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Manager, Research Contracts
Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia
Date Posted 01/14/2021
Executive-Other Executive
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

About Flinders

Our bold vision, captured in our Strategic Plan: making a Difference: The 2025 Agenda, is to be internationally recognised as a world leader in research, an innovator in contemporary education, and the source of Australia’s most enterprising graduates.

To realise this ambition, we recently made a significant organisation change to a six College structure with a professional staff and services alignment.

We recognise the key to our success is exceptional people and we’re seeking an outstanding individual to join the team of our transformed university.

Employment Type:


Position Summary

Continuing, full-time

Compensation Grade:
Higher Education Officer Level 9

Salary Range:
$113,286 - $121,223 pa

Organisational Unit:
Research Development and Support (RDS)

Reporting to:
Director, Research Development and Support

Under broad to generally unguided direction, the Manager, Research Contracts has primary responsibility for the management and successful negotiation and timely delivery of a diverse range of contracts relating to research at Flinders. This includes, but is not limited to, providing strategic leadership of the Research Contracts team; drafting and negotiating complex research agreements; identifying key commercial and project risks; providing expert advice on all research related contracts and other associated legal instruments; ensuring accurate interpretation of funding rules in Flinders research contracts; and overseeing the continuous improvement of post-award processes to ensure targeted and high quality contracts and risk management for Flinders.

As a manager within the RDS team, the Manager, Research Contracts will be expected to proactively demonstrate and promote the customer service culture of the team. This will require building and maintaining productive relationships within the RDS staff, legal support staff, researchers, external funding bodies and Government agencies. The position leads the coordination and management of the research contracting processes within the University.

Key Position Responsibilities

The Manager, Research Contracts is accountable for:

  • Leading, managing and coordinating the drafting, negotiation and administration of a diverse range of research contracts including contractual changes, reviews, approvals and variations and ensuring that Flinders manages key legal risks balanced with taking advantage of funding and commercial opportunities.
  • Directing and managing the resources and overall operational effectiveness of the Research Contracts unit within RDS to ensure alignment with, and support for, the strategic direction of the university. This includes mentoring and managing the performance of all direct reports; team workload prioritisation, support and advice on contract negotiations and administration, and progress reporting to senior managers.
  • Proactively providing expert advice and guidance directly to the DVCR, Deans of Research and researchers on key matters associated with research agreements including legislative or statutory requirements, insurance and warranty, intellectual property protection, contract schedules, confidentiality and enterprise risk management.
  • Engaging proactively with the Flinders research community to build reputation and trust for the RDS and Research Contracts unit.
  • Identifying and mitigating contractual risks associated with research projects and developing strategies to address current and future exposure.
  • Providing senior level representation for the University at a range of internal and external contract negotiations for research related issues.
  • Engaging in strategic planning sessions to offer specialist advice, and assisting the strategic research direction for the University.
  • Managing the governance of research contracts through monitoring and reporting to key stakeholders including: Academic Senate, DVCR, Director RDS and external organisations as required.
  • Leading the development and implementation of an innovative and sustainable contract management framework and supporting guidelines and processes that enables transparent and efficient research contracting which will achieve timely contract execution and management of key contractual risks for the University.
  • Implementing effective process and procedures for improving contract management and administration.
  • Develop and implement a robust and practical training program in all facets of research contracting suitable for researchers and research administrators.
  • Assisting the Director, RDS with day to day supervision and development of staff.
  • Any other responsibilities in line with the level of the position as assigned by the Supervisor and/or the University.

Key Position Capabilities

  • A degree qualification in Law, Commerce, or an equivalent qualification coupled with extensive relevant experience in a research related environment (post graduate qualifications are desirable).
  • A detailed knowledge of research governance and practitioner level knowledge of a range research agreements including but not limited to the following: industry agreements; multi-institutional/multi- party agreements, clinical trial agreements; non-disclosure agreements; material transfer agreements.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain positive and highly effective relationships with the research community.
  • Demonstrated high level written and oral communication skills including the ability to present complex information to a range of stakeholders including senior management.
  • Demonstrated organisational skills, including the ability to exercise sound judgement, determine priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Comprehensive understanding of the Australian Research landscape, the Australian Code of Responsible Conduct of Research.
  • Strong and confident negotiation and influencing skills and solid understanding of legal contract and terms.
  • Attention to detail, yet able to consider the bigger picture to drive outcomes and results.
  • A highly collaborative, team-based approach to projects with demonstrated ability to coach and explain research contracts, Responsible Code of Conduct and risk to internal stakeholders and external parties.
  • Demonstrated ability to work at a strategic level in partnership with senior managers including the ability to work with a high level of initiative and decision making.
  • Demonstrated experience leading and developing a high performing team.
  • Knowledge of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and relevant experience in its application in a Research Organisation including supporting investigations into potential academic misconduct is highly desirable.

For application enquiries please contact: Miss Sally Wheldrake

Pursuant to Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 (SA) this position has been deemed prescribed. It is an inherent requirement of the position that the successful candidate maintains current Working With Children Check which is satisfactory to the University.

Information for Applicants: You are required to provide a suitability statement of no more than three pages, addressing the key capabilities of the position as outlined above. In addition, you are required to upload your CV.

A valid National Police Certificate which is satisfactory to the University will also be required before the successful applicant can commence in this position.

We are seeking to increase the diversity to improve equal opportunity outcomes for employees, and therefore we encourage female applicants, people with a disability and/or from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders descent to apply.

Please note, late applications and applications sent via agencies will not be accepted.

Applications Close 11:59pm:

03 Feb 2021

*Please mention academicjobs.net to employers when applying for this job*
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