Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
graduate job
Expires25 days

Chief Operating Officer

Job description

We have an outstanding opportunity for an exceptional Chief Operating Officer to play a lead role in strengthening our leadership capability and organisational efficiency. You will lead across the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) & UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) International with an approximate split of an 80% time commitment to AHRC, and 20% to UKRI International.

The Chief Operating Officer will report to the AHRC Executive Chair and have responsibility for the corporate management, organisational change and staffing strategy of the research council as well as UKRI International. In AHRC, working alongside the Director of Research, Strategy and Innovation and Director of Partnerships and Engagement, it is anticipated you will represent AHRC and the Executive Chair at a senior level to a wide range of communities and stakeholders in the academic community, public and private sectors. In UKRI International, you will work alongside the UKRI International Director to provide operational oversight and assurance to the UKRI International Champion.

About the role

As one of three AHRC Directors, a member of the AHRC’s Executive Chair and Directors group and Senior Management Team, as well as a member of AHRC Council, you will share leadership responsibility for c.120 staff and a budget of c.£200m. Additionally, you will also share leadership responsibility for staff and budget at UKRI International.

We are looking for a strong leader with an in-depth knowledge and consistent record of delivering sophisticated strategic change at organisational and system level in the public and / or private sectors. You will have the ability to strategically lead and sponsor major cross cutting projects that have high level of impact and secure return on investment.

You will lead and inspire a diverse set of high-calibre multidisciplinary teams and will work in close partnership with a very wide network of internal and external bodies, including government, charitable sector and key industry partners nationally and internationally, to develop strategic direction and actions that can help improve the organisational efficiency and effectiveness and public standing of the AHRC.


AHRC offers a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, flexible working hours, a workplace nursery, exceptional pension scheme and social and sporting activities and societies.

What we are looking for

  • Evidence of operating in a senior leadership position within an organisation with a similarly focused remit in either the public or private sectors, including staff management
  • Understanding of and appreciation of the contribution of arts and humanities
  • Strong project leadership expertise with experience of providing effective delivery within strong governance and assurance protocols
  • Demonstrable understanding of finance and budgetary responsibilities at a senior level
  • Strong communication skills with the ability to establish credibility internally and externally in a complex environment with stakeholders at all levels of seniority
  • Ability to lead and direct resource through change and to support the development of robust plans to deliver immediate priorities and strengthen medium and long-term capability
  • Dedication to upholding and promoting equality and diversity policies from workforce planning to strategy development.

Accepted degree subjects


Additional job details

Hybrid, or partially remote
£83,000 - £95,000

Contract, dates and working times


How to apply

Applicants must include a CV and cover letter outlining their suitability for this role. Please also state where you saw this role advertised.

First stage interviews taking place week commencing 26th September 2022 and second stage on week commencing 3 October 2022 in person in Swindon, Wiltshire.

Dates are subject to change.

Please contact for a full copy of the candidate pack which includes the full responsibilities and requirements of the role.

Diversity statement

UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us. You can find out more about our commitment to diversity here.

Click Apply to start your application now. This job will be available on Prospects until 11 September 2022

Don't forget to mention Prospects to employers when you contact them.

Closing date:  11 September 2022

Expires25 days

To stay safe in your job search we recommend that you visit SAFERjobs, a non-profit, joint industry and law enforcement organisation working to combat job scams. Visit the SAFERjobs website for information on common scams and to get free, expert advice for a safer job search.