflict within teams

    • Proficient in the use of financial management software is desired

    How to Apply

  • For more information and job application details, see; MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda research Unit Head of Research Support Office Jobs




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