Programme Manager for SFI/IUA Collaborative Placement Programme – Closed

Role Specification:

The SFI Research Centres programme has a strong management and oversight component.  To assist with that role the SFI and IUA are collaborating on a placement programme which will see 5 Programme Manager posts appointed to work with SFI on the Research Centres.  Those appointed to the posts will be employed by one of the host universities and will be placed within SFI (Dublin) on a specific purpose contract for a period of 5 years. 

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) is the national foundation for investment in scientific and engineering research.  SFI invests in academic researchers and research teams who are most likely to generate new knowledge, leading edge technologies and competitive enterprises in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).  SFI’s investments in major research projects are focused on the areas of strategic national importance as outlined in the Report of the National Research Prioritisation (NRP) Exercise.   SFI also advances co-operative efforts and partnerships amongst industry, education, government and charities that support its fields of research and promote Ireland as a country of research excellence with impact.

The object of this placement scheme shall be to place selected university staff within SFI to support the effective management of the SFI Research Centres programme and oversight of the existing SFI Research Centre awards and to strengthen collaboration between SFI and the universities and Irish Universities Association (IUA) generally:

The initial participants in the placement scheme shall be SFI, the Irish Universities Association, Trinity College Dublin, NUI Galway, University of Limerick and University College Dublin.

Duties/ Responsibilities:

The duties and responsibilities of the staff so recruited and seconded shall include the following as appropriate.

  • Oversight and monitoring of Research Centre progress with regard to targets set against key performance indicators; review of annual reporting and biannual governance reports and associated metrics; organisation and running of site reviews and the preparation of associated reports;
  • Technical consultancy with Research Centres on various operational aspects, including metrics, industry contracts, IP etc.;
  • Day-to-day engagement with the Centre Director, Centre Manager and Centre management / administration team and other stakeholders on ongoing initiatives, including H2020 engagement, Centre-to-Centre activity, budgetary reallocations and change of personnel;
  • Engagement with enterprise agencies, EI and IDA, on potential industry collaborative and other commercial opportunities existing within the Research Centres; liaising between prospective new industry partners and the Research Centres;
  • Supporting the Research Centres in strategic international engagement activities;
  • Annual report evaluation, impact analysis and award categorisation;
  • Preparation of progress reports and ad hoc PR on Research Centres;
  • Working with the SFI Communications team on various Research Centre activities including Press announcements, releases, web updates, etc.;
  • Such other duties relevant to the programme as may be assigned within the Post-Award, Education and Public Engagement (EPE) or Corporate Communications team from time to time.

SFI / Universities general collaboration:

The appointed candidates shall also support ongoing collaboration between SFI, the Universities and the IUA in the following fields:

  • Fostering of better two-way communication with the universities, with the aim of improving mutual understanding of:
  1. Ongoing developments at SFI and within DJEI and sister agencies (IDA & EI)
  2. The development of Science / Research policy at national and institutional level;
  • Performance of Irish research versus the international benchmarks in terms of grant attainment and research outputs – across SFI and other funding programmes, with a view ultimately to delivering improvements in grant call success rates and raising overall research quality.
  • Facilitation of best practice sharing across universities on the running of the Research Centres, with specific focus on improvements around communications and education & public engagement activity.
  • Identifying potential process and systems improvements so that SFI – Universities / Centres interactions can be streamlined to reduce administrative burdens.
  • Oversight of infrastructure across Centres/Universities and support for the continued development of access charge plans.

Person Specification:

Candidates should be Phd educated or equivalent with a minimum of 3 years post Phd experience in industry or academia.    Applicants with a background in the areas of Telecommunications, Software, Digital content, Medical Devices and Lifesciences (those relevant to the Research Centres) are particularly welcome although applications from other fields will also be considered.  Key knowledge and skills should include:

  • Scientific knowledge and skillset acknowledged by the academic community
  • Ability to serve effectively as a member of the Research Centres Team.
  • Excellent communication, writing and interpersonal skills
  • Willingness to travel in order to deliver effectively on your role
  • Strong leadership and project management skills.

Interested applicants should forward their CV to Holly Anderson at before close of business on Wednesday, June 17th 2015.

Salary Scale

This position will be a five year specific purpose contract.  The salary scale will be €65,000-€75,170.  Successful candidates will be appointed at the minimum of the scale.  Posts will be based in SFI’s offices in Dublin 2.