PGT Knowledge Exchange Pathway Project Manager (University of Birmingham) – Birmingham.

Job Summary.

MICRA partner the University of Birmingham seeks an experienced project manager with an interested in project management and professional education.

The PGT Knowledge Exchange Pathway (KEP) offers an exciting opportunity that will develop and test a new model that will enable Postgraduate Taught (PGT) students from across a range of disciplines to deploy and enhance their employability-related research skills by undertaking a multidisciplinary research project in partnership with external partner organisations. The KEP will benefit the students’ learning and their transition to employment, as well as the local and regional organisations with whom they engage.

The KEP will consist of the identification and root-cause analysis of a real-life organisational challenge, and the development of a solution grounded in our research strengths. As well as enhancing their practical and solutions-focussed research skills, students will develop a contextual understanding of how research and researcher skills can better align with the environments of partner organisations. 

The KEP will work collaboratively with industry partners to shape questions, seek solutions to problems faced by those partners, and deploy academic research and knowledge in the most effective ways. Aligning to the University’s civic engagement pledge, the KEP will focus on regional partners and how we can seek solutions to industry priorities through knowledge exchange.

 You will be responsible for the day-to-day operational management of the project and the successful delivery of contracted outputs. You will report progress to the Project Board, alerting senior management to any major potential threats to project delivery. You will be required to ensure that all aspects of project delivery are completed in line with University policies.

The role will be managed by the University Graduate School but co-managed with Registry (Academic Services). The role will line manage the PGT Knowledge Exchange Pathway Administrator.

Main Duties.

1.    Project management

a.    Be responsible for delivery of the project to successful conclusion. Duties include:

•    Create and maintain an overall Project Management Plan for the whole project using well established project management principles and practices (creating schedules using PM software where appropriate)
•    Plan, organise and maintain a regular schedule of project review meetings ensuring all relevant parties maintain an adequate level of attendance
•    Deploy high level management skills and set appropriate quality standards to keep the project on track and to keep the extended team aligned with the strategic objectives of the project
•    Make recommendations to the Project Board on potential changes to the project plans to ensure the aims of the project are addressed during the delivery of the project and implement improvement solutions

2    Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting, and Dissemination of Project Activity

•    Develop and implement a comprehensive evaluation strategy for the project, which is in line with the proposal.
•    Establish and implement reporting procedures which meet the requirements of the funder (Office for Students), and ensure all necessary information is gathered in a timely and efficient manner
•    Provide reports and verbal presentations to the Project Board to ensure that all members are aware of key points of progress and any issues which need senior management intervention
•    Develop and implement a project communications strategy.

3    Financial Management and Reporting

•    Ensure records are maintained of match funded contributions
•    Ensure that suitable records of all allowable costs are maintained by the University of Birmingham
•    Ensure appropriate monitoring, control and audit of all project expenditure within the University
•    Provide financial reports to the Project Board at least quarterly, and more frequently if expenditure materially deviates from the plan in the proposal

4    Risk Management

•    Use own professional expertise to create a project risk register, building on the register produced during project start up and the preparation of the bid
•    Ensure the project risk register is maintained and updated throughout the life of the project
•    Regularly update the Project Board on the status of the risk register

5    People Management

•    Line manage the PGT  Knowledge Exchange Pathway Project Administrator   
•    Provide business intelligence to the Project Board and supporting coordination across project stakeholders
•    Develop and support a network of academic supervisors for student projects.

6. Collaboration with Regional Partners 

•    Identify and engage potential regional partners.
•    Work with project partners to agree broad project areas based on a challenge they are facing.
•    Facilitate PGT student access to project partners.

7. Student Project Management

•    Complete preparatory work (working with Registry to ensure compliance with academic requirements).
•    Conduct focus groups with existing PGT students to establish the full concept for the PGT Knowledge Exchange Pathway.
•    Market student projects to postgraduate taught students from across the university.
•    Manage the student application and recruitment process
•    Provide appropriate guidance to students and supervisors during completion of student projects.
•    Develop an online workbook to enable postgraduate taught students to track their skills and create an online profile

To attend meetings and undertake other duties as may be required in furtherance of the work of the PGT Knowledge Exchange Pathway.

Person Specification.

•    Honours degree alongside significant related experience    
•    A good understanding of higher education 
•    Considerable project management experience
•    Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to adapt to a diverse range of client groups
•    Excellent relationship building, persuasion  and negotiation skills to develop collaborative relationships with internal and external colleagues including senior members of staff
•    Experience of delivering projects and initiatives with measurable outcomes and deliverables
•    Excellent team working skills and ability to cross-promote services
•    Demonstrable and proven experience of problem solving and developing innovative solutions
•    Adaptable and flexible when faced with change demonstrating drive and resilience 
•    The ability to adapt quickly to different working contexts and projects
•    Experience of data analysis and reporting to stakeholders at different levels
•    Experience of managing budgets 
•    Proficient IT skills and a confident user of the full range of Microsoft Office packages including Excel
•    Ability to work occasional out of hours including weekends
•    Knowledge of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly.


The postholder will line manage the PGT Knowledge Exchange Project Administrator (Band 500).

The postholder will be responsible for the delivery of the PGT Knowledge Exchange Project (funded by the Office for Students) and the key deliverables of the project.

The postholder will be responsible for recruiting and managing the relationship with external project partners. This will include identifying projects that teams of PGT students can work on. These projects will carry a credit rating of 60 credits, in place of dissertations or projects.

Planning and organising 

The role manages a varied workload. The post holder will be required to forward plan, create delivery plans, evaluate and review progress, reporting to internal and external stakeholders, and manage self and as appropriate others to deliver project outcomes. 

Problem solving and decision making 

This role will be expected to devise and deliver plans, and consider and recommend improvements and enhancements by reviewing progress, assessing and escalating risks. The focus of the role is on delivery of the activities.  The role may operate within constraints set by project leads/project boards.

The role will take the day-to-day operational decisions relating to delivery, and will support senior management in reaching informed decisions about the delivery. 

Internal and external relationships

The role is a key liaison and co-ordination role, so will have a range of internal and potentially external stakeholders.
•    Internal members of the Project Board 
•    Internal stakeholders such as DARO, Careers Network and University of Birmingham Enterprise Ltd
•    External stakeholders such as external project partners
•    Project supervisors 
•    Postgraduate Taught Students
•    Other Professional Services colleagues

For informal enquiries about this role, please contact Dr Andrea Patel, Head of University Graduate School (

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community
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For more information and to apply visit the University of Birmingham website

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