Role profile

Project Officer - Research Strategy and Funding

HRB Grade VI Job Family (consisting of R&I III, Services III and Researcher II grades)

You can download a full job description (PDF) here and at the bottom of this page.

 

Background

The Health Research Board (HRB) is a statutory agency under the aegis of the Department of Health. As the lead agency in Ireland responsible for supporting and funding health research, generating health information and promoting the use of evidence in policy and practice, we are motivated and inspired by our vision – healthy people through excellent research and applied knowledge. Our mission is to improve people’s health and enhance healthcare delivery. An overview of the HRB’s objectives and activities may be found in Research. Evidence. Action. HRB Strategy 2016-2020.

The Research Strategy and Funding (RSF) Directorate is responsible for the HRB’s external funding activities. The Directorate allocates approximately €40 million per annum to projects, fellowships, networks and centres through a process of competition and peer review. It manages, monitors and evaluates an awards portfolio of over 400 awards, with a value in excess of €170 million. Whilst many initiatives are well established, others will be developed over the next four years.

The Directorate is currently organised into two teams.

The Post-Award and Evaluation Team manages, monitors and evaluates all active HRB awards across all scheme types, namely fellowships, projects, programmes, centres, networks and clinical research infrastructures.

The Pre-Award Team develops and manages HRB funding calls, application and assessment process, and negotiation of the budget with successful applicants.  

Key responsibilities of the post of Project Officer (RSF)

The HRB is now seeking to recruit a project officer who will primarily work in the Post Award and Evaluation area. Duties will include (but are not limited to):

Post Award and evaluation
  • Ensuring all grant records are up-to-date including grant records in database/GEMS and are correctly classified;
  • Overseeing all award acceptance documentation and related queries;
  • Managing a system for processing and implementing requests for variations to existing contracts;
  • Working with colleagues in finance-legal to develop template award contracts and to refine the General Terms and Conditions and Special Conditions to accompany all award contracts;
  • Implementing SOPS for award management, compliance and monitoring and coordinate the continuous improvement of same and related forms/documentation;
  • Coordinating all aspects of the monitoring of active research awards in conjunction with Finance-Legal including annual reports, interim reviews and end-of grant reporting, including escalation of issues, as required, to the Executive Team and HRB Board;
  • Preparing summary material for corporate reports/ HRB website in respect of funded awards;
  • Assisting with the design, implementation and closeout of interim and renewal reviews and/or site visits for large-scale and strategically important awards;
  • Assisting with the design, implementation, commissioning and closeout of large-scale field reviews in line with the HRB Evaluation Strategy 2016-2020 and Implement Plan;
  • Developing strategies to continuously improve the quality of management and monitoring, and ensure best-practice in award governance processes and procedures;
  • Working with programme managers to develop integration of ongoing monitoring and evaluation data to assess the outcomes and impacts of HRB funding.

 

Pre-Award activities
  • Agreeing dates, budgets, key actions and deadlines for new initiatives with the programme manager;
  • Updating and finalising call documentation;
  • Generation of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and other text for website and other dissemination media;
  • Interaction with other national and international agencies on joint funding arrangements and new initiatives; 
  • Responding to all queries from applicants and host institutions;
  • Coordinating eligibility checks (both technical and in scope);
  • Taking the lead role in identifying and securing appropriate peer reviewers  (including training and mentoring of external support staff, where appropriate,  and ensuring that the necessary performance is delivered);
  • Coordinating the selection committee members (and Chair) based on understanding of range of applications within a call and match with expert skills;
  • Coordinating the process of shortlisting, where appropriate, in association with PM and committee Chair;
  • Coordinating, attending and recording proceedings of committee meetings;
  • Collating and editing (where required) feedback for applicants;
  • Negotiating and revision of award budget, milestones, deliverables and any other special conditions for inclusion in contracts.

The Project Officers also play a key role in delivering activities such as:

  • grant workshops, launches and events;
  • assist the delivery of the HRB communications strategy by contributing to the website, press releases, publications and other promotional activities.

Project Officers may be asked on occasion to:

  • Gather relevant information from documents or stakeholders;
  • Assist with internal/external consultation process;
  • Write minutes, draft a report and/or recommendations based on various inputs.

 

Essential knowledge and experience

This role profile reflects the grade/responsibilities appropriate to Researcher II in the HRB and maps approximately to a Civil Service role at Administrative Officer level. Competencies incorporated into the role profile reflect the competency framework issued in conjunction with the Civil Service PMDS for 2013 which has been adapted by the HRB.

A Project Officer in the HRB will interact closely with the academic and healthcare research community and should therefore have a strong interest in and understanding of these environments. Research experience is essential but it is important to note that this is an administrative role and not a research role.

Formal requirements include
  • A PhD in a relevant area; or a Master’s degree with at least three year’s appropriate research / professional experience;
  • Knowledge of research management, governance, funding, evaluation and policy issues;
  • High degree of computer literacy, including knowledge and experience of using Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and experience of databases;
  • Knowledge of national health research, and of the Irish academic and health services environment.
The key competencies required for the post include:
  • Excellent planning and organising abilities;
  • Strong attention to detail;
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines;
  • Problem analysis and resolution skills;
  • Excellent communications skills;
  • Ability to network and influence people;
  • A high degree of motivation and professional integrity;
  • An ability to effectively communicate the vision and values of the HRB;
  • Ability to work well in a team and on own initiative.

The complete list of core competencies for this post is in Appendix A.

Reporting relationship

The Project Officer will report to the relevant Programme Manager within the Post-Award and Evaluation Team or designate as appropriate.

Salary scale

Salary Range for Project Officer €46,771 - €57,158 (This is a Permanent post.)

Appointment will be made in accordance with the Department of Health guidelines. New entrants will be appointed at the first point of the scale.

How to apply

Please submit a cover letter and curriculum vitae by email to recruitment@hrb.ie. You must include the name of the post that you are applying for in the email subject line.

Closing date for applications is 12 noon Wednesday 21 August 2019.

NOTE: Interviews for this position are expected to take place on 4 September 2019.

If you require further information, please contact Karen O'Donnell, HR Officer at recruitment@hrb.ie

The Health Research Board is an equal opportunities employer.


Appendix A: Core competencies – Project Officer (RSF)

Leadership Potential
  • Is flexible and willing to adapt, positively contributing to the implementation of change.
  • Contributes to the development of policies in own area and the broader Department/ Organisation.
  • Seeks to understand the implications of taking a particular position on issues and how interdependencies need to be addressed in a logical and consistent way.
  • Maximises the contribution of the team, encouraging ownership, providing support and working effectively with others.
  • Formulates a perspective on issues considered important and actively contributes across a range of settings.
Analysis & Decision Making
  • Is skilled in policy analysis and development, challenging the established wisdom and adopting an open-minded approach.
  • Quickly gets up to speed in a complex situation, rapidly absorbing all relevant information/data (written and oral).
  • Identifies key themes and patterns in and across different sources of information, drawing sound and balanced conclusions.
  • Is resourceful and creative, generating original approaches when solving problems and making decisions.
Delivery of Results
  • Assumes personal responsibility for and delivers on agreed objectives/ goals.
  • Manages and progresses multiple projects and work activities successfully.
  • Accurately estimates time parameters for projects and manages own time efficiently, anticipating obstacles and making contingencies for overcoming these.
  • Maintains a strong focus on meeting the needs of customers at all times.
  • Ensures all outputs are delivered to a high standard and in an efficient manner.
  • Use resources effectively, at all times challenging processes to improve efficiencies.
Interpersonal & Communication Skills
  • Communicates in a fluent, logical, clear and convincing manner verbally and in writing.
  • Is able to listen effectively and develop a two-way dialogue quickly.
  • Maintains a strong focus on meeting the needs of internal and external customers.
  • Effectively influences others to take action.
  • Works to establish mutual understanding to allow for collaborative working.
  • Works effectively with a broad range of stakeholders to achieve objectives.
Drive and Commitment
  • Consistently strives to perform at a high level.
  • Maintains consistent effort under pressure and is resilient to criticism or setbacks at work.
  • Demonstrates high levels of initiative, taking ownership of projects and demonstrating high levels of self-sufficiency.
  • Is personally trustworthy and can be relied upon.
  • Places the citizen at the heart of all process and systems.
  • Upholds the highest standards of honesty, ethics and integrity.
Specialist Knowledge, Expertise and Self Development
  • Clearly understands the role, objectives and targets and how they fit into the work of the unit and Department.
  • Develops the expertise necessary to carry out the role to a high standard and shares this with others.
  • Is proactive in keeping up to date on issues and key developments that may impact on own area, the Department and/ or wider public service.
  • Consistently reviews own performance and sets self-challenging goals and targets.
  • Has significant expertise in his/her field that is recognised and utilised by colleagues.

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