Contracts Officer - Data Innovation Accelerator : Cardiff University

Contracts Officer - Data Innovation Accelerator

Cardiff University has been awarded funding from the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) to set up the Data Innovation Accelerator (DIA), a £3.5M initiative that will transfer data science knowledge within the University to companies in Wales. The DIA has been set up to address growing demand within SMEs to discover how data analytics can support business growth and development.

The DIA is seeking to appoint a Contracts Officer to work closely with the project team, with support from the University’s Research and Innovation Services (Research Governance and Contracts section) and Strategic Planning and Governance team.

This is an exciting opportunity to work with a range of academic experts in close collaboration with industry on impactful, state-of-the-art, research and development projects that translate data science and artificial intelligence to commercial contexts, developing intelligent and informed solutions for real-world challenges facing a wide range of businesses in Wales.

The DIA will have a team of 8 Data Scientists working on a varied portfolio of “big data” and data analytics translational research projects with industrial stakeholders, and is based in the School of Computer Science and Informatics.

You will be employed as a Contracts Officer and will be responsible for providing advice and supporting delivery for all contractual aspects of the DIA operation. This will involve explaining and negotiating key principles to University and partner company staff. You will play an active role in helping DIA research and management staff to identify suitable collaborative partners and projects, and will work closely with DIA colleagues at all stages of the project lifecycle to ensure smooth running of the research collaboration. 

The post will be based in Research and Innovation Services (Research Governance and Contracts section), who currently provide general research and contractual support to academic projects within the University. This post will provide dedicated contracts support to a new project called Data Innovation Accelerator (DIA). The post holder will be embedded within the DIA team to provide contractual support services and advice on data protection requirements to the DIA operation over the lifetime of its collaborative data science research projects with companies in Wales.

This post is full-time, but requests for part-time working will be considered. The post is available immediately and fixed-term until 30 June 2021.

For an informal discussion of the role please contact the DIA Project Manager Catherine Roderick or 02920 876233

Please note that Welsh Government has confirmed that, in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal or transition period, there would beno change in the existing arrangements for beneficiaries of current EU-funded projects:

Salary: £33,199 - £39,609 per annum (Grade 6)

Date advert posted: Thursday, 28 February 2019

Closing date:  Thursday, 21 March 2019

Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds who have the ambition to create a University which seeks to fulfil our social, cultural and economic obligation to Cardiff, Wales, and the world.  In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.


Job Description

Key Duties

  • Provide professional advice and guidance on research and research collaboration agreements and to draft and/or negotiate acceptable terms and conditions for these agreements with a wide range of external organisations.
  • To work closely with the University’s Strategic Planning and Governance team (who advise on data protection compliance) to acquire DIA-specific understanding on issues and legislation relating to data protection (including GDPR), data sharing and data management and to use that understanding to provide guidance to DIA staff and stakeholders as part of the collaborative project lifecycle.
  • To become conversant with background agreements and funding guidelines issued by Welsh European Funding Office, so as to be able to provide advice to the DIA team.
  • Take responsibility for resolving issues independently within the area of research and service contracts and to be responsible for prioritising, managing, drafting and negotiating contracts and other matters within the individual’s own work profile.
  • Ensure that effective relationships are forged with the DIA team  and external customers in order to ensure that a professional University contracts service is delivered, and to proactively change the service delivery according to the customer’s and University’s requirements.
  • Establish working relationships with key contacts and to develop appropriate communication links with the University’s Schools inc DIA team /staff and external organisations.
  • Plan time allocation for progressing contracts, make effective use of resources and work with colleagues across the University to achieve its objectives.
  • Be capable of working and making decisions independently and to implement such decisions by the appropriate use of model agreements and selection of clauses within contracts.
  • Competently review and risk assess new instructions in order to ascertain the action required and to ensure that any resultant legal agreement protects the interests of the University..
  • Ensure that legal agreements further the research interests of the University, the project staff and the School and to achieve this by appropriate and pragmatic application of risk assessment.
  • Develop and deliver training on key contractual issues for DIA research and professional services staff.
  • Travel to DIA partner companies in South Wales, to be involved in discussions on project scoping, planning, execution and closure.
  • Undertake a variety of administrative duties to support the department including assisting with the use of the University’s computerised register of agreements.
  • Assist in the development of the University’s library of model contracts and clauses.
  • Ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements in respect of equality and diversity, data protection, copyright and licensing, security, financial and other University policies, procedures and codes as appropriate.

General Duties

  • Ensure that an understanding of the importance of confidentiality is applied when undertaking all duties
  • Abide by University policies on Health and Safety and Equality and Diversity
  • Perform other duties occasionally which are not included above, but which will be consistent with the role

Person Specification

The Person Specification is split into 2 sections: essential and desirable.  Please demonstrate clearly how you meet all of the essential criteria.  Where possible you should give examples of how, when and where you have used your experience, knowledge, specific skills and abilities to match those required for this particular job role.

Please ensure that you communicate this fully by creating a supporting statement document, listing all of the criteria and commenting against each one as to how you meet them.  This will need to be completed before you begin making your application on line as you will be required to upload it.  When uploading the supporting statement the document title needs to read “supporting statement and should also detail the post reference number ending in BR” (relevant to the job you are applying for).

The desirable section contains a list of skills, qualifications and experience that it would be beneficial for the jobholder to have.

All shortlisting decisions will be based initially on essential criteria, with desirable being used to further select or deselect candidates as appropriate.  We interview those candidates who are the closest match to the identified criteria.

Essential Criteria

  1. Honours degree in law or equivalent
  2. A comprehensive understanding of the principles of contract law with evidence shown.
  3. Relevant experience of advising internal and external customers on contractual and/or intellectual property matters and ability to demonstrate professional knowledge within this specialist discipline.
  4.  Evidenced ability to draft and negotiate multi-party legal agreements.
  5. Proven capability of using initiative and managing own workload.
  6. Excellent organisational, written communication and interpersonal skills and ability to meet deadlines
  7. Ability to communicate effectively and professionally (in person and in writing) detailed and complex information to a wide range of people including academic staff and other research professionals.
  8. Evidence of ability to explore customers’ needs and to respond appropriately to ensure a quality service is delivered.
  9. Evidence of ability to solve expansive problems using initiative and creativity and to identify and propose practical and appropriate solutions.
  10. Demonstrate evidence of continuous professional development and self-directed learning and to show the ability to translate theoretical knowledge into day to day working practice, alongside a commitment to developing an understanding and knowledge in areas affecting DIA activities (including intellectual property, data protection, State Aid).

Desirable Criteria

  1. An understanding of the principles of intellectual property law in relation to computer software and/or commercial contracts experience.
  2. Experience of working in a higher education environment or commercial research environment.
  3. An understanding of a university research environment.
  4. An understanding of data protection and GDPR law and compliance
  5. Fluency in Welsh, written and oral

Additional Information

This post is to undertake specific tasks relating to the implementation and delivery of the Data Innovation Accelerator (DIA) project, ERDF Operation (Case ID 81436), which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the Welsh Government.

The terms and conditions of ERDF support for DIA will require that some of your work-related personal data, such as salary information, may be made available to the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO), or third parties acting on WEFO's behalf, for the purpose of audit, verification and project evaluation.

The Data Innovation Accelerator seeks to develop stronger links between Cardiff expertise and wider ‘data science’ activities with industry, business and public sector networks across Wales. It will focus on delivering a step-change in the way data science supports economic outcomes across these sectors.

Specific DIA targets are to translate Cardiff University data science research into tangible benefits for SMEs, through engagement activities and diagnostic ‘data health-checks’, leading to collaborative research and development projects that deliver new products, processes and services into organisations based in Wales. Wider programme indicators will measure increases in private sector turnover, jobs and spin-out creation, patents and private sector investment in research and development. 

The DIA will be a core contributing activity of the ‘Data Innovation Research Institute’ (DIRI), operating under the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering.


Research and Innovation Services

Cardiff is an ambitious and innovative university located in a beautiful and thriving capital city. Our world-leading research was ranked 5th for quality amongst UK universities in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework and we provide an educationally outstanding experience for our 30,000 students. With an annual budget in excess of £500 million and around 6,000 staff, Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of the 24 leading UK research-intensive universities. The University has 25 academic schools grouped into three colleges: Biomedical & Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering and Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.

The University’s ambition is to rank consistently among the top 100 universities in the world. Cardiff is also developing its Innovation System through a focused programme of investment in people and infrastructure.  Research funding secured from competitive, external sources exceeds £100 million annually and the University aims to grow this further through winning grants from a wide range of national and global sources.

Research and Innovation Services, RIS supports the University’s research community in initiating and delivering research and innovation activities. Led by the Director, Dr David Bembo, RIS provides services via over 90 expert staff organised in five specialist teams: the Research Grants Office; Research Governance & Contracts; Research Development; Commercial Development and Innovation System & Engagement. The Department works closely with academic and professional services staff from all areas of the institution.


Closing date: 
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Originating organisation: