Westminster, London

£35,000 - £40,000


Job Description




The National Institute of Economic Research (NIESR) is Britain’s longest established independent economic and social research institute.  It specialises in high quality academic research, relevant to the economic and social forces affecting people’s lives.  The newly established Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) based at NIESR is looking to recruit a Centre Manager to help run this new research centre.

ESCoE is a research centre funded by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It is funded from January 2017 until March 2022. The Centre will provide ONS with research that addresses the challenges of measuring the modern economy, as recommended by Professor Sir Charles Bean in his recent Independent Review of UK Economic Statistics. Key areas of investigation will include: National Accounts and Beyond GDP, Productivity and the Modern economy, Regional and Labour Market statistics.

The Centre has four main objectives:

  • to deliver research that helps ONS to meet its vision of delivering world-class economic statistics that meet user needs and that allows ONS to exert greater influence over the direction of travel of the international standard-setting agenda;
  • to deliver dissemination mechanisms to bring international expertise to bear on ONS objectives;
  • to develop collaboration between ONS and the research community, offering the capacity for fundamental methodological and conceptual work that will feed into the development and improvement of ONS economic statistics and data processing methodologies;
  • and to provide an environment for the development of a wider research community with skills and research experience in economic statistics, building the next generation of academic experts in this field.

The Centre is led by NIESR and benefits from close collaboration with its partner institutions: King’s College London; Nesta; University of Cambridge; Warwick Business School (University of Warwick); and Strathclyde Business School. Rebecca Riley directs the Centre, working with Sylaja Srinivasan as Operational Co-Director and Professor Richard Smith as Academic Co-Director and supported by the NIESR.

Role and Responsibilities

The role is a key one for the Centre, providing support primarily to the Centre Directors in relation to all the main areas of the Centre's work, specifically the management of multiple projects. You will be responsible for the day-to-day management and administration of the Centre. This will involve providing an administrative service to Centre partners as well as playing a major role in liaising with ONS and other external bodies with which the Centre will work. 

You will be responsible for supporting the Director of the Centre in managing the
budget of approximately £1¼m per annum and in doing so will work closely with the
Centre Directors and other members of the Centre’s Senior Management Team, as well as project leads, and the NIESR finance team. You will also be required to work with NIESR’s Chief Operating Officer, the finance and research personnel of the Centre's partner institutions and other researchers on the management of the sub-contracts.

This form summarises the purpose of the job and lists its key tasks. It is not a definitive list of all the tasks to be undertaken as those can be varied from time to time at the discretion of NIESR, in consultation with the postholder.

Financial and Project Administration

You will support the research, training and consultancy activities of the Centre
through accurate and timely gathering and synthesis of information, and the sharing
of this information with colleagues, management, funders and potential funders as
required. This will include:

  • Ensuring systems are in place for monitoring expenditure through implementation
    and review of budgets and forecasts and spreadsheet templates, in collaboration with NIESR’s finance team.
  • Assisting the Director in the monitoring of the Centre's budget through regular
    review of monthly and quarterly reports as prepared by the NIESR’s finance team, identifying and rectifying any discrepancies, and supporting the Director in the management of any unanticipated variances.
  • Preparing and submitting financial and progress reports to the Centre Senior Management Team and funders through the appropriate processes as required.
  • Monitoring spending on different projects, in collaboration with NIESR’s finance team, and advising and assisting project leaders on project spending in relation to agreed budgets.
  • Ensuring that invoices, fees and monthly timesheets, and expense claims, etc are checked for accuracy and completeness, prior to authorisation through the appropriate channels, and submission to NIESR’s finance team.
  • Communication and negotiating with NIESR staff and external contractors as to the
    submission of acceptable claims.
  • Being familiar with financial regulations, procedures and policies at both NIESR and ONS, and ensuring these are adhered to.
  • Advising the Director and Co-Directors on the contractual conditions regarding the expenditure of the ONS grant, and any requirements or restrictions which may relate to disbursements under different budgetary headings.
  • Liaising with auditors to provide information as required and ensuring correct procedures are established.
  • Administering the submission of new proposals for research and consultancy funding, including:
  1. The preparation of proposals and creation of project budgets.
  2. Familiarising colleagues with the NIESR’s costing policy.
  3. Ensuring that ethical considerations, risk assessments and quality assurance matters are dealt with through the appropriate processes.
  4. Advising academic staff (both internal and external) on bidding strategy and the costings for budgets in proposals, with regard to the criteria of various different funding organisations.
  5. Entering of relevant information on the NIESR’s relevant management information systems.

Communication and External Liaison

  • Liaising with external partners and Centre stakeholders, including officials in ONS, government departments and international agencies at working level.
  • Assisting in the implementation of the Centre’s communications strategy, working closely with NIESR’s Head of Communications.
  • Assisting in the production and dissemination of Centre publications, including research papers, newsletters and briefing reports, in collaboration with the NIESR communications team.
  • Assist in organising Centre conferences and seminars in collaboration with the NIESR’s Events Manager and the communications team.
  • Assist in organising Centre visits from our international networks and secondments between ONS and the Centre in liaison with the appropriate NIESR administrative staff.
  • Maintaining reporting requirements to ONS, including advising the Directors and ONS liaison staff on ways of recording and monitoring outcomes against different performance indicators.

Staffing Support

  • Ensuring appropriate processes are in place and adhered to in relation to
    recruitment and induction for new staff at the Centre. In liaison with the NIESR’s Human Resources manager, you will support staff in the preparation of job descriptions, timing of advertising, shortlisting and interviews, composition of interview panels, and creation of induction schedules, etc.
  • Managing the Centre's accommodation and equipment needs at NIESR in liaison with the appropriate NIESR administrative staff, ensuring that new and existing members of staff, as well as visitors, are catered for.
  • Ensuring staff profiles of research and consultancy activity are maintained, including providing support for colleagues to ensure that relevant material and information for assessment activities is recorded.
  • Collecting and submitting data on centre staff outputs for the ONS and other relevant key performance indicators (KPls).

General Responsibilities

  • Instigating and maintaining accurate and effective administrative systems within
    the Centre, including both paper and computerised filing systems.
  • Servicing committees, including the Centre Senior Management Team and Advisory Boards as required, including drafting agendas, collating and distributing papers, taking minutes and
    ensuring that all follow-up action is undertaken.
  • Undertaking general clerical and other such duties as may reasonably be requested.

The Centre Manager is responsible to the Centre Director for the effective administration and management of the Centre. The Centre Director will set the priorities within which the work is carried out. The postholder will also be part of the NIESR administration team, managed
by the NIESR Chief Operating Officer.

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