Chief Finance Officer (CFO)

c.£140,000 - £150,000 per annum*

*subject to experience, but may be higher where a candidate can demonstrate exceptional relevant expertise

Purpose of the role

As a member of the Board and Executive Committee, the CFO will work closely with the CEO to set the strategic vision for UKRI, utilising insights into the dynamics and challenges that the organisation faces in relation to the political, economic and social landscapes.  As a visible leader for UKRI’s corporate services, you will provide finance, commercial, legal, governance, risk & assurance, office estates and health & safety services to the whole of UKRI. 

As CFO accountable to both the CEO, as the UKRI Accounting Officer, and to the Board, you will provide professional advice and judgements on a broad range of complex matters requiring experience and understanding of the central public sector. You will provide leadership on short and long-term financial objectives, including the organisation’s asset base, capital funding, current and new funding streams, overseeing all aspects of the finance and accounting functions, to instill a culture of accountability, value for money and risk-based decisions to ensure financial stability and sound stewardship for taxpayers’ funds.

You will work closely with the Executive Director for Strategy and the Transformation Director to oversee the delivery of programmes to improve and simplify the organisation’s operations and corporate support functions, together with the management of the relationship with the current primary shared services provider, UK SBS.

Other responsibilities may be added over time as UKRI continues to mature.



  • Work closely across the Executive to support the CEO in providing overall leadership and direction to the organisation; ensuring execution of the organisation’s plans whilst modelling the culture and behaviours required to bring to life UKRI’s values

  • Lead and develop the capacity and capability of the functions and teams reporting to the role

Finance, Commercial, Risk and Governance:

  • Drive the annual financial planning, budgeting and reporting cycle

  • Ensure production of insightful management accounts that inform organisational decision making

  • Lead on the Annual Report and Accounts; working closely with the Audit Committee and the NAO

  • Ensure a robust, risk-based, governance and control environment for the organisation; working closely with Government Internal Audit Agency and the Audit Committee to provide assurance to the Accounting Officer and the Board

  • Provide challenging and insightful analysis on complex multi-£m business cases for investment decisions

  • Further develop commercial services to deliver whole-life value for money, working within the constraints of public sector regulations

Legal, Office Estates and H&S:

  • Ensure the organisation has the legal, office estates and H&S capacity and capability required, delivering appropriate support effectively and efficiently

Key Skills
  • Highly resilient, ability to deliver, personally, at pace whilst ensuring others execute agreed plans

  • Calm and authoritative under pressure and ability to act quickly and decisively when required

  • Excellent leadership skills and behaviours and a clear ability to use these to create highly engaged, highly performing teams

  • Experienced team player – able to listen and contribute in equal measure and engage with and encourage a wide range of opinions

  • Significant commercial acumen and business knowledge

  • Outstanding, analytical written and oral communication skills

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, able to influence, build and maintain strong working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders; collaborative and consultative

  • Enthusiastic, motivated, adaptable and proactive with the ability to work flexibly in a changing environment

  • A strategic and innovative commercial thinker with the ability to translate ideas into action in the delivery of customer focused services.

  • Ability to critically and positively challenge at all levels within the organisation to aid potential engagement with Whitehall and up to Ministerial level.



  • A proven track record as a financial and operational leader of a large and complex commercial organisation, with experience of managing multi-million-pound complex budgets

  • Strong understanding of financial management, complex procurement and corporate operations with the ability to drive the design and successful implementation of significant programmes of change across corporate services

  • Proven ability to deliver at pace

  • Demonstrable track record of ensuring co-ordination and execution of plans in a complex organisational environment

  • An appreciation of governance and risk management principles gained ideally within a public-sector setting

  • Expertise of working at a senior level with diverse internal and external stakeholders, across organisational and sectoral boundaries

  • Experience of developing high performing teams 

  • Experience of building effective cross functional working relationships

  • Experience in, interest in or a very strong understanding of academia and central government

  • Experience in, interest in or a very strong understanding of the research and innovation sector.


  • Previous experience of accounting in the public sector and managing public money

  • Previous responsibility for Corporate Services. Especially Human Resources

  • Experience of developing funding proposals utilising complex financial instruments

  • Experience of effective international working.



  • CCAB professionally recognized financial qualification

UK Research & Innovation

Allen Lane Recruitment 

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