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Strategic Project Manager

Requisition ID:  8781

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Open Ended
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  03-Jun-2021


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: £41,526.00 - £44,045.00 

Closing Date: 24 June 2021


The Role


The Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE) is seeking an exceptional leader to undertake the role of Strategic Project Manager. The role provides a rare opportunity to be part of the Faculty’s senior leadership team. Reporting to the Head of Infrastructure & Strategic Projects you will work in partnership with senior leaders within the Faculty on the development, management and delivery of Strategic projects and lead a team of Research Project Managers based within SAgE.

As a member of the Faculty Professional Services Team, you will be responsible for creating a collaborative environment, fostering a culture of trust and mutual respect and championing the University’s values and guiding principles. You will be a visible role model, demonstrating the highest standards of leadership and behaviour and contributing strategically to the development of an outstanding professional service.


You will be an experienced manager with a record of accomplishment in leading and delivering a range of projects within a Higher Education environment or similar complex organisation. You will have knowledge of project management tools and techniques but formal project management qualifications are not essential.


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and covering letter only. In your covering letter, you should evidence how you meet or exceed the essential and desirable requirements for the role. Please note, any other ‘Additional Document’ you upload may not be received by the reviewing panel.


We are committed to building and maintaining a fair and inclusive working environment. This

position is available immediately and is offered on a full-time basis and we would be happy to

discuss arrangements for flexible and/or blended working. We appoint on merit and particularly welcome applications from groups that are currently underrepresented in administrative Professional Services such as LGBTQ+, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) colleagues and individuals who legally identify as male.


For an informal conversation, please contact Pam Moderate (Head of Infrastructure & Strategic Projects) via email: pam.moderate@ncl.ac.uk.


For more information about the SAgE Faculty, please click here


Key Accountabilities


• To develop, lead, manage, implement and deliver a range of projects working across a wide variety of teams to ensure the project delivers the desired outcomes in line with Faculty strategy.

• This will include project governance, including meeting and reporting structures. These projects will be wide ranging from infrastructure and estates to education or research.

• To contribute to the development of the academic vision for the Faculty, making a significant contribution to the formation of the Faculty strategy including planning of the development of short, medium and long term strategic plans to realise the Faculty vision.

• To support the Faculty Dean of Strategic Projects and Senior Management team within the Faculty by undertaking external benchmarking exercises and making recommendations to relevant committees

• To prepare project specific Business cases as appropriate for submission to Faculty Executive Board, University Budget Scrutiny Group and Executive Board as appropriate. This includes drafting and costing the plan and identifying the main risks and mitigations for those risks.

• To lead the development of specific project plans. To plan and schedule timelines in consultation with all stakeholders and where necessary to broker solutions to keep the project to time and cost. 

• To monitor and report on project specific progress including performance against budget to the appropriate project meetings. Prepare papers and reports for the Faculty Executive Board and implement and manage agreed changes and interventions to achieve project outputs.

• To establish a risk management framework and develop strategies to manage specific projects.

• To provide high quality support for the Faculty Dean of Strategic Projects and wider project team in support of the Faculty strategy. To support and coordinate specific project meetings, project budget and follow up action; ensuring necessary communication with the Faculty and University occurs as required.

• To play a lead role in ensuring an effective change and communications strategy for projects, including communicating and consulting with key stakeholders, providing regular news updates and the development of a blog or similar use of social media.

• For infrastructure and estates based projects, to project manage the transition to new facilities.  This will include development of a plan to include decant, temporary relocation, plans for installations of facilities and providing evidence (costs, timescales) in informed negotiations with Estates Support Service (ESS) and Heads of Academic Units.

• Provide management and leadership to the Research Project Managers based within the Faculty including recruitment, induction and training and development. Provide advice to academic and research colleagues in respect of project management support required for externally funded research projects.

• Working within the University matrix structure, coordinating input from colleagues in different departments being versatile in contribution to project progress.

The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

• Knowledge and understanding of the Higher Education sector including education policies and processes;
• Has the ability to see the “big picture”, to think strategically and to manage complex problems and issues;
• Excellent communication skills with the ability to tailor communication style to the audience;
• Critical thinking and active problem solving skills;
• Excellent planning and organising;
• Must have excellent influencing skills to facilitate changes in behaviour and direction at both a strategic and operational level;
• Has proven ability in using initiative to think strategically and contribute to policy debates;
• A positive “gets things done approach” with the ability to be decisive and take action when required;
• Has experience of working collaboratively in a matrix organisation at a senior level;
• Proven substantial experience of managing complex projects across a large matrix organisation;
• Has proven experience in strategic planning and change management;
• Proven experience in risk management;
• Experience of leading a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion.


• Knowledge of project management techniques and tools.

Attributes and Behaviour
• Is inspirational and provides clear direction, particularly in times of uncertainty;
• High drive and initiative, able to demonstrate professional resilience;
• An articulate, confident and politically adept communicator, ready and able to deal with difficult situations and to challenge where necessary;
• Takes the initiative to develop and implement new ideas and approaches;
• Acts in a collaborative, inclusive, transparent and open manner, acting with integrity and able to build high levels of trust;
• Possesses the personal stature to engage with and earn the respect and good will of peers and more senior colleagues;
• Role model for professionalism and commitment to the University values and stated goals and to exhibit such professionalism both internally and externally.



• Graduate and/ or equivalent experience.


• Management qualification and/ or project management qualification e.g. PRINCE2, APM, PMI.


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff 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.


Requisition ID: 8781