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 roles at the NC3Rs:

Head of Research Funding

Grade: Band 2
Location: London
Salary: £52,877 - £65,348 (plus London allowances)
Contract type: Fixed-term maternity cover (12 months); Full or Part-time options

Purpose of the role

The Head of Research Funding is responsible for overseeing progress against the Centre’s mission to replace, refine and reduce the use of animals in research through response mode funding schemes. Building strong relationships both internally and externally is an integral part of this role. The postholder will work collaboratively with the Head of Innovation to maximise both programmes’ strategies and outputs to best deliver the NC3Rs mission. The role also involves developing collaborative relationships with other funders (e.g. to seek co-funding opportunities), overseeing grant holder interactions and relationship building, and ensuring the outputs of response mode funding are proficiently captured, analysed and reported.

Main duties

  • Leading the delivery of the response mode funding schemes and their evolution as part of the Centre’s strategy.
  • Advising the Chief Executive and the Board on key issues to inform corporate decision-making and organisational direction to ensure the research funded by the NC3Rs has maximum impact.
  • Managing the schemes’ peer review process – ensuring that decision making is fair, defensible and properly documented and that conflicts of interest are avoided, in addition to overseeing the evolution of applicant guidance and workshops, and the provision of feedback to applicants. 
  • Ensuring Panel membership includes appropriate expertise via the annual Panel member recruitment exercise.
  • Overseeing the Centre’s research portfolio including grant outputs and outcomes. Leading the compilation of evaluation reports, case studies and scheme reviews to monitor scheme performance and identify major trends and opportunities. 
  • Leading Grant holder interactions related to the NC3Rs Gateway in collaboration with the Experimental Design Team. 
  • Working with the NC3Rs Communications team and the NC3Rs Regional and Funding Programme Managers to ensure response mode schemes and their outputs are effectively promoted.
  • Developing and maintaining good relationships with funding partners and identifying and maximising opportunities to work on areas of mutual strategic importance to build capacity in the 3Rs.
  • Representing the NC3Rs in a variety of collaborations and networks.
  • Contributing to other activities where appropriate. 

Person specification

Education and

  • PhD (relevant to the work of the NC3Rs)

Previous work



  • Significant experience working in research management
  • Substantial post-doctoral experience is desirable
  • Developing strategies for delivering major objectives in a multi-stakeholder environment
  • Negotiating solutions in conflicting and politically sensitive environments
  • Ability to manage and lead a team
  • Experience of running high quality peer review
  • Proven experience of representing an organisation at a senior level and influencing favourable outcomes
  • Experience of managing high performing partnerships

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 business objectives
  • Ability to think and plan strategically in research, relating long-range goals to short-term action
  • Strong organisational planning skills
  • The ability to handle, analyse and present complex information (scientific, financial, policy, ethical)
  • The ability to work under pressure and deliver targets to tight deadlines
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, able to tailor style to a range of scientific, executive and lay audiences. Persuasive and credible in winning support for NC3Rs’ agenda.

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

How to apply

The closing date for applications is Friday 5 November.

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 in November 2021.

Science Manager – Innovation

Grade: Band 4
Location: London
Salary: £32,005 - £35,143 (plus London allowances)
Contract type: Fixed-term (12 months)

Purpose of the role

The Science Manager will primarily support the CRACK IT, the NC3Rs' open innovation funding competition for collaborative R&D. The competition is designed to solve 3Rs-focused Challenges identified with Sponsors (typically from the industrial sector) and drive commercial benefits from 3Rs technologies by enabling and funding collaborations between big business, academia and the SME sector. Please see the NC3Rs Innovation Platform for more information.

Main duties

  • Helping collate and analyse metrics on impacts arising from CRACK IT awards and working with our communications team to effectively disseminate this information to both scientific and lay audiences.
  • Developing content for and maintaining the NC3Rs Innovation Platform website, which showcases the projects funded through the CRACK IT programme and their outputs, including the products and services developed.
  • Working with completed CRACK IT award holders to disseminate products and outputs, maximising the outputs of the scheme.
  • Working with the Innovation Programme Manager in project monitoring of on-going Challenges.
  • Preparing promotional materials and communication’s packages for Challenges and events.
  • Working with the business team to deliver operational aspects of the CRACK IT programme.
  • Providing advice and guidance to potential applicants on eligibility and the application process. 
  • Application processing including eligibility checks, identifying experts for Review and Challenge Panel membership and the allocation of applications to designated Panel members. 
  • Compiling feedback to successful and unsuccessful applicants following Panel meetings.
  • Providing ad-hoc support to other NC3Rs programmes where appropriate. 

Person specification



training and

work experience 

PhD in a biological science. 


Experience of writing a variety of content for scientific audiences is desirable but not essential.



Knowledge and



Ability to identify, analyse and propose solutions to varied problems.


The ability to handle, analyse and present complex information.


Excellent organisational skills and ability to manage a varied workload.


Ability to plan and deliver multiple projects, often with conflicting deadlines.


Experience of using Microsoft Office, particularly Word, Excel and Outlook.


Experience of using design software, website content management systems is desirable.


Personal skills,

behaviours and


An understanding of the issues around the use of animals in research.


Demonstrable commitment to the 3Rs.


Excellent communicator both orally and in writing.


Excellent inter-personal skills and ability to work well as part of a team.


Ability to adapt to new systems and processes and modify procedures in response to changing work needs.


Excellent attention to detail and accuracy.


The ability to work as part of a dynamic team is essential.

How to apply

The closing date for applications is Wednesday 27 October.

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 in November 2021.