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Graduate Project Manager - Astronomy Technology Centre

Salary range: 
£25,000 to £30,000
Job/scheme locations: 
Type of opportunity: 
Graduate scheme
Application deadline: 

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, technology 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.

Our graduates join us in a permanent position, starting a real job from day one. Graduates enjoy two years of formal soft skills together with technical training and development, as well as a direct route to professional accreditation. STFC graduates have the opportunity to build on their degree, taking their understanding, knowledge and skills to a new level in a dynamic, creative, collaborative culture.

STFC consists of several distinct departments which each focus on a different specialism within science, technology, innovation and support, yet work together to achieve STFC’s grand ambitions. Different departments may look for graduates with similar skills, so you should consider which role/s are most suitable to you, and apply for up to two of these.

The UK ATC, located at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, is the national centre for the design and production of astronomical technology. We design and build instruments for many of the world's major telescopes. We also project-manage UK and international collaborations. Our scientists carry out observational and theoretical research into fundamental questions such as the origins of planets and of galaxies.

Current projects at the UK ATC include; Harmoni instrument for the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which will be the largest optical and infra-red telescope ever built. Mid InfraRed Instrument (MIRI) for the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s flagship successor to Hubble. Projects of this size and complexity require close collaboration of many different international partners, which provides a unique challenge with respect to the project management.

Summary of Duties & Responsibilities

As a Graduate Project Manager at the UK ATC, the post holder will be expected to work within teams across a wide range of projects, according to the processes and procedures in place at the UK ATC which are based around the PMI Body of Knowledge standards and the STFC Project Management guidelines.

Working within a matrix organisation alongside engineers, technicians and scientists, and reporting to the Head of the Project Management Group at the UK ATC, the main duties will be to:-

  • Project Planning & Risks: Support the Senior Project Manager and the Work Package Managers by facilitating the planning, tracking of progress, and status reporting of all key tasks at the UK ATC against the project delivery date. Initially, this will involve tasks such as schedule capture and maintenance, closing-out actions, identifying delays and compiling progress reports etc. As experience is gained, other duties will be required including critical path identification and control, and risk register analysis
  • Project Finance: Assist in the set-up of work package budgets against estimates, then monitor actual project spend at the UK ATC in terms of effort and material cost against the budgets, reporting status as required to the Senior Project Manager
  • Stakeholder Reporting: Compile information in draft form to assist the Senior Project Manager in the reporting of project status to all stakeholders and customers
  • Consortium Management: Using the experience gained from UK ATC specific work packages, monitor and control schedule and costs incurred on work packages external to the UK ATC within the project Consortium. This will involve tracking institute schedule updates and feeding the date back into the master schedule; following-up on actions, especially risk mitigation actions; checking institute financial returns against their budgets and consolidating them into the overall finance plan
  • Procurement & Contract Management: Produce and implement procurement plans, work with procurement staff to raise orders, then track all key items towards delivery according to contract terms and conditions.
  • Project Management of Small Projects: Be responsible for the cost and delivery, to the required specification and standards, of some small scale short duration projects.

Note that some of these tasks will involve UK/international travel to consortium institutes external to the UK ATC.

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