GCRF Portfolio Leader

Swindon, Wiltshire
£57,632 - £73,640 per annum
12 Dec 2017
End of advertisement period
14 Jan 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

GCRF Portfolio Leader
Research Councils UK  
Fixed Term for 2 years
Salary £ 57632- £73640 per annum + benefits  

About us

Each year the Research Councils invest around £3bn in research covering the full spectrum of academic disciplines from the medical and biological sciences to astronomy, physics, chemistry and engineering, social sciences, environmental sciences and the arts and the humanities.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership through which the seven UK Research Councils proactively work together in to deliver their goals. From April 2018, the Research Councils along with Innovate UK and Research England come together within a new single body called UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Each Council supports research within its own remit; additionally and increasingly the Councils operate as a collective, collaborating on calls for interdisciplinary research. Likewise the Councils individually and together support international research calls and deliver ODA compliant research. 

The Government has established the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) of which part is being held as a Collective Fund to support interdisciplinary research which meets the aims of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

About the role

We are seeking to appoint the equivalent of a full time Challenge Leader for the strategic GCRF Challenge portfolio, aligned with the UN Strategic Development Goals (SDGs) will be developed by Delivery Partners across the whole GCRF programme:

  • Global Health 
  • Food Systems 
  • Security Protracted Conflict, Refugee Crises and Forced Displacement (50% position only)
  • Education
  • Resilience to Environmental Shocks and Change (please note this position has been filled)
  • Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure (50% position only)

Please view the full advert for more information on each portfolio.
We are looking to appoint GCRF Challenge Leader to give strong, intellectual and strategic leadership, and to strengthen coordination across multiple delivery partners. The positions can be filled by academics or non-academics.

You will be responsible for the building and success of the Challenge portfolio, and together with the other GCRF Challenge Leaders, will collectively be responsible for maximising the portfolios’ overall research excellence and real-world impact.

Supported by the RCUK/UKRI GCRF team, you will be centrally involved in shaping decision-making and outcomes at key stages in the building of the GCRF portfolio. Specifically, you will:

  • identify projects for inclusion in the portfolio to promote focus, consolidation, integration and partnership for impact
  • play a key role in shaping future investment
  • work with governments, development agencies, NGOs, CSOs and other national and multilateral organisations to create and utilise pathways to deliver real-world impact
  • draw out potential impacts (new products, practice and policy influence) through networking investments, working with DFID officers and/or other “in-country” development actors
  • bring back intelligence to UKRI relevant to future GCRF strategy, based on these outcomes and interactions
  • promote a positive vision for the GCRF to Government, public and other stakeholders by developing a strong GCRF narrative.

There will be a requirement for extensive travel both across the UK and overseas, including regular travel to Development Assisted Counties; staying overnight as and when necessary.

About you

You will need to demonstrate credibility within the portfolio, having lead or portfolio managed  a significant programme of international development relevant research, with practical experience of delivering impact from interdisciplinary working. You will be a strategic thinker, with demonstratable awareness of the current research landscape beyond you own particular research focus area, with an aptidude for identifying, exploring and developing research opportunities.

Full job description and person specification is available through our job board. 


RCUK is hosted by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) on behalf of the UK Research Council. EPSRC offer a benefits package which includes a generous pension, 30 days annual leave plus privilege days and bank holidays, flexible working hours, cycle to work scheme and private health screening.

How to apply

Applications are handled by UK Shared Business Services; to apply please visit our job board at http://www.topcareer.jobs/Vacancy/irc243608_7782.aspx and submit your CV detailing your educational and professional background and a covering letter outlining how your experience meets the criteria described within this advertisement, coupled with your reasons for applying to EPSRC.

Applicants who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone on 01793 867000. Please quote the reference number IRC243608.

Closing date for this vacancy is 14th January 2018.

RCUK/EPSRC is an Equal Opportunities Employer
Final appointments will be subject to a pre-employment screening
Please note: Candidates must have the right to work in the UK, EPSRC does not hold a sponsorship licence.

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