Our vacancies

Application of the 3Rs plays an essential role in achieving scientific excellence. The NC3Rs supports the development and uptake of new research tools and models with reduced reliance on the use of animals and/or improved animal welfare. Our activities are divided between our role as a 3Rs research funder and programmes led by our own team of scientists. Additional teams work across the office to support our scientific programmes.

We are currently recruiting for the following role at the NC3Rs.

Head of Academic Engagement and Partnerships

Grade: Band 2
Location: London
Salary: £52,877 - £65,348 (plus London allowances)
Contract type: Permanent, full-time

Purpose of the role

The Head of Academic Engagement and Partnerships is responsible for overseeing progress against the NC3Rs’ mission through our interactions and relationships with academic partners. 

As an organisation we work to stimulate and encourage the development and adoption of 3Rs techniques and methods, in addition to providing resources and training opportunities to support the application of the 3Rs. This role is responsible for developing and implementing an engagement strategy for advancing the NC3Rs mission within academic research organisations. Key to the role is an ability to understand the stakeholder groups with whom we partner and to work successfully with them to support and further the 3Rs, with our Regional Programme Managers playing a central role in this.

Main duties


Leading the strategy development and operational oversight of NC3Rs engagement activities with academic research organisations:

  • Working closely with the Chief Executive and the Director of Policy and Outreach to design and implement an innovative, balanced and diverse programme to deliver the strategy that takes into consideration the Centre’s overall priorities as well as the capacity of our teams to deliver, our audiences to listen and the external environment.

Ensuring that the Centre’s tools and resources have the maximum impact within academic research organisations will be an essential element to the strategy and will involve:

  • Strategic oversight of the suite of resources and tools that the NC3Rs provides to key groups and communities within the academic research environment.
  • Collaborating with teams across the NC3Rs to develop new resources and ensuring available resources stay up-to-date and relevant to their target audiences, including evolving and maintaining our 3Rs Self-Assessment Tools.

Relationship building

  • Building on existing relationships and establishing new ones within academic research institutions that lead to meaningful advances in the application of the 3Rs.
  • Considering and utilising different routes and modes of communication for engaging with key stakeholders (i.e. researchers at all career stages, technicians, support staff and AWERB members) including through establishing new initiatives with key external partners such as learned societies.
  • Representing the NC3Rs in a variety of collaborations and networks.

Evaluation and monitoring

  • Devising and implementing effective systems for evaluation and review of the success of the engagement strategy against agreed Key Performance Indicators. Monitoring progress against objectives, evaluating our activities and identifying where adjustments need to be made, and ensuring risks are identified and managed appropriately.
  • Managing the programme budget (including travel and events).

Line management and team development

  • Overseeing and inspiring the work of a team of Regional Programme Managers; setting clear objectives in line with our organisational priorities and providing regular guidance, feedback and oversight.
  • Enabling these individuals to develop professionally and personally in their role and contribute fully to the organisation.
  • Contributing to other activities where appropriate.

Person specification

Education and

  • PhD in the biological sciences or other discipline relevant to the work of the NC3Rs

Previous work



  • Substantial post-doctoral experience or experience at management level within a research organisation is desirable
  • Developing strategies for delivering major objectives in a multi-stakeholder environment
  • Negotiating solutions in conflicting and politically sensitive environments
  • Ability to inspire, manage and lead a team
  • Proven experience of representing an organisation at a senior level and influencing favourable outcomes
  • Experience of relationship building and managing high performing partnership

Knowledge and

  • Familiar with UK medical or biological research in Universities
  • Ability to engage in scientific issues with credibility at all levels
  • Ability to manage and develop highly qualified professionals; ability to empower others to take responsibility for delivery of organisational objectives
  • Ability to think and plan strategically, relating long-range goals to short-term action
  • Strong organisational planning skills
  • Ability to handle, analyse and present complex information (scientific, financial, policy, ethical)
  • Ability to work under pressure and deliver targets to tight deadlines
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; ability to tailor style to a range of scientific, executive and lay audiences
  • Persuasive and credible in winning support for a programme of work
  • Ability to identify opportunities and areas for improvement

Personal skills,
behaviours and qualities

  • A solid understanding of the use of animals in research and a commitment to the 3Rs
  • Comfortable and confident in working in a changing environment
  • Strategic and pragmatic thinker
  • A strong leader who empowers others
  • Influential, excellent negotiator

How to apply

The closing date for applications is Thursday 9 December.

Please visit the MRC vacancy portal for further information, including how to apply.

Please ensure you include a copy of your CV and a covering letter. Your cover letter should outline and explain how you meet the criteria listed in the person specification for this position. 

Interviews are due to take place in January 2022.