Knowledge Exchange Manager: University of Derby

Here at the University of Derby we have committed to nurture and encourage research excellence across all our disciplines and career stages, recognising the strong link between excellent research and an excellent student experience. Our research makes a difference by making an impact on our students, industry (locally, regionally and internationally), policy makers, our international research partners and the wider community.

This is an exciting opportunity to join the University Research and Knowledge Exchange office (URKEO) to strengthen and grow Knowledge Exchange (KE) activity across the University. The successful candidate will enable and support academics to develop collaborative partnerships with relevant non-academic partners. Identifying income generation opportunities which may include consultancy, contract research, collaborative research and development, private/public sector tender opportunities to maximise our impact for local and national partners.

You will have experience of collaborative partnership development within Higher Education. Knowledge of UK Research and Innovation, alongside other funding stream to support knowledge exchange and their impact both regionally and nationally is expected.

Principal accountabilities

  1. Working to deliver key strategies and initiatives pursuant to the role. For example, the Innovation and Research Strategy (2020-2026).
  2. Understand the opportunities and sectors aligned to the University of Derby’s Academic Themes, converting into clear plans for engagement and growth of new opportunities.
  3. Increase the number of collaborative Research and Development grants being delivered by the University of Derby in partnership with industry. With a particular focus on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) your role will be to promote suitable funding options to the business community and work closely with the University's research and innovation structures to deliver growth.
  4. Support colleagues in Colleges to identify and liaise with potential clients across the public, private and third sector. Taking a multidisciplinary approach to engage Institutes and Centres to achieve an increase in the level of the University's knowledge exchange activities.
  5. Deputise for the Head of Research and Innovation Services as required.
  6. Work dynamically within collaborative teams to lead/support the preparation of grant applications relating to collaborative research and innovation activities.
  7. Support the development of contractual agreements for the successful management of approved projects.
  8. Be responsible for the overall management, monitoring, evaluating and closure of a project portfolio.
  9. Support the creation of new revenue streams through identification of commercial opportunities, including liaison with the Intellectual Property and Commercialisation Manager to ensure the best protection and exploitation of intellectual property.
  10. Promote the University's activities in support of income generation, academic enterprise, innovation and applied research when working internally and externally
  11. Maintain close links with strategic business groups such as sector-based alliances.
  12. Co-ordinate the University's engagement and participation in regional and national award schemes that will raise the profile of the University both within the Higher Education sector and to industry.
  13. Work with colleagues in marketing and press to develop materials suitable for internal and external promotion of the achievement and activities of the University in relation to knowledge exchange and innovation.
  14. Promote knowledge exchange and appropriate funding schemes to work with industry and their benefits to relevant academic and support staff across the University by participating in appropriate activities.
  15. Play an active role in staff development to support capacity building in the area of knowledge exchange.
  16. Take a pro-active role in the development, preparation and submission of bids, grant applications and competitive tenders across a range of income generating activities. With an entrepreneurial mind set seeking out new opportunities for the university,
  17. Provide a holistic approach to collaboration and partnership management, assessing needs and opportunities and creating propositions, which integrate solutions across the full business engagement portfolio including student engagement, apprenticeships, research, innovation, knowledge exchange and continuous education.
  18. Attendance at meetings and document writing as appropriate to drive delivery of plans and income targets.


Person specification

Essential Criteria


  • Relevant first degree (or equivalent qualification) or comparable knowledge gained through professional experience


  • Proven experience within the collaborative R&D funding landscape, including the role of organisations such as the UKRI and Innovate UK, and schemes such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)
  • Proven experience of working with a range of private and public sector employers
  • Experience of writing successful funding proposals, for example public sector funding, commercial proposals, tenders and research bids
  • Experience of working in the Higher Education sector
  • Experience of creating and sustaining new revenue streams, such as consultancy and commercial use of specialist higher education equipment and facilities
  • Experience of costing/pricing commercial projects

Skills, knowledge & abilities

  • Ability to make an inspirational and innovative contribution to the Knowledge Exchange agenda at University of Derby
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a cross University team and with a variety of internal and external stakeholders
  • Excellent communication skills including writing reports, making presentations and negotiating with customers
  • Highly organised, excellent time management and organisational skills, attention to detail
  • Well-developed ICT skills particularly MS Office applications
  • Excellent relationship builder
  • Ability to engage and influence at all levels of an organisation
  • Appreciation of the Intellectual property ownership and rights
  • Commercial awareness and ability to develop proposals based upon the ability to evaluate and communicate a range of benefits to the institution and the client

Business requirements

  • Willingness to work flexibly and be responsive to business needs and customer expectations (i.e. working some evenings and weekends, as required, with prior notice)
  • Willingness to be available to travel between University sites and across the UK in a cost effective and time efficient manner


As well as competitive pay scales, we offer generous holiday entitlement. We also offer opportunities for further salary progression based on performance, and the opportunity to join a contributory pension scheme.

Closing date: 
Sunday, February 6, 2022
Originating organisation: