Strategic Projects Advisor

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
04 Sep 2019
End of advertisement period
23 Sep 2019
Contract Type
Full Time


Edinburgh, GB

Organization Name

Research Engagement

About Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

Strategy 2025

The University launched its new Strategy in 2019; Shaping Tomorrow Together (strategy2025.hw.ac.uk). The research theme in the strategy, Excelling in Research and Enterprise, consists of nine new initiatives:

Enhancing Excellence

Initiative 1 - Supporting Our Researchers

Initiative 2 - Bicentennial Research Leaders

Initiative 3 - Developing Our Research Culture

Developing Enterprise

Initiative 4 - Cultivating Partnerships

Initiative 5 - Creative Spaces

Initiative 6 - Global Pioneers

Growing Our Reputation

Initiative 7 - Enhanced Rese arch Institutes Initiative 8 - Promoting Our Work

Initiative 9 - Shaping Our Research Agenda

Each of the initiatives interacts with the others and requires that strategic and operational change takes place in schools, professional services and across all of our campuses.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt http://www.hw.ac.uk/about/careers-at- heriotwatt.htm

About our Team

Research Engagement Directorate

Research Engagement is the Directorate in Heriot-Watt University that engages individuals and organisations with Heriot-Watt research. This includes support to HWU academics, researchers and students to develop research proposals and liaison with our communities and external organisations including industry, the public, etc. Research Engagement works with the University Committee for Research and Innovation (UCRI) chaired by the Deputy Principal Research & Innovation to implement the University's Research and Innovation strategy.


The key Divisions and their activities within Research Engagement are:

Policy Strategy & Impact (PSI)

Supporting the University to achieve its strategic objectives in research excellence and to continue to increase positioning of and engagement with research.

Research and Business Development

  • To support and enable the University to achieve its Strategic objective to diversify and grow its external research income and manage research awards effectively and efficiently.
  • Provide specialist support for academic staff seeking to win research funding.
  • Support the development of research impact through understanding & developing local, national and global industry and business opportunities.
  • Manage and control the timely and accurate submission of all aspects of post-award management, including sponsor related administrative documents, invoices, claims, and all financial reporting.

Research Futures Academy

  • Assisting the University to implement its strategic objectives in research excellence and supporting the ongoing development of its research culture internationally.
  • Training and development to help academic staff and postgraduate research students develop their research capacity, maximise their research excellence, and enhance their current and future careers.
  • Provide a focal point for researcher development activities, resources, opportunities and achievements at Heriot-Watt University


The core purpose of the Research Engagement Legal Team is to protect the interests of the University in its research and knowledge exchange activities, and support its Excelling in Research and Enterprise strategy.

Expert contractual and intellectual property advice for both research and knowledge exchange activities.

Detailed Description

This post will be within the Policy, Strategy & Impact Division (PSI). This is a newly constituted Division in Research Engagement bringing together expertise in related issues to create a focus on strategic developments:

Strategy: To build the University’s capacity to develop and deliver research and innovation strategy(ies) through intelligence gathering and external policy engagement.

Impact and Public Engagement: Lead the development and implementation of strategies for impact and public engagement with research.

Policy: To be responsible for the further integration of the research and innovation policy functions.

REF: Provide leadership, organisation and direction for the process, policies and other arrangements for REF 2021.

Key duties and responsibilities

There are two aspects to this role

  1. Research and Enterprise Strategy Implementation Coordination: To provide support to the Steering Group charged with implementing the Excelling in Research and Enterprise theme of Strategy 2025
  2. Strategic Project Coordination: Coordinating, monitoring and progress reporting of University level strategic funding.

1. Research and Enterprise Strategy Implementation Coordination

This position has an important responsibility in helping the University deliver its ambitious new strategic vision (see above). The role-holder will work particularly closely with the Head of PSI and the Deputy Principal (Research and Innovation) to:

  • track progress of the implementation of the Research and Enterprise Strategy
  • report activity against the nine strands of the Research and Enterprise Strategy
  • assist in the development and delivery of annual strategy implementation plans
  • liaison between the strategy's stakeholder within the University and externally
  • Clerk the Strategy Implementation Steering Group maintain communications channels on the Strategy (social media, Office 365, etc.)
  • assist in collection and collation of material for promoting the University's research and innovation

2. Strategic Project Coordination

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Scottish Funding Council have increasingly used institutional level awards to deliver enable University's to deliver programmes of strategic activity. There has been a significant increase in the number of these grants being. The post-holder will assist in fulfilling the requirements of these projects and ensuring fit with University's strategic objectives.

  • supporting Head of PSI and Deputy Principal (Research & Innovation) on reporting to funders
  • working with the Impact Manager on aspects of coordination and communication of the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account
  • coordinating strategic responses for new institutional opportunities
  • receiving, reviewing and monitoring progress against milestones (financial and otherwise) for such projects assisting in articulation of project activities with University strategy delivery
  • liaising with academic Schools and Academic Registry on student details associated with projects
  • liaising with sub-project academic leads, Research Grants Office, School Finance Managers
  • Clerk project Steering Groups

Education, qualifications and experience



  • Educated to degree standard or equivalent experience


  • Appropriate qualification or training (e.g. ARMA Membership or attendance at ARMA events)



  • Good experience of UK research funding.
  • Understanding of the significance of research for universities.
  • Track record of liaison with research funding bodies.
  • Excellent project management e.g. financial administration; liaison with multiple partners.
  • Using project management systems
  • Knowledge of strategy development processes


  • Working in a Higher Education, Research or similar institution.
  • Working closely with Research Councils, and Royal Society.
  • Sound knowledge of research funding mechanisms in the UK, EU and Internationally.
  • Track record of influencing project development
  • Experience of research management systems Identifying opportunities to innovate in the delivery of a service

Competencies, Skills and Knowledge


  • Excellent interpersonal and presentation skills (both orally and in writing)
  • Highly organised with an ability to work as part of a team and to fit in with the demands of a busy office with competing and tight deadlines.
  • High regard for confidentiality, security and accuracy 30/04/2019
  • Working in diverse teams
  • Ability to work undirected


  • Able to understand and communicate research related information effectively
  • Knowledge of IT and/ or financial systems especially Oracle and XML
  • Ability to read and analyse documents and extract salient information to give clear explanations and guidance notes.

How To Apply

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on 23rd September 2019. If you would like to speak to someone in advance about this position please contact Dr Antony Weir (a.g.weir@hw.ac.uk / 0131 451 3072)

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards- calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.

Minimum Salary


Maximum Salary




Amount of Travel

Moderate Travel