Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC247304
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £58208 - £64675
Date Posted 30 October 2018
Grade RC-G
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 02 December 2018
Interview Date 17 December 2018

Brief Description

Salary: £58,208 to £64,675 (depending on skills and experience)
Grade: RC-G
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 2nd December 2018
Interview Date: 17th December 2018

RAL Space carries out a range of world-class space research and technology development. We work alongside the UK Space Agency who co-ordinate UK civil space activities. We have around 275 staff (260 FTE) supporting the programmes of STFC and other Research Councils and also delivering over 100 projects for agencies, industry and other commercial customers. In the next two years we will be completing and bringing into operation the National Satellite Test Facility which is designed to underpin the UK Space Industries growth and the development of the Harwell Space Cluster.

Our programme is complex, and we operate programmes for Natural Environment Research Council (NCAS and NCEO), UK Space Agency, European Space Agency and undertake work on research grants and commercial contracts. Many of our projects are large with complicated contractual, resourcing and financial arrangements requiring very careful management. The Head of RAL Space Operations will assist the RAL Space Director in leading our world-leading research and technology development projects, providing governance for Project Managers, customers and internal support activities such as Finance, Procurement and Legal and Commercial. You should have a strong understanding of all aspects of Project Management and will also have good planning and organisational skills.

With the expansion and increased space activities in the UK and the consequent growth of the STFC RAL Space programme, as well as the added work arising from delivering the National Satellite Test Facility, there is a critical need for a senior manager with the bandwidth to focus on maintaining and improving the daily operation of RAL Space.

The Head of RAL Space Operations will be responsible for day to day delivery of the RAL Space programme supporting the Director and Division Heads, including responsibility for the financial management of RAL Space. You will have a proven track record in the operational management of a complex technical and scientific programme. You will be committed to and focussed on keeping RAL Space at the cutting edge of space institutions and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the department. You will be expected to have experience of financial control and project management within a large organisation as well as extensive people management experience.

List of Duties/Work Programme/Responsibilities

Responsible for:

  • management of daily operations of the RAL Space programme
  • management of the RAL Space estate
  • management of the RAL Space budget. In year budget control within the agreed budget. Long term resource and capital planning
  • management of RAL Space staffing levels within the agreed staffing plan
  • functional oversight of RAL Space projects (operational and financial) with the help and support of the Head of Assurance and Business Operations
  • reporting as required on areas of responsibility
  • contribution to corporate activities in relevant areas – operations, finance, corporate services, HR
  • represent RAL Space in relevant areas in a national and international context and in participating in the development of the Harwell Space Cluster.

Contacts and Communication

This post will report to the RAL Space Director. You will be expected to work closely with other team members as well as with other departments within RAL Space.

Personal Skills and Attributes

  • leadership, decision making, communication, planning, judgement, diplomacy, persuasion, enthusiasm, initiative, ability to present information in a concise way (presentations and board papers), numeracy
  • stakeholder management
  • people management
  • financial management
  • project management
  • interactions with Senior STFC and UKRI Management
  • interactions with external people and organisations, both within the UK and internationally.

Any other Relevant Information

You must:

  • be capable of obtaining security clearance
  • be willing to undertake occasional UK and overseas travel.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Shortlisting and Interview Criteria



  • Bsc Hons in relevant science or engineering subject.


  • Doctorate in science or engineering.

Knowledge and Experience


  • extensive experience of working in a management role in the space domain, with additional experience at a senior level
  • proven experience of leading technical teams within the space domain or a complex science facility with a track record of improving delivery
  • extensive experience in managing people and resources
  • experience in the financial management of major programmes/facilities
  • practical experience in maintaining high standards of health and safety, both in culture and activity
  • track record in working in space or other complex programmes and delivering results to tight schedules.


  • significant experience of working in a senior management role in the space domain
  • international profile in the space domain in management and service delivery.

Personal Skills and Qualities


  • leadership, decision making, communication, planning, judgement, diplomacy, persuasion, enthusiasm, initiative, ability to present information in a concise way (presentations and board papers), numeracy and solutions focused
  • skilled at:
    • Operations Management
    • People Management
    • Financial Management
    • Project Management
  • ability to:
    • influence at a corporate level
    • participate in STFC management and leadership
    • facilitate interactions with external people and organisations, both within the UK and internationally.

Special Requirements

  • committed, dedicated and responsible
  • must be able to obtain security clearance
  • willingness to travel.

In addition to the competitive salary, an excellent index linked pension scheme and generous leave allowance are offered. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive background and pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process.

Online applications only, please submit a covering letter and CV, ensuring that the IRC247304 reference is included in the file name description of each document uploaded. No Agencies.

The closing date for applications is the 2nd December 2018. The interview/assessment date for this vacancy is the 17th December 2018 and will be held at STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

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