Head of Human Resources

Medical Research Council
Full Time
Posted 25 days ago
Job description

The Head of Human Resources is responsible for leading, developing and delivering the HR service for the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences. The post holder is also responsible for liaising with the University HR and Faculty of Medicine management team on behalf of the Institute of Clinical Sciences, providing solutions to complex people issues in support of the LMS and ICS mission, ensuring compliance with MRC and University policies and good practice.

The post holder supports the Director and Head of Operations, providing vision, development and operation of the HR service for the Institute.

The post-holder has high visibility and a prominent leadership role within the LMS and the University department and must demonstrate sound judgement in providing the crucial support which both entities require. He/she will exert a high level of influence, visibility, direction and confidence when dealing with senior management both internally and externally.

Main duties & Key responsibilities:

  • Leading, developing and delivering the HR service for the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences and Institute for Clinical Sciences, Imperial College, liaising with the University HR team. Evaluating and employing the HR team’s performance for continuous improvement in overall effectiveness including development of HR team members.

  • Ensuring effective HR policies and practices are followed.

  • Considering and deciding what action, if any, should be taken arising out of HR audits, including liaising with auditors ensuring compliance.

  • Providing solutions to complex people issues in support of the LMS’s mission, ensuring compliance with MRC and University policies and good practice. Provision of insightful information and analysis, and risk management advice. Ensuring that communication is structured to ensure understanding and, where necessary, influencing the decisions made as a result of the information given.

  • Advising managers, including the Director, on employment issues including recruitment, performance management and contractual issues for MRC and Imperial College employees. This may involve obtaining advice from MRC Corporate HR, Imperial College HR and consultation with UKBA and employment law solicitors.

  • Development and coaching of LMS/ICS group leaders, including monitoring of performance, and academic promotion.

  • Overall responsibility for the training and development strategy for the Institute.

  • Responsible for salary forecasting for the Institute, working closely with the Head of Operations and Head of Finance.

  • Building, maintaining and leveraging internal and external relationships and partnerships across the MRC, College and NHS, and within external scientific organisations nationally and internationally.

  • Lead negotiations with external stakeholders such as the University and the NHS Trust on HR matters as required eg benchmarking, influencing their approach and securing agreement.

  • HR project work for the institute, for example the LMS/ICS Athena Swan application and action plan, delivering new areas of the Director’s scientific strategy eg Chain Florey schemes, Academic Foundation Year 2 doctors. This includes bidding for funding and negotiation with decision-makers in Imperial College, Imperial College NHS Trust and Health Education England to achieve the desired outcomes.

  • With the Head of Operations and Director of Post-graduate Studies, writing the Research Training, Career Development and Capacity Building section of the LMS QQR Institute Report.

  • Taking a leading representative role for the LMS to MRC Head Office, other MRC establishments, University and other bodies with whom the Institute interacts.
Person Specification

Education / qualifications / training required:


  • Postgraduate level HR or Management qualification (CIPD, Diploma)
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.


  • Fellow of the CIPD or MBA

Previous work experience required:


  • Significant relevant experience of leadership roles and managing budgets, teams and services.
  • Significant experience of developing HR strategy


  • Experience of leading organisational change projects
  • Experience of working in a research Laboratory environment
  • Understanding of clinical training schemes and clinical academic contracts
  • Experience of working in a University

Knowledge and experience


  • Sound knowledge of corporate policy, HR practices and procedures ideally in the public and charitable sector
  • Expert knowledge of employment case law
  • Experience of being lead decision maker in a multifunctional research organisation
  • Proven track record of building effective working relationships at all levels within the organisation and with external stakeholders including UKSBS, Imperial College


  • Project management facilitation and coordination skills to provide deliverables to tight time-frames

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:


  • Demonstrated ability to lead, motivate and manage services and staff
  • Proven ability to listen, understand business needs and provide solutions in a proactive and principled manner
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills, elicit confidence and able to command respect as a trusted advisor to senior management within the LMS, Imperial College and in discussions with MRC Head Office.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as part of a team and to lead a team/projects as required to achieve outcomes for the LMS
  • Flexible and adaptable approach, capable of planning, prioritising and delivering on a multitude of tasks in a fast paced environment
  • Refined influencing skills with the ability to make and communicate sound HR recommendations
  • Appreciative of the culture of the LMS and the MRC

Further Information

Please upload your CV, names and contacts of two references along with a covering letter stating why you are applying for this role (providing evidence against the requirements of the job and your motivation).

  • higher salary will be available for candidates with significant relevant experience in both essential and desirable criteria

The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.

Choosing to come to work at the MRC (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the MRC and UKRI on your CV in the future.

Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As "Disability Confident" employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check. The role holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role. UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.

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