Main purpose of position
The Research Grants Manager works closely with Children with Cancer UK’s Trustees to co-ordinate both the Research grants and the Welfare grants. This includes the delivery of calls for Research grant applications according to the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) standards, coordinating the administration of the grant portfolio and leading the ongoing review and refresh of the Charity’s Research Strategy. The post holder will also regularly work across teams, providing Marketing and Communications and Fundraising with scientific expertise and content, and work with external partners and groups, including co-funders, the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI), the AMRC and others.
The post holder is responsible for ongoing grant administration and portfolio management for the Research and Welfare Programmes. This includes delivering the launch of Research grant calls and coordinating the peer review process. To ensure strict independence of individual grant awards as per the AMRC Principles of Peer Review, the Charity’s Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) reviews all scientific funding applications, along with external written expert peer reviewers. This ensures that the Charity supports only the highest quality research that hold the greatest potential to impact patients. Applications for Welfare grants, by contrast, are submitted on an ad-hoc basis and reviewed by the Board of Trustees. The Research Grants Manager coordinates this process alongside the Research grant calls.
Once grants are awarded, the post-holder will monitor the outcomes and impact of the charity’s investments by reviewing narrative progress reports and Researchfish submissions. They will work closely with other teams within the charity to communicate the Research and Welfare programmes and showcase the charity’s investments to our staff and supporters.
This position is an opportunity to make an impact on how childhood, teenage and young adult cancer research is funded both nationally and internationally. The post holder with lead upon the ongoing review and refresh of the Charity’s Research Strategy. With this is mind, the post holder will need to be a self-starter and identify and act upon areas for improvement to practice and governance within the Charity. They will also be the lead scientific contact, representing the charity and building collaborative relationships and our reputation with partners, clinicians and research and policy organisations, including co-funders and the AMRC, NCRI, Children and Young People with Cancer Coalition, One Cancer Voice, etc.
The post-holder will be responsible for line managing the Research Grants and Trusts Officer, providing them with support and identifying areas and opportunities for them to expand and develop their experience and skillset.
Children with Cancer UK is the leading national children's charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer.
Our mission is to improve survival rates across all types of childhood cancer and support children and their families to live better with and after treatment.
Around 4,500 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK. Our aims are to determine the causes, find cures and provide care for children with cancer. Our small team is united by a common goal – to save and improve young lives.
Since 1988, our research funding has helped to drive up childhood cancer survival rates have improved from 67.3% in 1990 to a predicted 85.5% in 2018*.
We fund research
We fund research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancers. We have accelerated breakthroughs to improve childhood cancer survival rates and find more effective treatments with fewer toxic side effects. Since 1988, Children with Cancer UK has raised over £250 million to support research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancers.
We support families
We help families deal with the burden of a cancer diagnosis by working with other organisation’s to fund free accommodation close to hospitals and financial grant programmes to support families during their cancer journey. We also organise special days out, giving families a welcome respite from hospitals and treatment.
We raise awareness
We bring childhood cancer to the forefront by sharing children and their families’ experiences in the hope this will reduce delays in diagnosis, raise awareness of life-limiting side effects of current treatments and encourage greater funding of childhood cancer research.
*Office for National Statistics (ONS) Childhood cancer survival in England: children diagnosed from 1990 to 2014 and followed up to 2015 and Cancer survival in England: adult, stage at diagnosis and childhood – patients followed up to 2018. Survival rates are based on five-year survival.
The charity has a number of strategic objectives that are overlayed by a culture to have ambition, provide quality and protect our reputation in everything we do.
The themes of excellence behind the charities vision that the post holder must embody in all their work are;
- We will aim to be the biggest not-for-profit annual financial contributor to research into cancer in children and young people in the UK
- We will maintain a place in the top 100 UK charities, based on fundraising activity
- We will continue to support respite homes and associated financial support for children and families affected by childhood cancer
- We will fund high quality research aimed at developing treatments which are not only more effective but less debilitating and disruptive to young lives
- We will contribute to peer reviewed research into the discovery and reduction of causes of cancer, including directly supporting the work of the International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC, part of WHO)
- We will provide capital funding to encourage the development of centers of excellence in childhood cancer research
- We will raise public awareness about our activities and the results of relevant research
- We will seek to influence the development of policy to promote the best interests of children with or at risk of cancer
- We will continue to be a highly engaged and effective organisation that recognises and rewards the right behaviours, innovation and outcomes for the organisation and for those we help.
- Manage the portfolio of the charity’s active Research and Welfare grants. Monitor grant progress against agreed milestones, plus outcomes and impact by reviewing narrative progress reports and Researchfish submissions. Ensure timely reporting and build strong working relationships with the award holders.
- Work closely with the Trustees and SAP Chair to deliver Research funding calls to AMRC standards, including having the scope clearly defined and approved by the Board of Trustees, assembling documentation, co-ordination of timelines, triage and the peer review process, contracting, etc.
- Co-ordinate the Trustee assessment and approval of applications for Welfare Grants.
- Monitor expenditure on awarded grants against planned budgets and ensure projects adhere to the charity’s financial policies. Process invoices for awarded projects, supported by the Research Grants and Trusts Officer.
- Capture and monitor the outputs, outcomes and impact arising from the portfolio of Research and Welfare grants. Liaise with the Marketing and Communications team regarding any potential case studies and press releases to demonstrate impact from the charity’s investment.
- Lead the review and refresh of the Charity’s Research Strategy.
- Meticulous record keeping, including drafting operational guidelines and standard operating procedures. Support the continual use and development of the processes, systems and software used to manage our grant activities.
- Work closely with other directorates so they can better understand and use our research within their activities.
- Providing Marketing and Communications and Fundraising with scientific expertise, information and content for public-facing information and external campaigns.
- Attend & support the delivery of scientific meetings.
- Manage and grow the Charity’s relationships with partners, including Research grant co-funders, and identify new opportunities for collaboration.
- Act as lead contact for the charity with external organisation’s, such as AMRC, NCRI, Children and Young People with Cancer Coalition, One Cancer Voice, etc.
- Respond to research enquiries from funded researchers, applicants, and members of the public.
- Line managing the Research Grants and Trusts Officer, providing support and identifying areas and opportunities for development expand her skillset and experience.
Skills & Abilities
- Project management skills
- Ability to work with a large number of stakeholders, possibly with conflicting needs
- Able to effectively and appropriately communicate complex research messages to staff, researchers and members of the public
- Ability to understand and communicate research and scientific concepts clearly
- Able to manage complex workload and to plan ahead effectively
- Confidence in establishing standards for best practice in research management and review
- Excellent planning and organisational skills, able to prioritise and manage multiple tasks, working to challenging targets and deadlines
- Proficient in Microsoft packages including word, excel and databases
- Excellent communications skills with the ability to write clearly and concisely
- Ability to communicate with credibility and authority to high-value donors, to explain key research projects and the impact of the funded research
Qualifications, training and education
- Educated to degree level in a bio-medical (or related) science subject and able to understand a broad range of complex scientific information presented in funding applications, research papers and in conversations with researchers
- Knowledgeable about about financial budgets and contract management issues.
- Proficient in using Grant Management Systems (e.g. Flexi-Grant)
- Proven experience of research grant administration and grant management. Experience of managing research budgets
- Experience of working with senior external stakeholders
- Experience of preparing complex reports and papers
- Experience of grants or contract management at a senior level.
- Proactively identifies potential issues before they arise and help devise solutions
- Experience of overseeing a complex programme of work whilst maintaining links with other relevant internal and external teams.
- Ideally to be familiar with the national cancer research landscape
- Knowledgeable about research policies and procedures, such as: confidentiality & data handling/protection (GDPR), the attribution of clinical research costs (AcoRD), research involving the use of humans/animals, identification & protection of intellectual property etc.
- A self-starter who is able to work independently and use their judgement to make day to day decisions without referral
- Well organised with a systematic approach
- Able to work collaboratively as part of a team and contribute to a positive working environment and culture
This job description outlines the current main responsibilities of the post. However the duties of the post may change and develop over time and this job description may, therefore be amended in consultation with the post holder.
At Children with Cancer UK we value diversity, and we are committed to creating an inclusive culture where everyone is able to be themselves and to reach their full potential. The statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities and skills required for this position.
Please attach your CV along with your Cover Letter to be considered for this position