Research Contracts Advisor (FTA 15 months) - based in Wallingford, Oxfordshire


The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), is the UK’s Centre of Excellence for research in terrestrial and freshwater environmental sciences ( Research is carried out by 350 scientists at four sites in the UK. An exciting opportunity has arisen for an enthusiastic and committed person to join the Research Contracts Management Team based in Wallingford.

We are seeking an experienced contracts advisor with exceptional negotiation skills to join our Research Contracts Team at our site in Wallingford. The Research Contracts Management Team sits within the Research Contracts, Licensing & Information Services Function. We are now looking to strengthen the team throughout a period of governance change at CEH, so as to continue to support the work of CEH scientists, providing a robust contract negotiation, drafting and advisory service.


•           Draft and finalise research contracts and other agreements in a timely manner

•           Identify, communicate and mitigate contractual risks

•           Provide specialist support for CEH staff on all aspects of contracts and contracts    management

•           Advise on contractual issues, including intellectual property rights, to both internal staff and external stakeholders

•           Ensure that CEH's project contracts enable future use of project results both for future scientific research and where appropriate for commercial exploitation

•           Manage the contracts process for and behalf of CEH staff

•           Contribute to in-house training sessions at individual CEH sites and to the preparation of training materials


•           A good degree in an appropriate subject plus legal skills and knowledge with at least two years’ experience in a research contracts or commercial environment

•           Evidence of recent work experience within a contracts environment at an equivalent level;

•           Proven ability at drafting and negotiating project contracts, including consortia and sub­ contracts, Framework Agreements, Memoranda of Understanding and Material Transfer Agreements

•           Good knowledge of intellectual property issues and ability to provide clear advice on copyright and other areas of IPR

•           Good interpersonal skills and ability to establish close working relationships with scientists and non-scientists alike at all levels


The basic working week will be 37 hours.

The successful candidate will serve a 6 month’s probationary period and an interim report will be made at the end of 3 month’s service.

All appointments are subject to receipt of satisfactory references. It is standard procedure to apply for references only for the successful candidates.

Offers of appointment are subject to proof of permission to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and original documentary evidence will be required.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive background and pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.


NERC offer a public sector pension scheme, 30 days’ annual leave and 10½ days’ public and privilege holiday per annum (prorata for part time employees). We offer a flexible and supportive working environment and will encourage your continuing professional development as part of our career support. NERC has an equal opportunities policy and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.


Please email your CV, application form and a cover letter to

Closing Date: 



£28,200 - £30,000 per annum (depending on experience)