London, Greater London
£50,000 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description


Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC’s mission is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The International Rescue Committee UK is part of the IRC global network, which has its headquarters in New York and London. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through 28 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient. The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.


IRC-UK was established in London in 1997 to support the organisation’s global activities and particularly to diversify its donor base and be able to better advocate with European policy-makers on behalf of the people we serve. Since its establishment IRC-UK has grown rapidly and is now acknowledged for its high quality project management, technical expertise in governance and rights and economic recovery, and innovative thinking on early recovery and gender based violence. IRC-UK comprises approximately 120 staff.

The IRC also has offices in Berlin, Bonn, Brussels, Geneva and Stockholm

The Awards Management Unit (AMU)

Established in January 2016, the Awards Management Unit (AMU) is a global unit with the responsibility for identifying, securing, and managing all funding from statutory/government donors. The unit is organized into five pillars: Strategic Partnerships, Programme and Grant Support, Compliance and Policy, Programme Development, and Training.

The AMU is a bridge between donors and the field: providing expert technical advice to the field, while maintaining portfolio-level visibility to ensure consistency and compliance, and manage risk. This unit ensures that donor compliance policies and procedures are implemented consistently, and supports all staff working across the grants management cycle for all restricted funding from global government sources.

The unit operates within a matrix management system across teams in Germany, the US and the UK, driving functional integration between all relevant units and staff, in collaboration with the Senior Vice President AMU, Vice President, AMU, and the Senior Vice President for Europe in relation to overarching issues with European donors.

The Purpose of the Role

As Senior Program Development Advisor you will lead IRC’s new business development efforts by engaging with global, regional, country, and technical staff through the proposal development cycle from opportunity tracking and capture planning to proposal development, and submission.

You will primarily serve as proposal manager, and will also train and mentor staff throughout the department on topics relevant to business development. The ideal candidate will have a successful track record of leading new business efforts in international development with DFID and other multilateral and bilateral donors.


  • Manage the process of development of concept papers, project proposals and responses to key SQ/ITTs. This includes writing and coordinating proposal elements (e.g. past performance, management plan, etc.), ensuring appropriate technical review and quality assurance.
  • Lead proposal development in response to requests for proposals, including those for field based projects and large global opportunities. This will involve management of proposal teams, calendars, and deadlines; strategy development with technical staff; partner identification and negotiations; recruiting; writing and ensuring a strong commercial/budget response for DFID contracts.
  • Lead on advising other IRC departments when required on DFID contract terms and implications for structuring proposal budgets, milestones/PBR, and deliverables.
  • Build the capacity of other IRC staff—including IRC country and regional teams—to identify opportunities and develop strong program designs and proposals.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of DFID and other donor funding priorities, in geographical interests relevant to IRC’s area of work.
  • Provide IRC’s country, regional, and technical teams with guidance on DFID, and other donor policies and prepare standard language for proposals to ensure alignment with donor policies.
  • Contribute to business development systems, tools, and process improvement initiatives.

Person Specification

Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications:

  • Demonstrable experience of successfully working on DFID commercial contracts, writing grants, and/or developing funding proposals for a for-profit and/or non-profit organization.
  • Experience working with UK Government, in particular with DFID.
  • Substantial experience and a successful track record leading large proposal teams on complex subject, multi-year, multi-partner proposals with minimal supervision.
  • Strong understanding of UK donor client requirements and preferred methods of business.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to effectively manage a variety of relationships in a multicultural environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate equally effectively with colleagues in ‘remote’ and diverse teams, including as team leader for proposals.
  • The ability to work productively and accurately while under pressure in a fast-paced, demanding environment.
  • Flexible work attitude: the ability to work in a team environment and independently and ability to meet unexpected demands.
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize effectively.
  • Ability to travel internationally (up to 20% of time).


  • Degree in relevant field, including international relations, political science, public administration, and communications preferred.
  • Experience of working with FCO, EU institutions (EUTF), and other European donors desirable. 

Applications will be reviewed and invited to interview on a rolling basis.

Candidates must have the right to work in the UK.

IRC-UK is committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination for all applicants and employees. IRC-UK seeks to ensure we achieve diversity in our workforce regardless of gender, race, religious belief, nationality, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability. IRC-UK welcomes applications from all candidates, including refugees who have the right to work in the UK.


More about International Rescue Committee UK
International Rescue Committee UK

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Refreshed on: 03 July 2020
Closed date: 31 July 2020
Tags: Business Development