Senior Research Manager

2022, May 20
Senior Research Manager 20th May 2022

The purpose of the role will be to have responsibility for the provision of the research grant applications through the daily engagement with faculties through the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office, to ensure that the University is successful in meeting its goals to expand research activity and outcomes. To lead on relationships with Chinese government funders, lead on specific programmes, and coordinate new initiatives and solutions. Working with key stakeholders of the Office, develop and implement university research and knowledge exchange policy and monitor implementation.

Main responsibilities:

Grant Management

  • Maintain an excellent understanding of research funding opportunities and application processes, and develop strategy to cultivate new applications for key government funding programmes at either Municipal or Provincial level
  • Oversee the management of awarded projects
  • Lead on planning for at least one major area of research such as key labs and other research platforms, major programmes, or research prizes
  • Seek research funding to deliver annual targets for sustainable income generation consistent with the university’s objectives.

Internal Engagement

  • Provide and disseminate specialist/technical advice on all aspect of research funding applications, project management and evaluation, interpreting or assessing academic needs and exercising judgement to make decisions when solutions are not obvious.
  • Maintain a deep understanding the university’s research and knowledge exchange activities and relationships with academics from all faculties;
  • Interpret policy, legislation, regulations and national codes of practice, advising on the implications of non-compliance, responding to and applying any necessary changes in area of work.
  • Identify additional requirements or shortfalls and co-ordinate the delivery of innovative solutions to maximise research grant quality, efficiency and continuity.
  • Ensure professional and quality service standards are maintained and applied across all aspects of research grant management.
  • Revise or develop procedure and policy for approval and contribute to their successful implementation in order to deliver appropriate benefits and ensure external (e.g. regulatory or national codes of practice) requirements are met.
  • Consult and co-operate with other areas of the University to develop new/improved processes and supporting systems.

External Engagement

  • Develop and maintain deep, trusting relationships with Municipal or Provincial government funding agencies and coordinate university engagement with faculties and departments to secure government funding.
  • Represent and promote the research and knowledge exchange office and provide specialist input at both internal and external meetings/events, influencing differing opinions and handling questions as required.
  • Network with colleagues in other higher education institutions and other sectors to share best practice and facilitate future exchange of information.

Analysis & Reporting

  • Analyse and interpret data using a range of techniques; identifying trends, testing solutions, sourcing additional related information where appropriate, and reporting on progress through briefings or formal reports.
  • Apply initiative to devise varied solutions, approaching problems from different perspectives and “thinking outside the box.”
  • Develop and manage information systems for a school/department/work unit, making recommendations for improvements in data and information provision (e.g. new hardware and software provision).

People Management

  • Supervise and research grant managers and assistants to ensure the successful delivery of the research grants application and management service.
  • Monitor performance and take appropriate corrective action to ensure performance standards are consistently met.
  • Manage common staff welfare issues (e.g. disciplinary or other performance issues) that are covered by documented procedures, recognising when the matter should be referred to someone else or advice on how to respond obtained.


  • Participate in training and staff development events as trainer or trainee as appropriate;
  • Maintain appropriate professional development, expertise and awareness;
  • Undertake other tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be required.
  •   Proven negotiation and influencing skills.
  •   Tact, diplomacy and confidentiality.
  •   Excellent planning and organising skills.
  •   Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  •   Excellent presentation skills
  •   Excellent IT skills in a wide range of software packages.
  •   Initiative, resourcefulness, problem solving skills.
  • Strong people management skills, along with the proven ability to motivate and develop staff and experience of leading multi­functional teams;
Knowledge and experience
  • Experience of managing the activities of self and others.
  • Awareness of the current and future research activities at the university.
  • Detailed knowledge and understanding of systems/services in research grant management and their varied applications.
  • Authoritative knowledge of research management practices, processes and procedures
  • An understanding of the key working relationships required with government funding agencies.
  • Knowledge of the working processes and systems of UNNC;
  • Widespread awareness and understanding of University strategy, activities and objectives;
  • Experience of working in a multicultural research environment;
  • Experience of developing strategic investment applications and securing appropriate funding to support business plans;
  • Experience working in a research funding organization or research grants administration


Qualifications, certification and training (relevant to role)
  • Professionally qualified/relevant degree, plus significant hands-on experience in similar or related roles
Statutory, legal or special requirements
  • Sound understanding of the relevant professional, legal and regulatory requirements of own field of work.


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