Head of Research & Knowledge Exchange Contracts: University of York

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 (KE) activities, and across all academic departments and disciplines. The Team’s main activities are (i) drafting, negotiating and/or reviewing all contracts with research funders, companies and other partners and (ii) providing expert legal and compliance advice specific to research and knowledge exchange activities – examples include Clinical Trials Sponsorship (including support for the relevant University Committee), compliance with the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources, assistance with State Aid issues, etc.  The ideal candidate will be have relevant experience at managerial level, and the capacity to develop her/his team and the individuals within it.


The Research and Enterprise Directorate is the professional services Directorate responsible for the central management of the University’s activities and strategy in research and knowledge exchange, and provides comprehensive support to academic departments in their research and impact activities. Its primary purpose is to mobilise the University’s research and knowledge base in pursuit of excellence and financial sustainability, and to ensure that its research skills, knowledge and know-how benefit external users.


The Head of Research & Knowledge Exchange (R&KE) Contracts Team ensures that all the University’s 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 post holder also plays an important role in ensuring overall compliance with legal and statutory requirements that are specific to Research and/or 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 will also provide a seamless research contract support service in conjunction with the Research Grants Operations Team.  They will also work closely with the Commercialisation Team, the University’s Head of Legal Services and the Directorate’s Research Strategy and Policy Office.

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • At least a Bachelor Degree, or equivalent professional experience
  • A thorough working knowledge of research and knowledge exchange contracts with appreciation of issues relating to intellectual property, publication, indemnity and liability
  • Ability to influence senior management and excellent negotiating skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • 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, and of achieving the best possible contractual terms
  • Experience of managing and motivating a team.
Closing date: 
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Originating organisation: