Appointment of the Head of Technical Operations, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health


Thank you for your interest in joining the University of Manchester as Head of Technical Operations within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (FBMH). The University is a diverse, international community of over 12,000 staff and over 40,000 students. It is a place where research has a global impact, where students experience outstanding teaching and learning, helping them to develop into tomorrow’s leaders, and where all activity is enriched by a commitment to social responsibility. The Academic Ranking of World Universities currently rates Manchester as the 35th best university in the world and 5th best in the UK.

The Faculty comprises 11,000 students, 3,200 staff, over 30 undergraduate courses and around 90 postgraduate taught courses and integrates discovery biology, clinical application and patient care. We conduct outstanding, world-leading research in the biological, medical and health sciences and develop and deliver the highest quality education and training for health professionals and life scientists.

The Head of Technical Operations leads a team of professional staff who deploy technical resources to support the delivery of teaching and research services to staff and students. The postholder will have line management responsibility for technical staff across each of the Faculty’s three Schools as well as those organised at Faculty level.

We are seeking to appoint a candidate with experience of leading a broad range of technical operations, ideally in an academic environment, and experience of managing people and resources. Reporting to me, the Head of Technical Operations will work with colleagues across the Faculty to ensure that the technical resource supports our strategic aims and is deployed efficiently, effectively and equitably. The successful candidate will need to develop creative solutions to challenges, drive innovation in service delivery and lead change across a large, diverse technical team.

You can find out more about the University, the Faculty and the role Head of Technical Operations on this website. Our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to discuss the role with you, in strict confidence – their details can also be found on this site.

It is an exciting time to join the Faculty and the University, as we seek to drive change and further develop our approach to delivering outstanding teaching, learning and research. I do hope you will express an interest in joining us.

Vikki Goddard
Director of Faculty Operations, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

About us

The University of Manchester was formed in 2004 by combining the Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST.  It is the largest non-federal university in the UK, with an annual income of over £1 billion, over 12,000 staff and over 40,000 students. It and its predecessor institutions have a distinguished history of research and teaching, tracing back to 1824 and having produced 25 Nobel laureates. Research highlights include Rutherford’s work on splitting the atom (leading to the 1908 Nobel prize for physics), the world’s first stored-program computer (the Manchester University Mark I), the world’s first steerable radio telescope (at Jodrell Bank), the birth of chemical engineering, and most recently the discovery of graphene (leading to the 2010 Nobel prize for physics).  The Academic Ranking of World Universities currently rates Manchester as the 35th best university in the world and 5th best in the UK. The University has more than half a million alumni in 190 countries.  The University is a partner of the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.

You can find out more about the University on our website here.

Our structure

The University is divided into Faculties, Schools, Institutes and hundreds of specialist research groups, all of which undertake pioneering multidisciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance.  The Faculties, Schools, Institutes and research group are supported by a broad range of professional service teams and functions. The University’s academic structure is:

Faculty of Humanities
Alliance Manchester Business School; School of Arts, Languages and Cultures; School of Environment, Education and Development; School of Social Sciences

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
School of Biological Sciences; School of Health Sciences; School of Medical Sciences

Faculty of Science and Engineering
School of Engineering; School of Natural Sciences

Our Future

Our new vision and strategic plan for The University of Manchester will take us into our third century. It builds on a rich heritage of discovery, social change and pioneering spirit that is at the heart of our University and our city region:

The City of Manchester

Manchester is the largest city in Northern England, with a metropolitan area population of over 2.5 million. Traditionally a commercial and industrial powerhouse, and birthplace of the industrial revolution, today it is also a cosmopolitan centre of education, media, arts and sport. Internationally famed for spectator sport and nightlife, it also has world-class facilities for music, participation in sport, arts and shopping. Direct rail links connect to cities across the UK, and the international airport provides direct flights across Europe and to major hubs worldwide. Just outside the city, the Peak District National Park provides some of the country’s best-loved terrain for outdoor activities, while the Yorkshire Dales, Snowdonia and Lake District National Parks are also easily accessible.

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has an integrated structure that enables us to deliver a truly translational approach to the life sciences. This helps ensure smooth research pathways – from pure discovery science through to clinical application and patient care.

The Faculty was created in 2016 when the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences were brought together in a new, integrated structure. With a total annual income of over £300 million, and over 3,000 members of staff, the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health is comparable to a medium-sized UK university.

We develop and deliver the highest quality education and training for health professionals and life scientists in partnership with the NHS and industry. We contribute to the University’s tradition of innovation and improvements in the health of people around the world.

We are the largest supplier of healthcare graduates to the NHS in the north-west of England. We produce highly-trained and skilled professionals who are increasingly sought-after by employers across the health industry.

The Academy for Education and Professional Development provides training for clinicians and healthcare professionals teaching in the University’s Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. Please click here for further information.

We also conduct outstanding, world-leading research in the biological, medical and health sciences across eight research themes. We take our social responsibility to make a contribution to the ‘greater good’ seriously.

We were ranked 4th out of 44 in the UK for research power in the biological sciences in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Our research in the areas of the allied health professions, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy was also judged to be excellent.

The integration of discovery biology, clinical application and patient care within a single Faculty, particularly in a region with notable health inequality, provides us with a real opportunity to have a very significant and positive impact on people’s lives.

The Faculty in numbers:

  • 11,000 students
  • 3,200 staff
  • £122 million in annual research income
  • over 30 undergraduate courses
  • approximately 90 postgraduate taught courses.

The role

Head of Technical Operations, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Job reference:

Role name: Head of Technical Operations
Reports to: Director of Faculty Operations
Responsible for: Faculty Technical Staff

Context of the role

The Head of Technical Operations leads a team of professional staff to ensure that Technical resources across our activities are deployed effectively to support the delivery of teaching and research services to staff and students.

The postholder will have professional line management responsibility for technical staff across all of the Schools as well as those organised at Faculty level and will therefore work closely in partnership with Heads of Schools and Heads of School Operations, as well as Vice-Deans, to ensure that the Faculty’s technical resource is deployed efficiently, effectively and equitably.

They are also a member of the Faculty Professional Services Leadership Team, and the University Technician Commitment Leadership Team. They will work closely with all members of the Faculty Leadership Team and other leaders across the University to contribute to strategic and operational activities.

You can view the Faculty Professional Leadership structure here (note that the role is referred to by its former title, Head of Technical Services).

Main Responsibilities


  • Lead, organise and direct the Technical Operations team, ensuring that the provision of service is optimised and that staff are enabled to contribute fully and develop their skills and experience appropriately.
  • Provide strategic and operational support and advice, guidance and support to the Faculty and School Leadership Teams on all issues relating to Technical Operations within the Faculty.
  • Establish and deliver strategy and priorities for the Technical Operations function, taking into account external changes and factors as well the Faculty’s priorities, within the context of the available resources.
  • Support the strategic development of the Faculty through the initiation, delivery and leadership of projects.
  • Provide advice and guidance on key issues concerning other relevant strategies, policies and procedures relevant to Technical Operations and to the successful operation of the Faculty.
  • Be a member of the Faculty Professional Services leadership team, providing leadership across the Faculty.
  • Play a key role in establishing and maintaining the University’s reputation and profile nationally (and internationally, where appropriate), and to contribute to the development of appropriate KPIs and benchmarking where appropriate so that the University can be seen as a leader in this arena, exemplifying best practice.
  • Ensure that the Faculty implements and promotes the Technician Commitment across all areas of Technical Operations, contributing to the broader University leadership in this area.


  • Manage and coordinate the delivery of a comprehensive and effective Technical Operations service across the Faculty, working in partnership with academic leads, and other managers and business partners across the Faculty and University, and within agreed resources (people and non-pay).
  • Develop networks and relationships with senior colleagues across the Faculty and University to ensure that consistent policies are put in place.
  • Ensure that the Faculty is implementing all relevant University policies and procedures and that best practice is being followed.
  • Ensure that the roles of technical staff are consistent across the Faculty and are aligned with roles outside of the Faculty, in accordance with Reshaping Professional Services principles.
  • Advise the Faculty Leadership Team on how to maximise the distribution of technical resource to support all Schools and Faculty facilities most efficiently, and liaise with leaders and managers to ensure that technical resource needs are met.
  • Ensure that functions/facilities operate efficiently and effectively across the Faculty including stores, laboratories, laboratory services, procurement of supplies, workshops, core facilities, meeting rooms etc.
  • Increase communication and sharing of best practice across the faculty technical resource.
  • Work in partnership with the Faculty Compliance and Risk Senior Manager in ensuring that activity in Faculty laboratories and facilities is conducted to the highest safety standards, that there is a robust risk management system in place.
  • Support the Head of Faculty Finance in ensuring that appropriate and proportionate recharging arrangements are in place for all Faculty facilities.
  • Advise on allocation, planning, utilisation and development of space occupied by the Faculty in relation to relevant facilities and laboratories, in conjunction with Faculty Estates.
  • Provide input on the completion of the annual TRAC survey, compliance returns and any other relevant reporting requirements.
  • Ensure that all matters relating to Technical Operations are effectively communicated to the Technical Operations team.


  • Champion the position, development and visibility of Technical staff across the Faculty in the context of the broader Technical Commitment in the University.
  • Provide clear leadership for all technical staff and experimental officers across the Faculty and have appropriate people and systems in place across Technical Operations to ensure that:
    • PDRs are conducted for all PS technical staff;
    • Cases for regrading, rewarding exceptional performance and distinguished achievement awards are proactively considered;
    • Training needs are identified and met;
    • Workloads are appropriate, requests for flexible working are considered and staffing levels are regularly reviewed;
    • Probationary periods are managed; and
    • Performance issues are identified and managed.
  • Make a significant contribution to the effective and efficient management of the Faculty, and the ongoing review of priorities.


  • Have an understanding of and commitment to promote the University’s policies and procedures to support and promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Maintain confidentiality of information in line with data protection requirements and University policy.
  • Comply with Health and Safety requirements, including having an awareness of personal responsibilities to maintain a safe working environment.
  • Contribute to the University’s agenda for social responsibility, including sustainability.



Essential skills and experience

  1. Extensive understanding and knowledge of how a large and diverse Technical team works in an academic laboratory-based environment.
  2. Significant experience of leadership of a technical workforce in an academically-led environment, including the management of staff and resources.
  3. Demonstrable experience of contributing to the development of strategy and policy formulation, and of its implementation.
  4. Significant experience of managing change, with the capacity to innovate and lead change.
  5. Excellent communication skills, with the ability to communicate with all levels of staff in the University, both orally and in writing, and be able to successfully negotiate with and influence colleagues.
  6. Good judgement and ability to inspire the confidence of colleagues.
  7. Evidence of working collaboratively and proactively across organisational boundaries.
  8. Able to manage projects and operations within budget.
  9. Able to identify and effectively implement creative solutions to problems and to develop new systems and processes.
  10. Experience of space management including the development, allocation and utilisation aligned to strategy.
  11. Experience of leading and motivating a team through change.
  12. Experience of delivering an exceptional customer service to stakeholders.
  13. Ability and credibility to represent the University externally.
  14. Educated to degree level or equivalent professional experience, with evidence of continuing professional development.
  15. Understanding of the context that the University is operating within and an awareness of current issues facing Higher Education.
  16. Demonstrable commitment to the University’s strategy, vision and values.

Desirable skills and experience

  1. Understanding of the NHS environment and its interaction with Higher Education.

Terms of appointment

The salary range is £53,348 to £63,668.

The University offer a significant benefits package including a generous pension scheme based on salary and 29 holidays plus all national holidays and Christmas closure.

For information on the benefits of working at the University of Manchester, please click here.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an employment advisor to the University of Manchester. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley:

  • Carolyn Coates on +44(0)7825 871 944 or
  • Elliott Rae on +44(0)7584 078 534 or

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 7 March 2022.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of 2 pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the person specification criteria.
  • Please include details of two referees in either your CV or covering letter, though please note that we will not approach your referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.
  • Please complete an Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form here.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ1357


Closing date: Noon on Monday 7 March
Longlisting: Wednesday 16 March
Preliminary interviews with AQ: Thursday 17 – Tuesday 22 March
Shortlisting: Friday 29 April
Panel Interviews: w/c 9 or 16 May TBC (on campus)