Strategic Partnership Manager (12121)

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £42,149 - £44,706, with progression to £50,296 per annum

Closing Date: 17 October 2021

The Role

To support the ongoing development of University partnerships with business, in particular selected existing and potential future strategic partnerships.

You will work with the Head of Partnerships and other senior colleagues in the University to support the development of strategic partnerships and facilitate the broadening of institutional links across a range of activities to support the aims of the University in its key strategic areas of education for life, research for discovery and impact, engagement and place, and global. The role will involve scoping existing activity and identifying potential areas for development that align with the strategic aims of both the University and Partners, managing partnership activity, catalysing new collaborations, and generating, developing and delivering relevant research and market intelligence.

Newcastle University has an exciting opportunity to grow and support research partnerships with businesses and other external organisations in the life sciences, biomedical and clinical fields. You will assist in the development and implementation of strategies designed to increase the number of research collaborations with industry and will be responsible for seeking out and progressing new opportunities.  

As one of the leading biomedical and clinical academic research centres in the UK our track record in turning research discoveries into impact is substantial, supported by our collaborative partnerships, with the likes of AstraZeneca, Siemens, Cancer Research UK and Astex Pharmaceuticals to name but a few. The University hosts the National Innovation Centres for Ageing and Data, NIHR Innovation Observatory and a NIHR Biomedical Research Centre with areas of research excellence encompassing ageing & multiple long-term conditions, cancer, rare disease, biomedical engineering, diagnostics and advanced therapeutics.

Knowledge and experience of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostic, medical devices or medical imaging related sectors will be beneficial.
For informal enquiries please contact Karen Allenby on

Selection should take place week commencing 8 November.

Key Accountabilities

  • Ensure appropriate strategies and supporting systems and arrangements are developed and effected to maintain and strengthen relationships
  • Establish considered and coherent programmes of activity in strategically relevant areas to guide the development of partnerships. This might include the development of MoUs (or equivalents) to underpin partnerships
  • Growth of the University / Partner network (at all levels up to VC and CEO). Develop new and leverage existing internal and external networks as necessary to increase the resilience of partnerships including creating a pipeline of engagement and business development opportunities
  • Ensure there is up-to-date information to support strategic engagement and support Steering Groups.  Continuously stay abreast of the University’s portfolio of activities, mapping to Partners’ strategic needs, to identify potential opportunities and facilitate appropriate action to explore the same
  • Maintain an ongoing awareness of any reporting requirements and partnership Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of importance to the Partners and internal customers and provide periodic reports to the Partners and Steering Groups as required with updates on the status and progress on key interactions
  • Maintain information and records covering the status of the relationship for periodically reporting to University senior management and bodies as required. This would include maintaining a pipeline of progress on interactions including new and existing relationships and new opportunities in various areas of University activity
  • To act as the University’s first point of contact for advice on any overarching commercial agreements to academics of all levels and business engagement staff across the University
  • To develop and maintain effective relationships with the Partners’ nominated partnership lead and key staff to ensure effective feedback on the overall health of the partnership
  • Establish / develop relationships at the appropriate level with selected companies and organisations as may be beneficial for the interests of the Partnerships
  • To maintain regular liaison with academic staff and Business Development Managers on matters related to existing activities and opportunities for growth
  • Provide a first point of contact for Partner enquiries in new areas of activity or for advice on University activities. Responsibilities may include formulating responses to partner enquiries, arranging and co-ordinating inward and outward visits and engagement events from domestic and overseas partner representatives
  • Develop and maintain knowledge of commercial markets in technology, intellectual property, technology transfer and business-related matters of interest to the University and the Partners
  • Undertake such other duties as are required by the line manager from time to time and, where requested, deputise for other staff

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Experience of working at the interface between businesses and academic institutions
  • Representing organisations in external engagement and experience of negotiations at senior level
  • Ability to engage people in constructive conversation about the key issues facing their organisations whilst respecting customers’ confidentiality
  • Ability to integrate and work closely with a broad range of staff across a diverse portfolio of activities
  • Effective at organising and managing heavy, diverse and complex workload with the ability to work well under pressure
  • Ability to work independently in a complex technical / specialist landscape
  • Project and bid management experience including contract negotiations
  • Knowledge of the portfolio of HE activity related to collaboration across research, innovation and education with an appreciation of knowledge exchange, commercial collaborations, contracts, consultancy, as well as IP management and exploitation (Desirable)
  • Experience of having worked in senior roles in businesses in the private sector (Desirable)
  • Knowledge of the current funding environment relevant to University collaboration with external organisations (Desirable)
  • Resilient, reliable, and ethical team player 

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Flexible approach with the ability to adapt and respond positively to change whilst being open with ideas to actively promote and implement beneficial change
  • Has the ability to see the “big picture”, to think strategically and to manage complex problems and issues
  • Understands and makes sense of complex or conflicting data and different perspectives of stakeholders external and internal to the University (Faculty, Schools, Groups etc,)
  • Works through the implications of situations to identify the most appropriate way forward in order to meet strategic goals
  • Can put forward own view whilst listening and respecting the views of others
  • Encourages and supports free flow of concise and accurate communication using appropriate media and relevant, useful information internally and externally where appropriate
  • Supportive of others through advice and workload sharing
  • Collaborative worker, playing a positive role in teams, establishing and growing relationships internally and externally across organisations and functions where different skills, expertise and opinions are valued
  • Sets own priorities in conjunction with team and area objectives
  • Able to deal with out of the ordinary events or matters which may not sit clearly within existing policy or procedures


  • Degree or equivalent level qualification (in a relevant subject) and/or significant work experience. PhD (desirable).

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all.  You can learn more about what is available here on our Benefits Website page.

Requisition ID:12121

Closing date: 
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Originating organisation: