We are looking for a senior experienced, quick thinking and hardworking Project Delivery Lead, capable of hitting the ground running.
Research and innovation (R&I) is at the heart of UK economic growth, the Industrial Strategy and an outward looking Global Britain. The Newton Fund and Global Challenges Research Fund are Official Development Assistance (ODA) Funds that support cutting-edge research programmes to address problems faced by developing countries; they build science and innovation capacity in developing countries and the UK. Further information on the funds can be found at
Projects in this context are a mechanism to deliver business objectives; to improve the efficiency of data processing, provide greater assurance on data quality and embed business intelligence to enhance oversight of ODA commitments and strategic decision making.
You will manage business change to strengthen fund allocation, monitoring and reporting of programme expenditure for these two high profile Funds.
You will be an experienced lead, with excellent project skills and capabilities. Notably the capability to plan, communicate, mitigate risk, negotiate delivery priorities, and maintain quality, to ensure delivery to plan, acceptable quality and on time.
Ideally, you will have exposure to digital development and Agile methodologies, perhaps within a government department. Please note, you do not need to be an expert on ODA.
You will be part of the UKRI-BEIS ODA team. A multidisciplinary team of approximately 20 people, based in both Swindon (UKRI) and London (BEIS) that include policy, delivery, finance, analysis, and comms experts. This role is be based in Swindon (employed through UKRI) but requires engagement with BEIS ODA team members in London as well as scheduled travel to London as appropriate.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the team are currently home-based and working remotely. We will return to the office in Swindon once restrictions are lifted.
This role sits within the ODA Programme Management Office (PMO), reporting to the Head of PMO. The ODA PMO function is responsible for financial management, tracking and reporting, information management, risk management and ODA projects.
There are two priority projects to improve monitoring and reporting of ODA spend currently underway with milestones scheduled.
The delivery priority is ‘Report ODA (RODA)’, a new online digital data submission service and a high-profile project currently in Public Beta, set to be fully operational by the end of 2021. This management information handling solution will streamline and automate processes, minimise the reporting burden on ODA stakeholders, and enable wider access to ODA information for a variety of reporting purposes. You will have day to day responsibility for maintaining forward progress to deliver RODA.
As a Delivery Manager your role is to organise and lead a multi-disciplinary team, ensuring the team is motivated and empowered to deliver its goals. You will act as deputy Service Owner working with the external supplier/developer, an in-house product owner, Stakeholders and the Project Board, to ensure business objectives and user needs are met. You will coach the wider team developing the RODA service through beta and live service assessments, overseeing the team's transition from development to BAU.
Secondly, working with the assigned project manager, you will have delivery oversight of an interdependent project to maintain and improve the Transparency rating for ODA reporting.
Given the nature of the role, an ability to foster a collaborative, collegiate approach across virtual teams in support of collective working will be needed. Strong negotiating skills are important to ensure that positive relationships are built, as a key feature of the work is delivery through partnership.
Main Outputs & Activities:
Ensure progress on delivery in accordance with best practice/PMO (project documentation including detailed plans, budgets, risks and issues logs) and use them to effectively manage and report on project progress
Ensure active projects are monitored by measuring activity against plans, roadmaps
In conjunction with the ODA Senior Management Team (SMT), support active decision making to drive and maintain delivery
Actively address internal and external risks, issues and dependencies including where ownership exists outside the team, bringing emerging issues and proposals to ODA SMT, as appropriate
Proactively manage dependencies, overcome obstacles, and achieve the best value against constraints
Establish and maintain strong working relationships with key individuals across a wide stakeholder cohort – BEIS, FCDO, HMG, external suppliers, Delivery Partner organisation, as appropriate.
Actively facilitate and lead meetings; disseminate planning, scheduling, and briefing information to Project Boards, the ODA Portfolio and Operational Management Board and other stakeholders as required
Lead project advisory groups and other stakeholder meetings, ensuring appropriate papers are developed, actions captured and carried out
Support individual project managers and project actions across the wider ODA unit
Ensure regular reviews and propose improvements to mechanisms as necessary (Lessons Learnt approach)
Play an active and constructive part of Programme Management Office and ODA team to support delivery of team milestones and objectives and contribute to the successful management and coordination of the Newton Fund and GCRF.
Other key information:
This is initially a contract to the end of the spending review (SR) period on 31 March 2022. However, there is the potential for extension or a move into a permanent contract, subject to SR outcomes and ODA requirements.
Experience leading Delivery management
Exposure to agile ways of working and development teams
Active prioritisation of delivery and coordination across multi-disciplinary teams complex/competing stakeholder interests and multiple roles e.g. Product Owner, end users in rapid changing environments
Strong analytical and management skills, including a thorough understanding of how to interpret stakeholder needs and translate them into project delivery
Proven delivery management to scale up teams and processes
Maintaining delivery momentum across projects and workstreams
Adapting to change as smoothly (and in the most cost-effective way) as possible.
Ability to make the process work (focus on outcomes)
Communicating between technical and non-technical boundaries
Experience/ability to lead/co lead presentations on the progress of delivery
Track record in stakeholder engagement/management with internal/external partners to develop and maintain collaborative working relationships to deliver key outcomes (Contractors, Internal Teams, Delivery Partners, Boards)
Ability to lead and organise remote-based teams (Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Miro, Slack)
Line management experience
Proficient in using Microsoft Excel, SharePoint, PowerPoint.
An understanding Official Development Assistance (ODA).
Educated to degree level or relevant experience.
A recognised project or programme management qualification or equivalent.
Strategic Cluster – Setting Direction: Changing and Improving
Strategic Cluster – Setting Direction: Making Effective Decisions
People Cluster - Engaging People: Collaborating and Partnering
Performance Cluster - Delivering Results: Delivering Value for Money
Performance Cluster - Delivering Results: Delivering at Pace.
About UKRI Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Our organisation brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at . How we support EDI in the workforce At UKRI we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to flourish and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit Disability Confident Employer As a Disability Confident employer, UKRI will offer an interview to a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for the job (this is the description of the job as set by the employer). To enable us to do this we ask the appropriate questions within the candidate application. For more information on this scheme, . How to Apply Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit your CV and a covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role you’re applying for. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit your application without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered. You will only be assessed on the content of your CV and covering letter and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us.