Chief Operations Officer – SSPC

  • Company:
    University of Limerick
  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / month
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    3 days ago
  • Category:

TITLE OF POST: Chief Operations Officer – SSPC

LOCATION: University of Limerick

CONTRACT TYPE: Specific Purpose

Informal enquiries regarding the post may be directed to:

Professor Gavin Walker

Department of Chemical Sciences

Bernal Institute

University of Limerick


The closing date for receipt of applications is Wednesday, 20th January 2021.

Applications must be completed online on the University of Limerick Vacancies page before 12 noon, Irish Standard Time on the closing date.

Please note your application must include:

A letter of introduction indicating how you meet the criteria outlined in the Job description.

A completed online Application Form (separate application forms must be submitted for each post applied for).

Job Purpose

  • SSPC is a hub of Irish research expertise developing innovative technologies to address key challenges facing the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry, funded by Science Foundation Ireland and industry. It is a unique collaboration between 15 industry partners, 8 research performing organisations and international academic collaborators.
  • operations team are based in The Bernal Institute, Analog Devices Building, University of Limerick. The SSPC transcends company and academic boundaries and is the largest research collaboration in Ireland, and one of the largest globally, within the pharmaceutical area. The role of the SSPC is to link experienced scientists and engineers in academia and the pharmaceutical industry, to address critical industry informed research challenges.
  • SSPC leads the way for next generation drug manufacture and spans the entire pharmaceutical production chain from synthesis of the molecule, to the isolation of the material, and the formulation of the medicine. The aim of the SSPC is to deliver industry relevant solutions, which result in job growth and retention within the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland.


  • Work with Scientific Director(s) to develop, communicate and implement a coherent Centre Strategy.
  • Responsible for the delivery of all operational strategies to ensure SSPC success.
  • Key relationship manager for the consortium, external collaborators and international networks.
  • Maintain budgetary oversight of consolidated Centre budget and financial progress.
  • Represent and promote the Centre nationally and internationally to raise the profile of the Centre.
  • Oversee the management and development of the operations team
  • Oversee executive meetings (Management, Governance, Scientific Advisory, IP).
  • Responsible for the delivery of all reporting requirements to SFI.
  • Primary SFI contact for the Centre.
  • Represent the Centre on formal university boards as required.

Other duties as required by the Centre Directors and/or the Centre Governance Committee.

Key Working Relationships & Contacts

  • SSPC Directors – direct line manager – must be able to communicate directly and succinctly.
  • SSPC Operations team – must be able to manage a small multidisciplinary team.
  • Industry contacts – must be able to communicate effectively on behalf of SSPC and build networks.
  • SSPC Academic community – must be able to build professional networks and optimise engagement.
  • Science Foundation Ireland – Must be able to communicate effectively with SSPC main funder.
  • SSPC Committees (e.g. Management, Governance, as required)
  • External bodies as required.

Working Environment/Special Circumstances

The successful candidate must be willing and able to travel to industry, academic members and other external bodies on a regular basis. International travel will be necessary on occasion to represent SSPC

Job Boundaries

Work with Scientific Director(s) to develop, communicate and implement a coherent Centre Strategy.

Responsible for the delivery of all operational strategies to ensure SSPC success.


Budget ,Staff, Customer, Operational and Administrative

Manage the SSPC operations and industry budget and other budgets as required.

Directly manage the SSPC Operations Team.

Interact positively with a range of stakeholders including Academics, Industry, funding bodies and other external partners.

Responsible for reporting to SFI.

Knowledge, Functional Skills, Experience & Qualifications


· Good working knowledge of office software packages.

  • Knowledge of the National IP framework and funding models for academic/industrial interactions.
  • Knowledge of Irish and European funding landscape.

Functional/Work-based Skills

  • Excellent communication capabilities.
  • Ability to deliver impactful and informative presentations.
  • Ability to manage budgets.
  • Ability to engage with, communicate with and manage external stakeholders.

· Ability to facilitate large group meetings and maintain focus on agenda topics.

  • At least 10 years’ work experience in the pharmaceutical sector, or equivalent life sciences sector.
  • At least 3 years’ experience managing a multidisciplinary team.
  • Proven track record of project management of complex large-scale projects, preferably with multi-site elements.

Essential Qualifications

· Doctoral degree (level 10NFQ) in a science or engineering related subject.


Higher Education Leadership, Higher Education Research, Operations Management, Pharma, Life Sciences, Project Management

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