Purpose of the post

The postholder will be responsible for direction and management of a diverse portfolio of activities, initially focussing on HDR UK’s newly established brain health and neurodegeneration programmes and partnerships.  This role will provide programmatic support, tactical delivery, strategic oversight and stakeholder management for advanced data infrastructure and research activities.  They will be responsible for ensuring that the Institute’s activities in brain health meets the wider objectives of HDR UK through demonstration of the trustworthy use of large-scale data and innovative analytical methods.

We are looking for an established Programme Director who is well connected and highly respected across the health data clinical and research communities in the UK and internationally. They will have an excellent track record in managing a research portfolio, experience of working strategically with partners and a strong commitment to developing linked health data-enabled approaches to enhance understanding of the causes and progression of brain health and neurodegenerative diseases to improve strategies for diagnosis and treatment.

The role will work in close partnership with the HDR UK Research Director, Brain Health and colleagues across the Institute, together with a range of delivery partners, including the UK Dementia Research Institute, Dementia Platform UK and the Alzheimer’s Disease Data InitiativeThe successful candidate will also draw support from the HDR UK Senior Leadership Team and the senior leadership teams at our partner organisations.

This is a unique and exciting opportunity to work with key partners both externally and internally to manage projects and partnerships that improve access to health data for research and innovation that has the potential to transform lives.

Main responsibilities

  • Guide the programme direction, project management and delivery of brain health and neurodegeneration projects.
  • Provide a single co-ordination point for brain health and neurodegeneration portfolio driving synergy across projects and across HDR UK, Dementias Platforms UK, Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative and UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) and the broader landscape.
  • Lead stakeholder relationships, within and beyond HDR UK; working directly with funders and senior management to communicate progress and devise solutions to roadblocks and issues as they arise.
  • Coordinate and deliver timely progress, outputs and impact reports to funders and wider stakeholders.
  • Working with internal and external partners to coordinate cross-programme activities, identifying and tracking interdependencies.
  • Identify and progress partnerships with industry, in collaboration with our public advisors, to deliver trustworthy commercial partnerships.
  • Facilitating project management and implementation meetings, ensuring relevant stakeholder contributions and feedback are incorporated.
  • Tracking and maintaining key deliverables throughout the projects.
  • Proactively managing programme and project risks.
  • Work with partner communications and engagement teams and commission suppliers to develop and implement high-quality channels and content for communication and collaboration.
  • Work with senior leaders across partner organisations to support further funding applications, bringing the ability to evaluate progress, complexities and resource requirements.
  • Support financial and contractual commitments, liaising with the HDR UK Finance and Contracts teams.
  • Coordinate key stakeholders’ involvement at appropriate stages throughout the programmes of work, noting the broader context of the UK Government Dementia Mission.

Other Responsibilities

  • Use of appropriate team communications and project management tools.
  • Support development of reference communication materials such as standard presentation and comms decks.
  • Be prepared and able to work flexibly to support colleagues as needed, adapting to a rapidly evolving environment and emerging priorities.

Knowledge, skills and experience


  • Demonstrable success in delivering complex programmes with multiple components and many collaborating organisations in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong programme and project management experience in an agile delivery setting.
  • At least five years working in the biomedical / health research sector leading programme and project delivery at a senior level.
  • Experience of managing risk, financial and contractual controls to deliver high-impact outputs within tight time-frames.
  • Organising and managing collaborative workshops and delivering presentations to secure buy-in and achieve a common focus.
  • Communicating effectively with range of stakeholders, including written communications (e.g. news stories, case studies).
  • Collaborating across teams and/or organisations to help create and deliver shared goals, with particular awareness of enabling delivery via distributed team working.
  • Awareness of health data research landscape, the needs of research data users and data custodians and appreciation of public sensitivities of using sensitive data for research.
  • Networking, negotiating, and influencing stakeholders and teams.
  • Experience of working directly with senior leaders, working effectively with humility and confidence.


  • Experience of multidisciplinary team working.
  • Awareness of health data research landscape, the needs of research data users and data custodians and appreciation of public sensitivities of using sensitive data for research.


  • Excellent planning, organisation and time-management and project management skills with a proven track record of delivering multiple challenging projects on different deadlines.
  • Ability to build and maintain momentum across project teams of multi-skilled professionals.
  • Excellent stakeholder engagement / account management including ability to network, negotiate and influence effectively with range of stakeholders.
  • Excellent communication skills, written and verbal, including the ability to explain concepts without technical jargon and communicate confidently with people at all levels.
  • Ability to build relationships, negotiate and influence effectively.
  • Organisational skills, with the ability to manage competing priorities in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to work accurately with attention to detail.
  • Ability to work as part of a team.
  • Ability to work autonomously and make decisions without supervision.

We reserve the right to close this vacancy early if we receive sufficient applications for the role. Therefore, if you are interested, please submit your application as early as possible.

We politely request no contact from recruitment agencies or media sales. We do not accept speculative CVs from recruitment agencies nor accept the fees associated with them.

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