Head of Research & Knowledge Exchange Contracts Team

We are seeking a self-motivated and qualified individual with a strong background in research contract drafting and commercial negotiation to lead the Research & Knowledge Exchange Contracts Team within the Research & Enterprise Directorate. The team manages risk for the University, across all of its externally-funded research and knowledge exchange activities and across all academic departments and disciplines. The Team’s main activities are drafting, negotiating and reviewing all contracts with research funders, companies and other partners.  It also works closely with other teams and directorates to provide expert legal and compliance advice specific to research and knowledge exchange activities.  The ideal candidate will have relevant experience at managerial level, and the capacity to develop the team and the individuals within it.

The Head of Research & Knowledge Exchange (R&KE) Contracts is responsible for managing contract risk on behalf of the University and ensures that its diverse portfolio of externally-funded research and KE projects are covered by appropriate contracts and agreements with funders, that optimise the University’s benefits and minimise its risks. The postholder also plays an important role in ensuring overall compliance with legal and statutory requirements that are specific to Research and KE.  The post holder will lead the R&KE Contracts Team, providing a contract review and negotiation service to the research and knowledge exchange portfolio across all academic departments and disciplines.   The R&KE Contracts team also works closely with the Research Grants Operations Team, the Commercialisation Team, the Research Strategy and Policy Office and the University’s Head of Legal Services.

The successful applicant will possess excellent management skills in terms of people, processes and systems, plus a firm understanding of the UK research funding environment. They will have an excellent technical understanding of contract drafting and negotiation and will be motivated by the need to provide a high-quality service that achieves appropriate contractual terms which meet the needs of all parties.  The postholder will approach contracting in a risk-sensitive way and be able to develop processes which enable the Team to respond to University needs in an agile manner.  It is essential that the post holder has recent experience of managing and developing teams.  A practical appreciation of intellectual property law and change management experience are desirable requirements of the post.

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • At least a Bachelor Degree, or equivalent professional experience
  • A thorough working knowledge of research and knowledge exchange contracts with an appreciation of issues relating to intellectual property, publication, indemnity and liability
  • Experience of negotiating a variety of research and research-related agreements with a wide range of research sponsors both in the UK and overseas, including Industry, charities, and governments
  • Recent experience of managing, motivating and developing a team, including change management
  • Demonstrable leadership skills to deliver a customer-focused service and work towards continuous improvement
  • Ability and confidence to influence senior management and excellent negotiating skills

Interview date:  Friday 19th March 2021

For informal enquiries: please contact Jennifer Gilmartin, Acting Director, Research & Enterprise via email:  jennifer.gilmartin@york.ac.uk

Closing date: 
Friday, March 19, 2021
Originating organisation: