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Head of Grant Programmes
Rocket Science

Job Description

Rocket Science is an independent research, consultancy and grants management organisation, focusing on work for the public and third sectors, but with some private sector clients.  Rocket Science was established in 2001, and we now have 18 staff working across our three offices in London, Edinburgh and NE England

We have a particular commitment to helping disadvantaged individuals, families and communities enhance the quality of their lives, working as independent advisers, researchers, fund managers, evaluators, facilitators, trainers and mediators.  We specialise in the fields of employability, education and skills, poverty, disadvantage and welfare, health, social care and wellbeing, charities and civil society. Our services go beyond consultancy to include organisational and partnership development, as well as acting as evaluation partners and managing agents. We have been developing our Grant Management services for several years and now manage six funds with a combined fund value of c£15m. 

In 2017/19 we had a turnover just under £1m and are looking to grow our business further.

To support this growth, we are looking for a Head of Grant Programmes to lead our Grant Management (GM) services. This role is suitable for someone with extensive experience in grant making, programme management, and leading and developing a team.

Our Grant Management service manages programmes on behalf of a number of clients including the Greater London Authority, L&Q Foundation, and DWP’s Work and Health Unit.  

We offer clients an end-to-end Grant Management service, supplying services in accordance with the government’s Grant Standards, meeting performance targets in addition to administering the funding.  To provide this role we use a cloud-based Grants Management Service (GMS) Flexi-Grant®.

Our service includes

  • developing guidance and documentation for each fund,
  • coordination of the application process, including assessing applications and providing advice to our clients’ decision-making panels
  • managing the ongoing monitoring and reporting between funded projects and our clients.

We also provide value-adding consultancy to support the Grant Management service which can include providing evaluation and learning support, implementation and other advice and help to support the successful delivery of funded projects.  Our focus is now on aligning this service more coherently to our specialist knowledge and consultancy offer: Employment, Education and Skills, Poverty and Welfare (including Homelessness), Health and Social Care and Civil Society/Inclusion.  This role will work closely with our market leads to identify and bid for opportunities in these and related markets.

Grant Management is central to our business development strategy and the Head of Grant Programmes, as a member of the Management Team, will contribute to the development and refinement of company strategy in the light of market conditions and trends.

Most importantly this role will be critical in ensuring that the team is delivering a high quality, effective and efficient service, providing assurance to clients and the Management Team that we are meeting expected performance and quality standards.

We are a company that supports and encourages ambition, self-starters and those who are wanting to make a difference to the place that they work,

Key areas of responsibility

To lead the delivery of programmes in grant management including:

  • Designing of Grant Management programmes and programme plans with support from the Grants Team, including scoping client needs, shaping grants and creating implementation plans
  • Leading the implementation of, and enabling others to implement, project plans, monitor risks, and report internally and externally on progress
  • The quality assurance of work, systems and processes produced by you, others in the grants team and relevant subcontractors and ensuring client satisfaction
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with key suppliers eg Fluent Technology our GM software supplier
  • Act as, and support others in the Grants Team to act as, lead contact for current clients
  • Supporting the Grant Teams to respond to contacts and requests from clients and applicants, including dealing with escalated issues
  • Lead in the continuous improvement of the grants programme offer
  • Support and supervision of members of the Grants Team at Rocket Science including Senior Grant and Programme Officer(s), Grants Officer(s) and Project Coordinator(s). This includes the management of the ongoing professional development of the team.
  • Coordination of Rocket Science staff and relevant sub-contractors to ensure delivery of grants programmes
  • Management of own workload and the workload of others to ensure the high-quality and timely contribution to programmes’ delivery.

To engage with current and potential clients and be an active member of relevant groups and networks, maintain close touch with emerging trends and issues in grant management, and lead our marketing activities around GM with support from other senior staff:

  • Demonstrating grant management and other relevant knowledge externally with clients and prospective clients in a range of forums to build Rocket Science relationships and client base
  • Leading on and managing others to undertake promotional activity of Rocket Science and funded projects – for example using social media.

Winning work

  • Working with market leads to identify and pursue leads and potential opportunities
  • Maintaining and developing Rocket Science’s presence on relevant approved supplier/procurement frameworks
  • Supporting proposals and other pitching activities for Grants Programme and related work.

Company management and strategy

  • Contributing to the weekly Management Team discussions and bringing relevant issues to its attention
  • Contributing to other Rocket Science company management functions as appropriate
  • Drawing on market insights and best practice in grant making and programme management to advise on the positioning of our offer and how we can maximise the synergy between our Grant Management and consultancy work.

Essential skills and experience

  • Experience in grant programme management and grant making
  • Demonstrable ability to engage and build relationships with a variety of internal and external stakeholders
  • Demonstrable programme management experience and expertise, including of multiple projects
  • Demonstrable staff and team management experience and expertise
  • Demonstrable experience and success in winning work
  • Experience working with the public or third/community sectors – or in a position in the private sector that had direct engagement with public or third/community sector organisations
  • Ability to work independently and initiate, plan and prioritise workloads and meet tight deadlines, including across several projects at once
  • Highly proficient in the use of the suite of MS Office tools to support and enhance your role
  • A quick learner of new systems and willingness to learn to use our cloud-based Grants Management System to manage and administer our grant programmes
  • An interest in Rocket Science’s specialisms and areas of work

The way we work

Our values guide the way we work and the way we develop as a company. Rocket Scientists should demonstrate their commitment to these and behave in ways that are consistent with them. We aim to deliver excellent services by:

  • Being accessible and responsive to our clients’ needs
  • Making a difference
  • Finding creative and practical solutions
  • Learning and sharing
  • Working with clients rather than for clients
  • Investing in our people
  • Enjoying what we do.

How to apply

Please email your applications for this role by 15th May. 

Interviews will take place on the 28th May in London

Please include the following information in your application:

  • A cover letter outlining how you meet the job criteria
  • A copy of your current CV (including your full contact details)
  • The names and contact details of two referees, including, if applicable, your most recent employer. Please note that referees will not be approached without your prior permission only following a successful application and interview
  • Where you found out about this vacancy

Rocket Science operates an equal opportunities policy and will appoint solely on the basis of the applicant’s ability to do the job in question. We do not discriminate with reference to age, gender, sexual orientation, race, colour, religion, marital status or disability, nor will such factors play any part in decisions on appointment or selection

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.