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View Vacancy -- MGU 709 - Finance Manager

Open Date
10/11/2017 12:00
Close Date
31/12/2017 23:55
MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit
We are based at the MRC Harwell Institute, a major international research institute at the forefront of studies in mouse genetics and functional genomics ( The institute investigates a wide variety of mouse models in order to enhance our understanding of the molecular and genetic basis of physiology and disease. 
From April 2018, MRC will be part of UK Research and Innovation. UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England. The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation organisation in the world. From 1 April 2018 your employer will be UK Research and Innovation. More information can be found online
MRC - 3
Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire
Band 3 range: £37,769 to £51,023 (Salaries towards the top of this range would be based on a significant amount of experience).
Administration & Management
Full Time

Unit name: MRC Harwell Institute

Division/Section: Finance

Job title Finance Manager

Salary range: Competitive 

Band (Grade): 3

Contract type (e.g. Open/Fixed term): Open ended

Hours (e.g. full or part time): Full Time

Overall purpose:

This is a broad hands-on role formulating and producing strategic financial plans, improving and developing reporting approaches and systems to support decision-making.  You will provide high level expert financial advice and guidance within the Institute, and will establish yourself as a key business partner with MRC Corporate Finance and other parts of Head Office.

MRC Harwell Institute is made up of several business units: Mammalian Genetics Unit, Mary Lyon Centre, and Centre for Macaques.  The role will also support the Research Complex at Harwell, a separate unit outside the Institute.

Close working with varying stakeholders will be essential, so the ability to connect with people and build lasting relationships is paramount.

Main duties & Key responsibilities:

To develop and implement a vision for the financial management of the Institute. This will involve leading, developing, managing and motivating staff members across a range of activities including expenditure, income, procurement, grants and invoices.

To effectively communicate the vision and strategy for finance to senior management and to all levels of the Institute and MRC, persuading key decision-makers to adopt the strategy.

To lead the Institute budget setting, financial planning and forecasting to enable informed decision-making through:

  • The provision of insightful information, analysis and risk management advice.
  • The preparation and analysis of monthly expenditure, budgets and financial forecasts over future years.
  • The ability to drive changes in the finance system and processes to ensure the Management Information meets stakeholder needs in a timely manner.

To lead, produce and present timely Management Information. This will include close liaison with the budget holders and information providers, preparing reports and providing supplementary analysis for any arising key issues.

To help evaluate the overall effective and efficient use of funding received, identifying and developing approaches for optimising value for money.

To ensure key stakeholder requirements are included and communicated. This will involve developing and maintaining strong and open relationships internally and externally.

To play a leading role in MRC-wide development and implementation of new corporate financial systems or upgrades.  You may be required to act as project management lead in key areas.

To contribute, push forward and lead ideas to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the department and the way in which the Institute operates.

To lead negotiations with external stakeholders such as landlords on financial matters as required e.g. shared costs, service and facility costs, income and expenditure, influencing their approach and securing agreement.

To play a leading representative role for the Harwell Institute, MRC Head Office, other MRC establishments, and other bodies with whom the Institute interacts.

Working relationships:

You will:

  • Report to the Institute Chief Operating Officer
  • Liaise with the Unit Directors and Heads of Departments as required.
  • Line-manage the Finance Team of three staff
  • Liaise with MRC Head Office’s Finance Director and colleagues.
  • Have working relationships at multiple levels and across many different professional disciplines (e.g. HR, IT, Research Contracts)

Equality & Diversity

The MRC values the diverse skills and experience of its employees and is committed to achieving equality of treatment for all.  Our objectives are that all individuals shall have equal opportunities for employment and advancement on the basis of their skills, aptitudes and abilities.  The MRC is committed to the engagement and retention of the best possible talent and to creating an environment that encourages excellence in scientific research through good equalities and diversity leadership and management. 

Corporate/Local responsibilities & requirements

The job holder must at all times carry out their responsibilities with due regard to the MRC’s:

  • Code of Conduct
  • Equality and Diversity policy
  • Health and Safety policy
  • Data Protection and Security policy

The above lists are not exhaustive and the job holder is required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be requested within the scope of the post.  All employees are required to act professionally, co-operatively and flexibly in line with the requirements of the post and the MRC. 


Education / qualifications / training required:


  • Be fully qualified with relevant finance qualifications (ACCA, CIMA or equivalent).


  • Degree in finance or related field.

Previous work experience required:


  • Significant relevant experience of leadership roles and managing teams and services.
  • Significant experience of developing new ideas for financial planning.
  • Demonstrated experience in contract reviewing.


  • Experience of leading organisational change projects.
  • Experience of working in a research Laboratory environment.

Knowledge and experience:


  • Sound knowledge of corporate policy, accounting practices and procedures ideally in the public and charitable sector.
  • Experience of several financial systems.
  • Excellent IT skills with the ability to develop models to meet business needs, and ability to interrogate data and write reports and presentations for senior management.


  • Understands tax law and related risks related to research operations.
  • Project management facilitation and coordination skills to provide deliverables to tight time frames with various information providers.

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 Institute and in discussions with MRC Head Office.
  • A strong and pro-active communicator able to liaise with both finance and non-finance senior managers and budget holders.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as part of a team and to lead a team/projects as required to achieve outcomes for the Institute.
  • Flexible and adaptable approach, capable of planning, prioritising and delivering on a multitude of tasks in a fast-paced environment.
  • Refined analytical skills with the ability to make and communicate recommendations rather than simply provide reports.
  • Appreciative of the culture of the Institute and the MRC.


From April 2018, MRC will be part of UK Research and Innovation. UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England. The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation organisation in the world. From 1 April 2018, your employer will be UK Research and Innovation. More information can be found online

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 (as part of UKRI from 1st April 2018) 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.

Final appointments will be subject to pre-employment screening.

This opportunity is closed to applications.