Research and Learning Programme Manager

Institute of Development Studies Capacity building manager
Location Brighton, United Kingdom
Application deadline 10 June 2018
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
Salary GBP35,450 to GBP46,856
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The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is a leading global organisation for research, teaching and communication on international development based in Brighton.

The role

We are seeking to recruit a highly-motivated Research and Learning Programme Manager to join the Knowledge, Impact and Policy team (KIP) at IDS.

The main focus of the role (80%) will be management of the Evidence and Knowledge for Development (K4D) programme, a five year research and organisational learning programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), currently in its second year. The successful candidate will be responsible for the management arrangements for the evolving programme of research, learning and policy engagement work being carried out by an experienced team based at IDS and six partner organisations. This role also currently includes management, development and fundraising for other resource centre projects, including the research helpdesk (20%).

This position is exciting and unusual, providing a bridge between academic expertise and those working in donor agencies and government policy and research departments. This is a large and demanding programme, with nearly 20 research and knowledge staff members sitting across multiple locations, collaborating closely as a team. The post requires strong management skills, including managing donor and consortium relationships, fundraising, supporting the strategic development of the programme and helping to strengthen the impact of the programme. It involves liaison with senior development agency staff so an assertive and diplomatic approach to relationships management is essential along with excellent interpersonal skills.

Key roles and responsibilities

Key responsibilities of the role include the following

Programme Management

  • Provide overall strategic programme management to ensure planning, budgeting, communication and reporting systems and processes are in place and being followed to ensure high-quality delivery within agreed timeframes and budgets.
  • Support programme management, team planning and communications.
  • In consultation with programme colleagues and clients, manage resourcing, coordinating the availability of appropriate staff skills and capacity and allocating work across project teams according to relevance, experience and availability.
  • Oversee the financial management of the programme. Ensure that budgets and forecasts are up to date, that expenditure is managed effectively, and that funders are invoiced accurately and on time, in accordance with financial regulations and organisational procedures.
  • Oversee and support the planning, delivery and quality of programme communications, including the production of knowledge and learning products, web-based resources, social media, blogs, branding, templates and marketing/communication materials.
  • Ensure that effective contractual arrangements are put in place with funders, partners and sub-contractors, and liaise with colleagues to ensure that all IDS’ contractual obligations and due diligence processes are met.
  • Coordinate and ensure the effective regular reporting to programme donors, working collaboratively with colleagues to meet quality and timeframe expectations.
  • Work collaboratively and coordinate with other programme colleagues, project hub support staff and professional research teams to deliver the programmes, including with colleagues working on research, learning, communications, marketing, administration, finance and M&E.
  • Participate in and develop external networks, for example to identify sources of funding, build relationships for current and future activities, and enhance research impact.
  • Act as a key initial point of contact for programme donor and funder enquiries, including helping to manage programme relationships with DFID.
  • Provide strategic direction and support for the development of new funding opportunities related to the Resource Centre support areas, e.g. learning and helpdesk functions.

People Management

  • Matrix manage IDS and consortium team and support staff, setting objectives, managing performance and designing job roles related to programme responsibilities.
  • Work collaboratively with the programme management team to coordinate and deliver programme services and allocate work across the team accordingly.
  • Support research and learning teams at IDS and all partner organisations, to deliver research and learning processes and outputs.
  • Ensure clear guidelines, resources, procedures and IT support for team members to carry out their work.
  • Identify and address training needs and skills gaps as required.
  • Identify preferred technical suppliers and delivery partners and oversee the quality and delivery of consultancy work.
  • Identify and address gaps in programme resourcing, contributing to recruitment and selection as needed.
  • Monitor delivery of work by team and resolve any emerging issues related to workload, quality and content expertise.

K4D programme specific:

  • In consultation with the Programme Director and the management group, contribute to the establishment and maintenance of the overall strategic approach to the management and implementation of the K4D programme.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues on the consortium management team.
  • Coordinate communications across the consortium team to support day to day operations.
  • Organise management, steering group and other meetings in liaison with programme colleagues and donors.
  • Support the Programme Director, Learning Journey Manager(s), Research Uptake Manager and other core staff in K4D to effectively carry out their roles.


  • Promote the work of the Institute both nationally and internationally
  • Carry out other IDS-related tasks as required commensurate with the grade of the post.

Experience and skills

  • Ability to strategically oversee and guide all the necessary management functions of a large and complex and adapting programme
  • Excellent all-round communication skills, including English language verbal, writing and editing skills, and the ability to tailor material for different formats and communicate specialist knowledge in non-technical language.
  • Team management skills including ability to supervise, support, mentor and motivate individual team members, both in IDS and other locations
  • Strong project management skills, including financial management.
  • Well-organised, with the ability to prioritise work in order to meet competing deadlines
  • Developing and managing partnerships with external organisations, subject experts and content providers, ideally having worked to strengthen the capacity of partners.
  • The ability to identify suitable funding sources and experience of raising funds in an international context.
  • Project management, including financial management – delivering projects to time and to budget, preferably gained in the context of large donor-funded programmes
  • People management experience
  • Facilitating and/or participating in networks and communities of practice.


A competitive salary, including cost of living awards and incremental increases on an annual basis as per policy and the option to join our pension scheme.

Please see for more details:

  • interest free travel loans, following successful completion of a probationary period
  • support in attainment of a relevant professional qualification in line with the Professional Development Policy
  • childcare voucher scheme and childcare fund
  • competitive maternity and paternity policies that offer compensation above the statutory minimum
  • 24 days annual leave per year (pro-rata for part-time), plus public holidays and up to 6 non-negotiable closure days
  • enhanced sickness pay entitlements
  • support with relocation costs for staff joining us from outside the EU
  • eligibility to use the University of Sussex gym and sporting facilities at staff rates