Head of Research Contracts and Licensing

Head of Research Contracts & Licensing
Full time (37 hours per week)
Up to £64,302

Wallingford – 2 days a week at home

Would you like to join the leadership team of an organisation dedicated to environmental change? Then keep reading…

We have an exciting opportunity for a legal professional to join us as Head of Research Contracts & Licensing. This key leadership position will enable our research and innovation ambitions, contributing to critical socio-economic environmental challenges.

Reporting to the Director of Impact & Innovation, you will lead the Research Contracts and Licensing Function, informing and supporting our research and innovation strategy. You will join a highly performing team of 8 people and have overarching responsibility for the following areas:

  • The Research Contracts service, line managing the Research Contracts Manager, encompassing revenue generating contracts and associated sub-contracts, consortia agreements, Memoranda of Understanding, Non-Disclosure Agreements, Material Transfer Agreements, studentships, and other agreements as required.
  • The Licensing and IP service, line managing the Licensing & IP Manager, encompassing non-commercial and commercial dissemination and exploitation of the client’s IP optimising the client’s impact, and in-licensing 3rd party IP to facilitate world-class research and innovation.
  • Our due diligence processes, including research sub-contractors and contributing to corporate activities including insurance requirements, State Aid Declarations, field-Site licences etc.

Main Responsibilities:

  • To engage and effectively brief external legal advisors, where specialist additional knowledge is required, coordinating client’s external legal counsel budget outside of employment law.
  • Signatory for contracts in line with delegated authority and support lead contract negotiators on provision of contractual risk assessment, actions to mitigate heightened risks and recommendations to Executive Board members where contracts exceed that authority.
  • When necessary to address workload issues, in conjunction with the Research Contracts Manager, delivering research contracts to ensure timely client contract negotiations.
  • Support the development of policies, services and staff, and researcher engagement within the context of the Research Contracts and Licensing Function, through mentoring, training, provision of legal advice and strategic direction.
  • Provide expertise in contractual matters regarding subsidiary, spin-out and joint-venture creation, supporting client’s wholly owned trading subsidiary.
  • Maintain up to date professional knowledge relating to relevant contracts and intellectual property matters, including awareness of government and funder policies as they impact on contractual negotiation, terms and conditions, and partner due diligence.
  • Contribute to leadership of the client at a senior level and deliver other duties commensurate with seniority of position as requested by the Director of Impact & Innovation.

Skills criteria


  • Extensive experience and proven success of business-critical contracts negotiation, drafting and management.
  • Experience at a senior manager and/or Board-levels.
  • A track record of successfully influencing organisational strategy and of developing and leading the implementation of strategies, policies, and processes across complex organisations.
  • Demonstrable experience of leadership and management of high performance and resilient teams and be able to work in partnership and on own initiative.
  • Ideal candidates will have experience of research-intensive, technology commercialisation and /or consulting environments.


  • In-depth understanding of contract and intellectual property law.
  • Ability to negotiate persuasively, confidently, and creatively with external bodies in messy and complex matters, to achieve good outcomes for both parties.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • In-depth understanding of charity and company governance structures, and the implications for contracting.
  • An ability to distil complex legal and regulatory matters e.g. state aid, or export control and generate or inform policies that have implications across multiple professional services Functions.
  • Able to demonstrate a commitment to promote and adhere to UKCEH values of Excellence, Integrity and Teamwork.


  • Either a Law degree and/or postgraduate legal qualification, preferably a UK qualified solicitor, or equivalent substantial experience in an analogous research institute or research-intensive higher education institution.


Planet Recruitment acts as an employment agency for permanent recruitment and an employment business for the supply of temporary workers. Planet Recruitment is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

By applying for this role your details will be submitted to Planet Recruitment. Our Candidate Privacy Information Statement explains how we will use your information.

Only candidates with the relevant skills and experience will be contacted after application, if you do not hear back from us within 7 days you have unfortunately been unsuccessful in your application.

Please note that no terminology in this advert is intended to discriminate on the grounds of a person’s gender, marital status, race, religion, colour, age, disability or sexual orientation. Every candidate will be assessed only in accordance with their merits, qualifications and abilities to perform the duties of the position.

Job Information

Job Reference: AW000223_1653033678
Salary: £55000 - £64302 per annum
Salary From: £55000
Salary To: £64302
Job Industries: IT
Job Locations: Wallingford, Oxfordshire
Job Types: Permanent
Job Skills: Head of contracts, Head of Research contracts, Head of research and contracts,
Apply Now

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Job Information

Job Reference:
Salary From: £
Salary To: £
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