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Head of Research Operations

Location: Chesterfield or London
Hours: Full-time, 35 hours per week
Salary: £50,000 – £55,000 + benefits
Contract type: Permanent
Closing date: midnight on Sunday 7 January 2018

Download the job description and person specification (Word 173KB)


We are one of the UK's leading health and medical research charities and we are looking for a Head of Research Operations to help us deliver our key strategic aims.

Across the UK, more than 1 in 6 people of all ages live with the pain and disability of arthritis. The impact is enormous and so much more needs to be done. Arthritis Research UK has recently merged with Arthritis Care, and as a new and transformed charity we are determined to change things and improve the quality of life for people living with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. By 2020 our aim is to have made a positive and tangible change to the lives of people with arthritis so that they can be independent, informed and recognised.

As a critical part of this, the Research Directorate is responsible for leading on the delivery of research funding and investment, as well as the exemplary management of the charity’s live research investment, its communication, translation and exploitation for maximal impact on the lives of people with arthritis.

About the role

This is a pivotal position enabling the charity to ensure excellence in its delivery and management of research funding, helping enable a unified approach to how we plan and deliver charitable expenditure in a way that is integrated with charity income. The role is also critical in strengthening wide aspects of our governance and operations, including ensuring that Arthritis Research UK maintains its excellent standards of grant peer review and evaluation.

Working as part of the Research Management Team (RMT) and across the charity as a whole, the Head of Research Operations will:

  • ensure an effective and consistent approach across our research management funding and wider charitable work.
  • lead a team of professional administrators, ensuring their development and management to the highest possible standards.
  • be a member of the charity’s leadership and management group: with the experience needed to help deliver change in a growing and developing organisation.
  • be responsible for the policies, systems and procedures that support the effective operation of the charity’s research award investment and research portfolios.
  • ensure that critical systems exist and are developed to support this, including the procurement and set-up of the next generation of the charity’s grants management system (Grant Tracker).

Key requirements

The successful candidate will:

  • be educated to degree level or equivalent and/or consistently demonstrate degree level outcomes.
  • have understanding and experience in managing and running high quality peer review of world-class research and overseeing the systems and processes that underpin this.
  • have exemplary planning capability, with an ability to understand and maximise impact, helping in particular to build the charity’s growing approach to partnership and leveraged funding in the UK research landscape.
  • be able to help deliver change across a transforming organisation.
  • have staff leadership and management experience, preferably within a matrix management structure, to deliver results.
  • be comfortable with holding and sharing strategic responsibility for high-quality performance of large bodies of experts (our strategic funding committees) experience of successfully managing complex governance issues – for example management of boards or commitments in a commercial and academic settings.
  • have substantial experience in research administration, governance, management and financial/budgetary oversight in a research funding or delivery setting, with exemplary planning capabilities in particular to building partnered funding.
  • be comfortable with having strategic responsibility for the high quality performance of large bodies of experts (our committees) and ensuring the operate at the highest possible standards.
  • have strengths in building and managing large teams with diverse skills; ensuring that wherever possible, effective linkages and cross-team working is maintained. Sustaining an excellent professional environment for an engaged team of professionals.

How to apply

To apply please submit:

  1. a concise, up-to-date CV
  2. and a supporting statement demonstrating how you meet the key requirements set out in the job description and person specification (Word 173KB)
  3. Please include where you’ve seen this role advertised

Email your completed application by midnight on Sunday 7 January 2018 to


First interviews expected: 24 January 2018 at our Chesterfield office

Second interviews expected: 1 February 2018 at our Chesterfield office

About us

Arthritis Care and Arthritis Research UK merged on 1 November 2017. We believe that together we can overcome the pain, isolation and fatigue of arthritis and have a greater positive impact on the lives of 10 million people across the UK who are currently living with the condition.

Our ambition is to invest in breakthrough treatments, change attitudes towards arthritis, reach many thousands more with the information and support they need, and influence the provision of services and more essential research into better treatments and cures.

Read more about our merged organisationworking for us and what we offer.

Promoting Equality in the workplace
Arthritis Research is a Registered Charity No: 207711 and in Scotland No. SC041156

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.