Research Manager

London (Greater)
£40,386 - £47,414 per annum per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
21 Mar 2023
09 Apr 2023
Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

The Cancer Prevention Group (CPG) is based within the Comprehensive Cancer Centre, School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Our purpose is to design and deliver high-profile projects at the cutting edge of research in the field of cancer prevention and screening. Our research has a big impact on policy and practice.  


The Research Manager role is key to the success of the CPG, delivering high-level organisation and oversight of the group’s day-to-day administration, management, and strategic development.  


You will work closely with the CPG Director and academic/professional services leads, contributing to a number of areas, including pre-award, bid submission, post-award financial reconciliation, contracts set up, HR and in supporting post-graduate students.  


Your role will be varied, and no two days will be the same. As a senior member of the group, you will have the autonomy to manage your own workload, using your organisation and time management skills to meet key deadlines and ensure administrative tasks are completed, whilst working with the CPG Director and senior team to contribute to strategic future planning.  


This position offers an enthusiastic candidate with a good background in research administration & management an exciting opportunity to take a senior role in supporting the operations of the CPG in order to meet our objectives of advancing research in cancer screening and prevention.  


You will be line managed by Dr Jo Waller, Reader in Cancer Behavioural Sciences and work closely with other senior leaders in the CPG including operations leads in the Cancer Prevention Trials Unit (CPTU), which sits within the CPG. You will also be part of a wider team of professional services staff within the School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences. 


We offer a wide range of training and development activities including the opportunity to join CPG special interest groups and work with a large number of talented individuals who are passionate about improving cancer outcomes.  


This is a hybrid working role, with a requirement to be in the office 2-3 days a week.


This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract until 31st March 2024 in the first instance 

This is a full-time  post - 100% full time equivalent


Key responsibilities

•        Take overall leadership of research management activities of the Group 

•        Develop and maintain good working relationships with the CPG Director, academics/ professional services leadership within the group 

•        Develop and maintain excellent working relationships with the university Pre-Award, Post-Award, and Contracts teams and the wider Professional Services teams within the School 

•        Build strong working relationships with key partners beyond the university, including but not limited to Cancer Research UK, Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Trust, research collaborators at other universities and commercial organisations 

•        Manage and maintain oversight of active research grants within the Group using appropriate tracking and monitoring systems   

•        Keep abreast of relevant funding opportunities via funder communications, email alerts and any KCL communications, and disseminate these within the Group for consideration 

•        Provide high level support and guidance to academics and external collaborators with the submission of high-quality grant funding applications (often high value £1m+), including preparing costings in Worktribe, supporting completion of finance sections of application forms, and ensuring all appropriate documents are uploaded and approvals obtained. 

•        Maintain a high level of knowledge of research funder policies, university processes and policies surrounding research grant administration 

•        Take responsibility for post-award processes across the portfolio, including overseeing the setup, ongoing management, reporting and closure of all projects. 

•        Liase with the Pre-Award teams to ensure new awards are set up appropriately in Worktribe, and set up systems for tracking and monitoring spend 

•        Prepare budget reconciliations and re-forecasts, liaise with funding bodies and advise the principal investigators on resource allocation across the group  

•        Ensure that awards are compliant with internal and funder policies, identifying ineligible spend, journaling funds and liaising with Post-Award colleagues to prepare grant claims 

•        Work with budget holders to ensure grant income is appropriately and fully committed, so grant funding pipelines integrate with staff and operational factors 

•        Support staff with contractual work, including contract requests, review and coordination  

•        Oversee the workload and effectively line manage a small operations team supporting the general operational delivery of the group; including proactively seeking opportunities for role development, improving processes and promoting best practice in the team  

•        Chair the monthly Team Leaders meeting, provide high level meeting support and provision of regular analysis of group performance via trends/ metrics/ KPIs to aid the leadership team in decision making 

•       Owning the business plan for the Group including oversight of the budget and forecasts, recruitment plans, infrastructure, and expansion plans, taking forward recommendations to School, Faculty and wider King’s representatives for relevant support 

• Provide oversight and support to line managers within the group on complex HR matters and ad hoc administrative support with recruitment campaigns in PeopleXD and signposting to HR procedures and policies 

• Along with the CPTU Head of Operations, maintain oversight of the CPG/CPTU staff on fixed-term contracts, ensuring contract extensions or amendments are actioned within the appropriate timeframes 

• Provide support to academics, research staff and PhD students with any queries, including financial and administrative issues 

• Collate and maintain a directory of publications for the Group and develop a good understanding of Open Access publication policy, liaising with the library as required 

•        Show commitment to good practice and always working to the relevant policies or procedures 

• Ensure confidential matters are dealt with in an appropriate manner, with the appropriate level of discretion.  

• Undertake any other reasonable duties and projects as requested by the line manager, CPG Director or CPTU Head of Operations 

•        Prepare communications, draft presentations, briefing documents and background materials as required including input into, organisation and editing of the annual reports and quinquennial reviews (non-scientific aspects).  

•        Work closely with Schools Communications & Engagement Officer and Faculty Communications & Marketing team to promote and raise the profile of the academic work of the Group  


The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.


Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria  

1.      Educated to degree level or with relevant equivalent experience in a similar role 

2.      Proven professional services skills gained within the Higher Education sector including pre- and post-award management 

3.      Experience of supporting, costing, and submitting research funding applications  

4.      Highly numerate with experience of post-award budget management, including preparing budgets, monitoring spend, requesting virements and other adjustments, reconciliation and forecasting, supporting grant claims  

5.      Excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills, with the ability to communicate clearly and appropriately 

6.      Excellent IT skills 

7.      Experience of developing and maintaining relationships in order to facilitate good working practices  

8.      Ability to organise and balance competing demands, including shifting priorities and working under pressure to meet multiple deadlines 

9.      Familiarity with HR processes for recruitment 

10.   Accuracy/ability to pay attention to detail 


Desirable criteria

1.      Awareness of AcoRD framework for costing NHS research  

2.      Experience of line management 

3.      Experience of business case/business plan development 


Further information

Informal enquiries welcomed to Jo Waller, Reader in Cancer Behavioural Science ( ) or Jo Gambell, CPTU Acting Head of Operations (   

Please ensure to include a cover letter with your application outlining your reasons for applying to the post and your suitability based on the essential and desirable criteria. 

Interviews will be one stage, a panel interview with a short Powerpoint presentation.  


Candidates may be invited for an informal discussion with the CPG Director following the panel interview.  


We are happy to offer virtual or in person interviews.