Project Support Manager, Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science and AI

Position Details

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £34,980 to £44,263 with potential progression once in post to £46,974

Grade: 7

Full Time

Fixed Term contract up to 2 years

Closing date: 12th November 2023

UK travel may be required as part of this role 


Our offer to you

People are at the heart of what we are and do.

The University of Birmingham is proud to have been a part of the City of Birmingham and the wider region for over 100 years, and we are equally proud to be recognised as a leading global university. We want to attract talented people from across the city and beyond, support them to succeed, and celebrate their success.

We are committed to helping the people who work here to develop through our sector-leading Birmingham Professional programme which provides all professional services staff with development opportunities and the encouragement to reach their full potential. With almost 5,000 professional services jobs in a wide-range of functions in Edgbaston and in our campus in Dubai, there are plenty of opportunities for you to be able to develop your career at the University.

We believe there is no such thing as a typical member of staff and that diversity is a source of strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation, and debate. We warmly welcome people from all backgrounds and are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where diversity is at the heart of who and what we are, and how we work.

Supporting our people to achieve a healthy work/life balance is important both to our employees and to the success of the University and, depending on the role, we offer a variety of flexible working arrangements. We therefore welcome discussions on all forms of flexible working. In addition, you will receive a generous package of benefits including 40 days paid holiday a year, one paid day a year for volunteering, occupational sick pay, and a pension scheme. We also have three high quality subsidised day nurseries.

The University is situated in leafy Edgbaston and there are excellent transport links to our beautiful campus, including main bus routes and a train station on site. On campus we have a state-of-the-art sports centre with pool, shops, places to eat and drink, our own art gallery, museum and botanical gardens.


Embedded within the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science and AI (IIDSAI), the IIDSAI Project Support Manager will provide high-level project management support to a variety of initiatives and project undertaken by the Institute, and Institute affiliated academic staff. Principally, the post-holder will support the University of Birmingham’s partnership with the Alan Turing Institute and any resulting activity.

The University of Birmingham joined the prestigious national institute for data sciences and Artificial Intelligence, the Alan Turing Institute in 2018. In 2023, the Turing Institute enters a new phase in its development which includes a new open university partner model. As we move into the next phase of this new model of partnership, and as part of the University’s continued commitment to our shared ambitions and engagement, with the Alan Turing Institute (ATI) and the wider Turing University Network, the University has re-committed its investment in the ‘Turing Liaison (Professional Service)’ role. 

This role is an opportunity for an enthusiastic and pro-active individual to work with the Turing in support of the partnership with the University of Birmingham, supporting our joint goal to develop the next generation of data science leaders, shape the public conversation, and push the boundaries of this new science for the public good. 

This is a role with duties and responsibilities which are likely to evolve and change as IISDAI as an Institute grows, the relationship between the Alan Turing Institute and university further develops, and the new Turing University Network takes shape. This role will be essential to supporting this transition and ensuring that the University fully explores the opportunities it brings. 

Department Overview

This role is embedded within the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science and AI (IIDSAI), a nexus for collaborative research and education at the University of Birmingham. IIDSAI works across all five Colleges, the Institute develops and fosters a culture of continuous interaction to address important challenges in areas including sustainability, equality, health, and data-driven science.

The post holder will be a key member of the IIDSAI professional service team, located in the Elm House Hub. 

Role Summary

The IIDSAI Project Support Manager will act as a key, senior member of the IIDSAI Operations Team, supporting and leading on a variety of small-to-medium sized initiatives and projects. The post holder will also act as the primary professional services link between the Alan Turing Institute and the University. 

Working closely with the Turing Liaison (Academic), the University’s academic lead for our partnership with the Institute, the post-holder will provide support to engage academic staff with the breadth of the Institute’s research programme, including; 
  • Support the Turing Liaison (Academic) lead to identify and maximise opportunities arising from this partnership
  • Promoting opportunities to engage with the Alan Turing Institute to university researchers and students to maximise the benefits of their involvement 
  • Promote the university and its activity across the Turing’s network using specific mechanisms and channels. 
  • Actively engage in the Turing Liaison network developing intra and inter-institute professional service networking and collaborative relationships to facilitate and support the Turing / University partnership.
  • Provide high-level operational/administrative support for and co-ordination of university lead activity arising from this partnership.

These expectations are generally reflective of the expectations for any other initiatives and projects that the post holder is tasked with supporting both within the Institute, and supporting projects lead by Institute associated academic staff. 

Main Duties

Act as Project Support Manager across a variety of small-to-medium sized initiatives and projects undertaken by IIDSAI and Institute affiliated academic staff, including acting as the primary professional services link between the Alan Turing Institute and the University, supporting the University to maximise its affiliation with the Alan Turing Institute.
  • Promote opportunities to engage with the relevant key partners, such as the Alan Turing Institute, to university researchers and students to maximise the benefits of our involvement.
  • Develop and deliver communication strategies; set-up and develop clear systems and distinct channels of communication within the university to enable the effective circulation and dissemination of opportunities and information, translate external partnership communications into university context and processes. 
  • Promote the university and its activity across relevant external networks, such as the Turing’s network, using specific mechanisms and channels.
  • Act as a point of contact for external partnership related matters for individuals based at the university, and respond to enquiries as required.
  • Develop mechanisms to collect, maintain, and regularly report on, records of the engagement by the university and university staff in IIDSAI initiatives, partnerships, and projects. 
  • Act as main point of contact for, and facilitate the processing of, project related contracts and invoicing.
  • Support applicants applying for IIDSAI related opportunities and facilitate the smooth running of external partnership related calls for funding, awards, studentships, fellowships or other opportunities, for example;
    • Assist with student recruitment for the Turing PhD Enrichment scheme
    • Support Turing Fellow calls (as well as other calls as they arise).
  • Ensure the that, where relevant, external partner finance and contracts processes are understood by involved colleagues at the university, and that the partners’ and university’s processes align, troubleshoot as required.
  • Provide support for university steering groups or other bodies established to support the relationship between the partners and the university.
  • Actively engage in the Turing Liaison network, developing intra and inter-institute professional service network and collaborative relationships to facilitate and support the Turing / University partnership. 
  • Support project academic leads to identify specific individuals who would be best placed to engage with opportunities arising from partnerships, to maximise the university’s engagement. Organise meetings/events to encourage internal and external interdisciplinary networking.
  • Support with partner activity when hosted at the university (Data Study Groups, Enrichment studentships etc.)

Responsible for the supporting the delivery of a variety of small-to-medium sized initiatives and projects, undertaken by IIDSAI and Institute affiliated academic staff, through the provision of significant and high-level project management support. In addition to the above, this may include some, or all, of the following:
  • Co-ordinate planning for initiatives, activities and projects;
    • Developing project plans, identifying (as appropriate) key performance indicators and milestones
    • Review and report on project progress, identify and implement processes and improvements to ensure effective and efficient delivery.
    • Providing executive support to Project Boards, work streams and working groups as required; setting agendas, collating and distributing papers and minutes and ensuring follow up action is taken 
    • Assessing and escalating as you deem appropriate issues and risks, including monitoring risk registers
    • Managing project resources efficiently and effectively, including budgets, and ensure project documentation is maintained
  • Stakeholder management, ensuring effective liaison with project partners, funders, Project Boards as appropriate.
  • Source, analyse and develop insights from the data to inform evaluation and review of projects and partnerships.
  • As part of the IIDSAI Operations Team, located in the shared ‘Elm House Hub’, the IIDSAI Project Support Manager will, as required within the scope and capacity of this role, be expected to support the Head of Institute Operations with the day-to-day operational running of the Institute and the Elm House shared operations office, the ‘Elm House Hub’. Ensuring the efficient and effective operations of the Institute/Elm House Hub, offices, meeting, teaching and collaborative spaces supporting the outstanding delivery of the Institute’s research, teaching and other interdisciplinary activities. 
  • May, on occasion, be required to deputise for the Head of Institute Operations.
  • Participate as an active member of the Elm House Hub, shared operations team, including but not limited to; attending and engaging in team and institute meetings, induction of new staff, teaching and sharing knowledge/best-practice within the team, mentoring of more junior team members, promoting an inclusive and supportive working environment, etc. 
  • Actively engage with broader College and University professional service networks and development opportunities. 
  • Promotes equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.
  • Supports the University’s sustainability agenda through resource efficient working. 
  • Any other duties commensurate with the grade.

Required Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications, Experience
  • Qualified to Degree level, or equivalent, plus practical managerial experience or significant relevant experience demonstrated through increasingly more demanding roles evidencing the experience necessary for this role.
  • An understanding of the UK research funding environment, key funders and their processes. 
  • Knowledge and understanding of a range of current research management areas, such as industry collaboration, contracts, research costing / budgeting, research governance, ethical review, data sharing, open access, intellectual property, equality and diversity, etc. 
  • Proven track record of successful project, programme and/or strategic partnership management.
  • Experience of coordinating events and delivering professional external communications.
  • Evidence of literacy and numeracy, with the ability to write clearly, and to produce and analyse information and data.
  • Excellent budgetary management skills and experience. 
  • Excellent people-management skills. 
  • Highly proficient IT skills, including the MS Office and website editing software. You should be confident and able to quickly learn new IT skills and software packages as required. 
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, relationship building and influencing skills with the ability to deal confidently with a range of internal and external stakeholders/contacts.
  • Excellent organisational and multi-tasking skills with a methodical approach to work and the ability to prioritise workloads in order to meet deadlines.
  • Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day-to-day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly.

Role context

Roles at this level will require a broad understanding and practical experience of an administrative or professional field which will be used to plan the running and development of services and/or lead shorter term projects or contribute to larger projects. You will work with information which needs interpretation and analysis; you will use your judgement to identify the best solution to differing problems and issues, offering recommendations for managing more complex situations. You may be responsible for indirectly or directly managing a team of staff, being accountable for recruiting and developing them and for managing performance. You may also need to liaise and/or co-ordinate activities across a number of different sections within the department or possibly with wider department or external bodies as appropriate.

Core competencies/transferable skill

Working at this level you will be able to develop and successfully demonstrate the core competencies/transferable skills outlined in each of the areas shown below. As appropriate for the level, our Birmingham Professionals will take ownership for getting things done. You will be expected to be flexible as required in supporting your department and wider University. 

Planning and Organising
  • Highly developed organisational skills, with the ability to work flexibly across a portfolio of projects, and prioritise competing demands on time. 
  • Project management skills, including development of project plans, and experience of budget planning. 
  • Ability to integrate complex information from internal and external sources to inform project and strategic planning.
  • Proven ability to convey complex information, including financial information, in a clear way, and present operational conclusions clearly and concisely. 
  • Confident and capable user of IT inclusive of all main Office products (e.g. Access, Excel, PowerPoint and Word).
  • Plan the running and development of service(s), overseeing resources and inputting into resource planning as appropriate. 
  • Develop, agree and implement standards for delivery for own area.
  • Manage a team of staff and review, develop and motivate them.
  • Plan relevant training and development.
  • Provide professional advice, guidance and support to others within and outside their immediate work area.
  • Oversee resources and make recommendations about future resource requirements.

Problem Solving and decision making
  • Creative attitude and excellent problem-solving skills with the ability to generate innovative responses when faced with a range of challenging scenarios. 
  • Able to remain calm under pressure, with a strong commitment to the delivery of exceptional customer service. 
  • Ability to work autonomously and under own-initiative in resolving issues, and applying a significant amount of professional and independent judgement. 
  • Ability to take responsibility for resolution of issues, proactively working with internal partners to negotiate satisfactory solutions. 
  • Review, develop and propose solutions for problems with (for example) staff, budgets, services and/or systems.
  • Deal with sensitive people matters/issues.
  • Provide specialist advice and recommendations to support decision–making of others.

Working Collaboratively 
  • Ability to build trusted relationships and work as part of a diverse team in delivering challenging outcomes. 
  • Ability to foster co-operation and collaborative internal and external partnership working in order to achieve project outcomes. 
  • Ability to work with others effectively, efficiently and supportively when under pressure, prioritising a diverse workload and always responding professionally and in a customer–focussed way. 
  • Understanding and experience of working flexibly across internal and external organisational boundaries, and bringing a whole-systems approach to plans and activities. 
  • Has an understanding of how the University operates; actively seeks to share this knowledge with others.
  • Developing empathy with the academic endeavour. 

Relationships and communication
  • Excellent networking, interpersonal and relationship-building skills. 
  • Excellent written communication skills with an ability to vary tone as appropriate with a wide range of audiences. 
  • Excellent oral communication skills, confidently communicating one-on-one and in front of a group in a persuasive manner, gaining cooperation from people with disparate goals, presenting complex issues in a way which makes them accessible to others. 
  • Influence decision makers and win support for proposals.


Informal enquires to Jessica Mylchreest, email: 

View our staff values and behaviours here


We believe there is no such thing as a 'typical' member of University of Birmingham staff and that diversity in its many forms is a strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation and debate at the heart of University life. We are committed to proactively addressing the barriers experienced by some groups in our community and are proud to hold Athena SWAN, Race Equality Charter and Disability Confident accreditations. We have an Equality Diversity and Inclusion Centre that focuses on continuously improving the University as a fair and inclusive place to work where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. You can find out more about our work to create a fairer university for everyone
on our website.

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