Secretariat Manager Sponsorship Available

April 5, 2024
£34.9 - £34.9 / year

Job Description


Job Overview:

UKRI’s major leadership structures are the UKRI Board and the Executive Committee. Sir Andrew Mackenzie chairs the Board, which includes a wide spectrum of leading specialists and executives. It serves as UKRI’s primary governing body, overseeing and directing the organization’s activities, including its research and innovation agenda. The Executive Committee advises the Board on strategy and coordinates UKRI executive action at the highest level.

The UKRI Secretariat Team handles the secretariat duties for the Board, Executive Committee, and their respective subcommittees. The team is crucial to the successful operation of the leadership bodies as well as the organization’s development, management, and decision-making processes.

We are searching for a motivated Secretariat Manager to ensure the smooth operation of the Board and ExCo Secretariat sub-team. This is a diverse and complex role that demands the ability to establish trusting relationships with senior stakeholders and colleagues, deliver quickly, communicate and cooperate effectively, and pay close attention to detail.

The secretarial Manager is in charge of providing secretarial and administrative support to top executives and officials, as well as liaising with stakeholders within UKRI and throughout the government. You must be able to respond rapidly and independently to pan-UKRI secretariat requests, efficiently manage inboxes and diaries while addressing competing priorities, and perform appropriate administrative activities expected of a demanding Secretariat position.

The immediate team is situated in Swindon. There will be the need to work and support meetings in both Swindon and London. Travel and short-term absences are to be expected for the occasional meeting.


Key responsibilities:

Provide secretarial support to the UKRI board, executive committee, and high-level assurance and decision-making bodies of UKRI.

Coordinate the successful management of committee Forward Schedules and Action Logs to ensure committees have a strategic and forward-looking linked schedule of work.

Lead management of meeting arrangements, securing meeting dates and venues, and liaising with senior leadership team members in private offices.

Lead management of committee papers, including creating agendas, commissioning papers, coordinating with paper authors, delivering chair’s briefs, and drafting meeting minutes.

Attend planning and agenda meetings with members of the UKRI’s senior leadership team and other key stakeholders.

Plan and coordinate an annual schedule of UKRI board outreach visits, away days, and focus sessions.

Build and maintain trusting and mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders, both inside UKRI and outside.

Lead and deliver logistical and practical arrangements for UKRI board and committee meetings, and collaborate with external venues to ensure the committees’ requirements are satisfied.

Manage designated Secretariat inboxes, reply swiftly to inquiries, and serve as the primary point of contact for committee members and stakeholders.

Work within UKRI to promote planning conversations and manage information flow between the UKRI board, executive team members, and other high-level governance committees.

Contribute to the annual cycle of committee effectiveness evaluations, terms of reference reviews, Annual Report and Accounts submissions, and annual reporting to the Board and Executive Committee.

Implement good governance across the operation of the Board and committees, including handling declarations of interest, gifts, and hospitality processes.

Ensure that records and documents are made, communicated, and preserved in accordance with UKRI’s regulatory requirements, which include but are not limited to:

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Data Protection Act (DPA

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA

Environmental Information Regulations.

Government Classification Scheme

Management of information assets

Assist the wider team in achieving UKRI’s strategic objectives.


Person Specifications:

We invite applications from both experienced governance and secretariat professionals and ICSA/CGI qualified persons.



Knowledge of the fundamental practical information required to deliver a good governance and secretarial role, as well as the abilities to apply it.

Understanding the legal, regulatory, and policy requirements that underpin the governance and secretariat functions

The skills and expertise that governance and secretariat professionals use in their professions.

Ability to act with honesty, independence, and open-mindedness in supporting senior leadership and carrying out the team’s tasks



Experience working in a secretariat team and line management.

Experience dealing with an organization’s top leadership and workers at all levels.

Understanding of UKRI’s objective, organisation, strategy, and leadership

Understanding of the research and innovation sector and UKRI’s external stakeholders

Demonstrable experience in planning, coordinating, and recording events, including minute taking.

Proven anticipatory, problem-solving, and organisational skills

Proven ability to balance and manage many, shifting priorities.

Capability to advise and influence senior leadership, and to facilitate discussion and solutions

Good communication, judgement, and interpersonal skills are required to develop connections and operate effectively with varied stakeholders.

Ability to deliver excellent standards of written and spoken English

Experience dealing with and safeguarding sensitive information

The ability to adapt to a complicated, diverse, changing, and demanding workload

Comfortable with organisational change.


Application guidance

Applicants should submit a two-page CV and a cover letter by the deadline. Applications received after that period will not be considered.

The cover letter should be no longer than two sides of A4 (minimum font size 11). Please use the STAR approach (Situation, Task, Action, Result) in your cover letter to demonstrate the criteria outlined in the job description’s ‘person specification’.

For examples of the STAR approach, please see The STAR method | National Careers Service.

Sponsorship is only available for this post if the candidate fits the New Entrant criteria ( or presently possesses a Skilled Worker visa granted before April 4, 2024.


About UK Research and Innovation (UKRI

UKRI, founded in April 2018, is a non-departmental public agency sponsored by the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT).

Our organisation brings together the seven discipline research councils, Research England, which is in charge of promoting research and knowledge sharing in England’s higher education institutions, and Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. Together, we will create an autonomous body with a strong voice and vision to guarantee that the UK continues its global leadership in research and innovation. More information can be obtained on

If you choose to work at UKRI, you will have access to a variety of benefits, including a defined benefit pension scheme, outstanding holiday entitlement, staff shopping/travel discounts, and a salary sacrifice bike to work scheme. For additional information, see Benefits of Working for UKRI.

The role holder will be required to undergo the necessary level of security screening/vetting. UKRI maintains the right to conduct or re-run security clearance as necessary during the course of employment.


How We Support EDI in the Workforce

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has the right to be treated with decency and respect, as well as to have equal opportunity to flourish and succeed in an atmosphere conducive to doing so. We also value diversity of ideas and experience among inclusive groups, organisations, and the larger community. For more details, see ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’.

Disability Confident Employer

As participants in the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who match the basic requirements for the vacancy(ies). We shall make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities to participate in the job application or interview process, perform essential work responsibilities, and receive other employment benefits and privileges. Please contact us if you need accommodations.

How to apply?

Online applications are only accepted for this position. Please submit a CV and accompanying letter that clearly describes how you meet the given criteria, as well as your motivation for UKRI and the post. Ensure that the work reference number appears in the filename description of each document uploaded. Please keep in mind that if you do not address the above criteria or submit your application without a covering letter, your application may be rejected. Assessment will be based solely on the content of your submitted covering letter and CV, not the ‘experience’ component of the application.

UKRI strives to create and maintain a system of transparency, justice, and inclusiveness – a collaborative, trusting environment that is appealing to and accessible to everyone interested in advancing their career with us.