Job Title: Grants and Learning Manager (maternity cover)

Reporting to:  Head of Grants

Responsible for: N/A

Based: Our Head Office is based in London, but we have an agile working policy enabling people to work at another UK location up to 4 days/week. Permanent remote working in the UK is possible and we welcome applications from people based in other parts of the UK. We are happy to consider secondments.

Terms: Full time (35 hours/week), 12-month fixed term maternity cover. 

Salary: £33,100 - £43,700

Download the candidate pack for this role as a pdf

About the role

We are seeking to appoint someone on a 12-month fixed term contract as maternity cover, to join our Grants Team in delivering The Ideas Fund, an exciting programme which looks to connect communities with researchers in order to develop and try out ideas related to mental wellbeing. The Fund is delivered in four areas of the UK – Oldham, Hull, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and North West Northern Ireland, although this role can be remote, based anywhere in the UK.

With support from the Head of Grants, we expect that you will have lead responsibility for our work in two of these areas, building strong relationships with our Development Co-ordinators and contributing to the successful delivery of the overall programme. You will oversee the support for grant holders to learn from what is working and feed this learning into our overall approach with the Fund, as well as sharing insights externally. It’s an exciting time for the Fund; you can find more details about our plans here.

You will work with our existing Grants & Learning Manager to ensure that our due diligence and grant reporting requirements are met, responding flexibly and creatively to issues that arise. Importantly, you will consistently focus on how we can continue to be innovative with our grant making, and how our learning can influence long term change in funding and public engagement practice.​

Job description

Key responsibilities

The main responsibilities of this role are to:

  • Work with the Head of Grants to deliver an innovative programme that constantly evolves based on what we learn.
  • Deliver excellent grant-making using relational, flexible and participatory approaches.
  • Design and implement high-quality assessment, due diligence and grant management processes, continually reviewing and refining the approach.
  • Support the assessment and delivery of a portfolio of ‘evidence building’ grants, with projects due to begin in January 2025.
  • Design and implement learning and evaluation strategies and processes, reviewing and refining as needed. Manage relationships and/or contracts with learning partners where appropriate.
  • Support local Development Coordinators to:
    • Ensure the programme’s aim of supporting underserved communities is fulfilled and the grants budget is committed.
    • Work with applicants and collaborators to develop high quality innovative proposals.
    • Work with grant holders, collaborating researchers and project partners to overcome challenges they might face in delivering their projects.
    • Collate and share local learning as part of an evidence building and practice sharing strategy, which is currently in development.
  • Develop and manage a small pipeline of discretionary ‘infrastructure’ grants to add value to the portfolio and/or make systemic impact at local or national level, if necessary.
  • Develop bespoke application and grant management and learning processes as appropriate.
  • Work with the Head of Grants to devise a learning and development plan for the Grants Team.
  • Build and engage a network of key stakeholders to ensure successful delivery of the programme.
  • Champion innovation in supporting community/researcher collaboration, community-led research, systems change and grant-making across relevant sectors including:
    • Sharing learning, practice and ideas with a broad range of stakeholders through a range of approaches.
    • Representing the British Science Association at external events to share innovation and learning.
    • Develop and deliver events and/or content to showcase practice.
  • Support the Head of Grants with developing the BSA’s strategy around future grants programmes. 

In addition, the post-holder will be expected to:

  • Support colleagues across the organisation, especially at busy times or on specific areas of expertise.
  • Undertake assessment or grant management work on other programmes as required.
  • Other duties as reasonably required by the line manager.

About you

The Grants & Learning Manager role would suit someone who has strong stakeholder management skills and good attention to detail, experience of grant-making, and an understanding of the benefits and risks involved in delivering innovative grant-making approaches.

The role would suit someone who is comfortable using their judgement and working with an evolving programme, and who can confidently communicate with a variety of stakeholders.

Your experience in terms of the person specification could come from either a personal or professional background. You may not have experience of everything listed in the person specification, but will be open to challenging yourself and developing in the role.

Person Specification ​

Below is a summary of essential and desirable criteria needed for this role, as well as how we will assess a candidate’s suitability.

Essential​ criteria



Cover letter


Task prior to the interview

Experience of grant-making 


Experience of formal partnership working with a thorough understanding of the success factors and challenges to collaborative approaches and partnerships


Strong project management skills with the ability to manage multiple competing deadlines effectively


Evidence of developed analytical and reasoning skills, with strong judgement and attention to detail


Ability to develop and maintain good working relationships


Strong communications skills that are matched to audiences


A self-starter, able to work on their own initiative and manage their own time effectively


Resilient and adaptable, with the ability to remain calm and effective when working on fast-moving, high-pressure projects


An understanding of the BSA’s goals and passion for our vision


Desirable​ criteria

We don’t expect applicants to meet all of the following criteria, but having one or more of the following would be really helpful in the role



Cover letter


Task prior to the interview

Experience of grant-making at a management level


Track record of designing successful programmes or developing organisations that benefit disadvantaged or underrepresented groups or individuals


Experience of working in the community or voluntary sector


Experience of working in the science engagement sector, or similar


Experience of managing and coaching teams of people and implementing team learning and development plans


Experience of multi-site project management and managing contractors/contractor relationships


How to apply

Please send a CV and covering letter (each of no more than two A4 pages) that summarises your interest in the role and details your ability to match the criteria.

Applications should be made via this link:

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Tuesday 18 June 2024.  

Interviews are due to take place on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 July 2024. 

​Download the candidate pack for this role as a pdf

You can also view a text-only version of the remaining pages of the recruitment pack here.

You will be informed as soon as possible after the application deadline whether you have been selected for interview.

As part of the British Science Association’s commitment to being a Disability Confident employer, all disabled* applicants who meet the ‘essential criteria’ for this vacancy will be offered an interview under our guaranteed interview scheme. 

If you wish to apply under the guaranteed interview scheme, you will be asked to indicate this when you submit your application by selecting ‘yes’ in the relevant box when asked during the application process. Applicants do not need to state any further information or declare their disability at the application stage.

Whether you are applying under the scheme or not, if you are successful in being shortlisted, we will ask candidates with disabilities or long-term health conditions to let us know if they need any adjustments during the recruitment process. 

If you have further questions or would like this information in a different format, please contact: [email protected]

Terms and conditions

While we try to ensure that everyone finishes work on time, and can vary their working hours in line with our agile working policy, from time to time the job entails working extended hours and occasional weekends, for which no overtime payments are made. The BSA operates a time off in lieu policy for weekend working and some other out-of-hours instances.

Only applicants who have a legal right to work within the UK will be considered. You will be asked to bring along proof of nationality and/or proof of ability to work in the UK.

You will also be asked to declare any previous convictions in line with your rights under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) order 1975.

This is a description of the job as it is presently constituted. It is the practice of the Association to examine job descriptions from time to time and to update them to ensure they relate to the job as then being performed, or to incorporate whatever changes are reasonably required, in discussion with the postholder.

A copy of our Privacy Notice is available on the vacancies page of our website.

*The Disability Confident scheme’s definition of disability is in line with the Equalities Act 2010: “a physical or mental condition which has a long-term and substantial effect on your daily life”. 

Further information about our Disability Confident commitments can be found on the Disability Confident page of our website.

Our commitment to EDI

For the BSA's vision to come to fruition, we need to help science become part of culture, including those who are currently least engaged. We need to be able to engage with people in groups that are poorly represented in science, and that’s why equality, diversity & inclusion (EDI) needs to be central to our activities.​

The BSA has established three objectives for our work with EDI:​

  • Develop our staff and internal systems to ensure the BSA reflects the society we want to see, and develops inclusive culture and policies;​
  • Change our programmes to increase their relevance to audiences who are traditionally under-represented in science engagement activities, and empower people to run science engagement activities for their networks and communities;​
  • Influence other organisations and individuals in the science engagement to sector to develop and improve their EDI practices in capability and audience development to reach new audiences.​

We recognise that in many settings, at the BSA and beyond, EDI can be seen as an add-on or ‘fix’ to the regular work. Our aim is for EDI to be the heart of everything we do.