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Deputy Director of Operations – National Quantum Computing Centre

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is looking to recruit a Deputy Director of Operations 

  • Closing soon
  • Closing date: 05 Mar 2021
  • United Kingdom | Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
  • Date posted: 11 Feb 2021
  • Job type: Government/Public sector
  • Disciplines: Computational science & software engineering  | Engineering & instrumentation

Deputy Director of Operations – National Quantum Computing Centre
Salary:  Band G – £60,026 – £75,417 (subject to experience)
Location – RAL, Oxford

Background information

As part of the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is leading a programme to establish a National Quantum Computing Centre, which includes a commitment of £93m over five years, dedicated to drive development in the field of quantum computing and to place the UK at the forefront of the field. The Centre is a joint initiative of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

A purpose-built National Quantum Computing Centre will be built and operated by UKRI at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) campus in Oxfordshire. The Centre will be open and operational by December 2022. Until then, the NQCC’s activities are taking place in other facilities on the Harwell Campus or at partnering institutions. The NQCC will sit alongside other departments within the STFC National Laboratories and will be part of the broader National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP).

Position overview

The Deputy Director for Operations will take the lead in driving the establishment of the centre’s key operational policies such as facilities access and management. The post holder will drive the establishment of the centre’s building design, jointly with the Deputy Directors for Research and Innovation, and governance, ensuring the centre complies with current legislative frameworks.

Jointly with the Director, this role will have responsibility for ensuring the centre has a high-level profile in the community and with stakeholders to pave the way for future partnerships.

The main activities and outputs will include:

  • Strategy development for the Centre’s operations to enable the mission of the Centre.
  • Analysis and use of evidence to identify and evaluate the best processes and systems to support the work of the Centre and to enable efficient operations.
  • Communications and influence to build influential networks and communicate and engage with others effectively to successfully integrate the Centre into UKRI.
  • Programme management to lead and deliver on streams of work in complex environments.
  • People management to support the design of the target operating model for the Centre, ensuring it creates an attractive and positive working environment.
  • Financial management to oversee the Centre’s budget at an operational level, demonstrating efficiency, effectiveness and value for money.
  • Health and safety responsibility to ensure the Centre is operated within the necessary H&S parameters, and for securing the centre, including the specific requirements of a secure laboratory.
  • Responsibility for the formulation of such as the quality management system (such as iso9001 type standard).
  • Corporate governance working effectively within UKRI to support the ambitions of the National Quantum Technologies Programme through the NQCC.
  • Representational to represent the Centre across UKRI’s corporate functions.
  • Working relationships to build effective relationships with key stakeholders internally and externally.

Person specification

  • Business degree/MBA or degree/MSc in computer science or other science or engineering-related topic or demonstrate significant experience.
  • Proven track record of organizational development and delivery within a research and innovation context, where it is important to draw support from universities, business, other government agencies and elsewhere.
  • Demonstrable commitment to safe working practices and the well-being of facility users and visitors.
  • Experience of developing and maintaining strategic relationships and partnerships and gaining the respect of stakeholders.
  • An ability to develop operational solutions within the context of an existing, high-level framework (i.e. to implement the NQCC in line with the approved business case).
  • Experience in implementing or operating corporate/institutional governance structures and processes, or demonstrable understanding of the issues involved, including data protection and delivery on regulatory and reporting requirements.
  • Demonstrated experience in management and leadership of people and related policies, including employee relations and the inclusion, diversity and equality agenda.
  • Previous experience in leading large research and development activities, institutes or facilities.
  • Significant experience in a senior management position within a hi-tech or science and technology organization.
  • Ability to ensure programmes are delivered within agreed timescales, within budget and to a high calibre.
  • An appreciation of governance and risk-management principles.
  • Demonstrable experience of financial planning and analysis.
  • Quality management and project management experience.


STFC offers a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance including 30 days’ annual leave, flexible working hours, a workplace nursery, exceptional pension scheme and social and sporting activities and societies.

To apply

The individual will need to either hold or obtain additional security clearance – SC Level Clearance.  

Applicants must include a CV and cover letter outlining their suitability for this role.


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