View Vacancy -- Commercial Procurement Business Partner - Operations Group - Kevin Moreton - LMB 875

Open Date
11/07/2018, 09:45
Close Date
12/08/2018, 23:55
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology and has played an important role in the development of many new techniques, most notably protein crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, DNA sequencing and monoclonal antibodies.  The LMB has a clear goal of understanding biological processes at the molecular level, with the ultimate aim of using this knowledge to tackle specific problems in human health and disease.  We aim to tackle difficult, long-term problems, which often require investment over many years.

There are four scientific Divisions - Structural Studies, Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Cell Biology and Neurobiology.  However, scientific collaboration between the different Divisions is extensive.  Scientists are well supported by excellent scientific facilities and by the LMB Operations Group which maintains the core infrastructure and services of the institute.

The LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both new and established researchers.  Scientists are drawn to the LMB from all over the world, thus creating a lively and international community for the exchange of ideas and technical innovation.

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, more information can be found at

MRC - 3
£37,769 – £44,396
Administration & Management
Full Time

Overall purpose:

You will work with the three MRC core funded institutes to:

•   Provide expert advice and leadership in commercial procurement.
•   Deliver the Institutes’ needs liaising with suppliers and procurement agents.
•   Champion and ensure best practice across the Institutes.
•   Ensure Institutes’ compliance with Governmental, organisational or local regulations in procurement activities.

The core funded Institutes are the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, the MRC Harwell Institute in Oxford and the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS), located in West London. The post can be based at any of the institutes, although you are expected to develop close relationships and spend time with all three.

Main duties and key responsibilities:

•   Understand Institutes’ procurement needs and identify how business requirements can be met.

•   Undertake reviews to determine that the most appropriate and effective procedures and approaches are in place, and how best value for money can be achieved whilst meeting business needs.

•   Ensure procurement approaches have traceable and approved methodologies.

•   Advise and support Institute procurement teams and researchers with the writing of more complex procurement specifications and justifications where needed.

•   Manage all stakeholders both internal and external through the use of effective and timely communications and control / risk management mechanisms.

•   Understand and perform control functions in accordance with UKRI policy and procedures, including the review and sign off for non-standard purchasing contracts.

•   To be the focal point for Institutes in respect of the resolution of any procurement and process issues.

•   To represent the Institutes in respect of Corporate Procurement groups and advisory forums.

•   To be an advocate of best practice, a centre of knowledge and provide subject matter expertise on commercial procurement and where there are inter-dependencies such as HR systems, process and data requirement.

•   To work with UKSBS (Shared Business Services) to ensure operating processes and procedures are aligned, efficient and understood between partners.

•   Be part of the UKRI Commercial Business Partners central group to assure policy, processes and procedures align to Institute needs.

•   To provide relevant and timely management information as required, to determine the extent of either project or operational issues and challenges. Identify and produce evidence and metrics to monitor performance.

•   Provide some mentoring and development for purchasing and procurement staff in the Institutes.

•   To carry out any other duties that may be required of the post as delegated by line manager and senior staff.

Working relationships:

You will report to the COO or Head of Finance at one of the MRC Institutes (to be determined) you will also report to the UKRI Head of Commercial.

You will have no Line Management responsibilities.

The role involves developing and maintaining a broad range of working relationships within the MRC, UKRI and externally, including;
•   Scientists and Operational Managers in the MRC Institutes
•   MRC Head Office
•   UKRI – Finance, Commercial etc
•   Institute finance and procurement staff
•   Crown Commercial Services/Cabinet Office
•   Other UKRI bodies and funding agencies
•   Contracted supplier organisations / MRC delivery partners
•   Other partners e.g. Imperial, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Universities etc.

Additional information:

The above lists are not exhaustive and you are 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:

Essential: Degree Education or equivalent and Membership of relevant Professional Body e.g. CIPS or significant experience working in a similar role with the willingness to progress towards a mCIPS qualification.

Desirable: Prince 2 or MSP certification, IOSH Membership.

Previous work experience required

•   Demonstrable experience of Purchasing and Procurement within the Public Sector (Services, Capital Build/Equipment & general consumables).
•   Demonstrable research or research related experience, providing a broad understanding of scientific issues.
•   Significant experience in commercial contract drafting and assessment.
•   Experience in assuring technical specifications and questions to deliver successful tender processes.
•   Business analysis and problem solving experience. Will have previously worked in project and business change environments.
•   Experience of working directly and achieving results with a wide range of stakeholders.
•   Experience of having worked in one or the following areas: the pharmaceutical industry, NHS, scientific publishing or academia.
•   Significant systems and process experience.


•   Experience of research (or research-related activities) within the MRC and/or UK universities.
•   Experience of acting as an organisation representative to external stakeholders.
•   Oracle ERP experience (Inventory, HR, Finance & Supply Chain).
•   Microsoft Dynamics(Navision) ERP experience.
•   Experience of Oracle Business Intelligence Reporting. 

Knowledge and experience:


•   Ability to identify key issues within a project and analyse essential information.
•   Ability to identify strategic objectives and their implications and make adaptations for relevant area of work.
•   Ability to manage conflicting priorities and time effectively.
•   Strong interpersonal skills and ability to build relationships.
•   Excellent negotiation, influencing, persuasion and “people” skills.
•   Ability to communicate clearly – both orally and written, across a range of issues.
•   Ability to lead and work with expert colleagues in other areas.
•   Ability to analyse and understand competing customer needs.
•   Ability to reconcile varying needs into comprehensive actions and deliverables.


•   Experience of formal programme methodologies.
•   Experience of having worked overseas in a change environment.
•   SQL programming experience to develop and implement bespoke reports.

Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:


•   Positive advocate for medical research and the MRC.
•   Drive and determination.
•   Has integrity and takes personal responsibility.
•   Resilience – ability to stay calm under pressure.
•   Committed to self and organisational improvement.
•   Demonstrates the ability to manage complex projects and programmes of work.
•   Promotes a culture of embracing change.


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 (part of UKRI) 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.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

This opportunity is closed to applications.