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Portfolio Project Manager

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Harwell, Didcot
£56,900 - £62,590 gross per annum
Closing date
26 Nov 2023

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Job Details

Job Title: Portfolio Project Manager
Location: RAL Laboratory, Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire, UK (flexible working available, with at least 3 days a week on-site)
Contract Type: Up to 2 x Permanent Positions
Salary: £56,900 - £62,590 gross per annum dependent on experience

Hours: Full-time (We understand the importance of work-life balance, and are happy to discuss the possibility of flexible working with applicants)

Due to the requirement of obtaining an enhanced security clearance for this role, we are only able to accept applications from persons who have been resident in the UK for the last 5 years. We cannot sponsor visa applications for this role.

Together, our scientist, technologists, engineers and business support team explore the unknown and turn what they find into work that changes the world around us. 

Come and discover how much you can achieve when you’re surrounded by world-leading experts, encouraged to constantly learn and empowered to explore your curiosity.

About Us:
As part of the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) established the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC). This includes a commitment of £100m+ over 5 years, dedicated to technical and commercial developments in the field of Quantum Computing. The Centre is a joint initiative of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

The primary purpose of the NQCC is to fill a key gap in the research and innovation landscape addressing the challenge of scaling quantum computing. 

The NQCC operates a wide variety of projects including technology projects building quantum computers in our laboratories, software development, high performance computing systems, community outreach and construction projects to build and enhance our facilities. Many of our projects are collaborations with industry and academia.  The NQCC will give assured and direct access to early prototype machines to developers and promote the formation of a strong UK-based quantum computing supply chain.

Our Benefits: 
Our Benefits include a flexible working scheme (subject to business requirements), Defined benefit pension scheme and 30 days annual leave allowance plus 10.5 bank holiday/privilege days and several other benefits. 

The Role:

We are looking for a Portfolio Project Manager who thrives on leading a team of diverse people and on managing an array of large-scale technical projects. You will be working alongside scientists, engineers, developers and experts in quantum technologies, to enhance the UK's quantum computing capabilities.

Day-to-day, you will be responsible for ensuring the implementation of the NQCC's project management process, coordinating operations and technical resources, tracking project performance, delivering and reporting on technical milestones, and ensuring every activity is run to time and budget. You will also identify and monitor project risks and ensure effective change management processes are in place. As the Portfolio Project Manager, you will use your STEM background or acquired STEM-related experience to provide immediate escalation path for project managers, technical project owners, and teams of engineers. You will also directly manage projects which lead to the development and delivery of quantum computing hardware, software and services for the NQCC and our external stakeholders and partners.

Main Responsibilities:

  • Effectively lead a team of project managers, ensuring their well-being at work, allocating projects and tasks fairly and according to their strengths, regularly and objectively managing their individual performance and that of their projects, and supporting their personal development;
  • Set or negotiate KPIs, objectives, schedules and resources for your team;
  • Directly manage our quantum computing-related projects and the delivery of R&D or technical outputs, ensuring that all agreed milestones meet stakeholders’ expectations;
  • Ensure the NQCC’s project management process is implemented correctly across all the projects managed by your team. Suggest ideas for continuous improvement;
  • Ensure effective risk management is in place across all projects, so that risks to NQCC and the wider STFC can be identified and led from the outset before they become issues;
  • Maintain project documentation across all your portfolio of projects (and that of the project managers you will lead) and communicate project updates to Senior Leadership and stakeholders in a timely manner, enabling decision-making;
  • Support your colleagues in the Technology and R&D teams with the management and delivery of cutting-edge technology and scientific and technical infrastructure that enables delivery of research outputs;
  • Support your colleagues in the Benefits, Monitoring and Evaluation team with any cross-projects reporting requirements;
  • Support your colleagues in the Programme Management team with monitoring and advice on performance trends including Programme Delivery achievement and manage corrective action plans where needed;
  • Help develop new processes within the Programme Delivery Team as required.

Person Specification: 

Whilst a STEM qualification or acquired experience is required for this role, technical expertise in quantum computing specifically is not required. Consideration will be given to a less experienced individual if there is evidence of potential and passion to grow into the role.


  • STEM qualification or acquired experience;
  • Extensive experience in project management, including large-scale, complex environments, resulting in the ability to develop robust plans, assess risk, develop and drive mitigation plans, plan budget and multi-year expenditure;
  • Experience leading diverse teams, resulting in demonstrable ability to motivate, inspire and collaborate effectively;
  • Excellent time management and outstanding organisational skills;
  • Strong desire to take ownership and accountability for the delivery of technical deliverables;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, resulting in the ability to communicate with and influence both technical and non-technical stakeholders;
  • Ability to manage a diverse portfolio of projects and manage a fluctuating workload and competing priorities;
  • Familiar with a range of professional tools and methods related to large scale programmes and projects delivery;
  • Eye for detail, interpreting and presenting project performance data in an evidence-based manner;
  • Working with discretion to protect project confidentiality, commercial sensitivity and personal data.


  • A project management-related certification: eg. PRINCE2 Practitioner, Agile Project Management Practitioner or Registered Project Professional (APM), Certified Project Director (CPD), Project Manager Professional (PMP), Lean Six Sigma etc. ;
  • Experience of project delivery within an ISO9001 quality management system;
  • Appreciation of Risk Analysis methods and Risk Mitigation techniques for complex research projects;
  • Appreciation of Health, Safety and Environment;
  • Understanding of high-performance computing and/or relevant related technologies.

Security Clearance 

Due to the nature of the role, and a requirement to support diverse projects, the successful candidate is required to successfully complete national pre-employment control checks to the BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard) to fulfil the role.   Checks can take between 9-12 working days. Once in post they may need to successfully complete an Enhanced Security Check (SC) clearance.

Join us and discover what’s possible!


The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations. We’re trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science and engineering. STFC is one of nine organisations that have been brought together to create UK Research and Innovation (UKRI); a new organisation with a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

At STFC, our engineers provide the technology that allows our world-leading science to make a real difference in areas that really matter: from cancer treatment to airport security, high-tech jobs to hydrogen powered cars, energy generation to accident scene emergency care, our impact is felt in many aspects of daily life. We provide and exploit space and astronomy technology, a world-leading neutron scattering facility, ultra-fast supercomputers, amazing scientific instruments and some of the most powerful lasers in the world. We work with industry and academia throughout the UK, Europe and the world.

STFC can offer you an excellent working environment. Our laboratories are based in beautiful rural locations in Cheshire, Oxfordshire and in Edinburgh, with great amenities and quality of life for you and your family. We are at the centre of burgeoning high-tech campuses buzzing with economic investment and even more promise for the future. Our people enjoy attractive benefits and plenty of opportunity for development. Whether you are beginning or furthering your career, we can offer you excellent opportunities to test out and broaden your skills and experience and to gain real technical and managerial expertise working in dynamic team and project environments.

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