Director of Research and Enterprise


4th February 2019

The Open University (OU) is the UK’s largest academic institution and a world leader in flexible distance learning (helping almost 180,000 students worldwide to achieve their learning goals each year).  We are unique among UK universities in combining a mission to widen access to higher education with research excellence. Research and knowledge exchange are fundamental to our founding principle: to be ‘open to people, places, methods and ideas’.


Our world-leading innovative research and development ranks in the top third of UK universities and it influences policy and practices from local to global levels. We have a vibrant research community including about 1,000 research students supported directly and through Affiliated Research Centres. We have a flourishing research and enterprise agenda and we are seeking to appoint a new Director to head up this critical area of activity.


Reporting into the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, Enterprise and Scholarship, you will provide support to him in developing and shaping University research strategy (including postgraduate research), enterprise and engagement.  You will advise the PVC on external developments and recommended courses of action, acting as an expert in research and enterprise.


You will lead on successful institutional co-ordination and submission for REF 2021, ensure delivery and evaluation of strategic objectives, and take responsibility for the development and implementation of the University’s research and enterprise plan.  You will provide leadership to the Research, Enterprise and Scholarship Unit, being the executive link between the unit and senior staff of the University and its academic and professional units.


You will be educated to degree level and possess extensive and successful senior strategic experience within a higher education research environment along with a keen understanding of the UK and European research landscape, including thorough familiarity with relevant policies and processes, such as the UK Research Excellence Framework, the Higher Education Innovation Fund, and European frameworks for research and the emerging UK Knowledge Exchange Framework. You will be a credible and personable leader with experience of taking teams through change whilst motivating and developing staff to achieve clear goals. With demonstrable experience of shaping strategy, you will be an excellent planner, with experience of developing and delivering business plans successfully and will make a real contribution as Director of the unit and will have genuine empathy with the OU’s mission and values.

How to apply

Applications can only be accepted via the online application process at

For an informal discussion on the role please contact Gin Bhandal on 0121 654 5955.

Closing date for applications will be midday on 4 February 2019.

We promote diversity in employment and welcome applications from all sections of the community.