Programme Manager - Discovery Portfolio

Exeter, Devon
£40,000 to £60,000 salary range plus benefits
25 May 2021
11 Jun 2021
Job Function
Programme Manager
Contract Type
Full Time

Salary: £40,000 to £60,000 salary range plus benefits

Location: Exeter with option of remote working due to COVID-19

Closing: 9:00am, 11th Jun 2021 BST

Job Description Can you help us to focus on building and strengthening relationships between the NHS, academic and commercial sector to accelerate the discovery, development and deployment of solutions that improve the health and economy of our region?

Health and care systems around the world are facing an unprecedented challenge. Even before the emergence of COVID-19, increasing demand on health and care services required us to rethink how we help people to stay healthy and support them to manage health conditions.

The South West has been stepping up to that challenge – and with an ageing population spread over three large counties, with considerable variation in life expectancy, it’s a significant one. Nearly a quarter of people living across Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are aged 65 and over and, despite numerous thriving communities, the region includes some of the most deprived areas in the country.

What’s clear is that tackling this challenge will require us to innovate, improve and evolve how we deliver health and

care services. That’s where we come in. Established by NHS England in 2013 as one of fifteen Academic Health Science

Networks (AHSNs), we help health and care partners across the South West to develop and spread innovative practice.

Our existing programme portfolio is broad. Current commissions include programmes to spread proven innovation in partnership with NHS England, improve patient safety through our commission with NHS Improvement, and to support the uptake of innovation from the life science sectors in the health and care system with the Office of LIfe Sciences.

As a Programme Manager you will join our Programmes Business Function to shape, define and manage a range of projects in our Discovery Portfolio focused on supporting the NHS, academic and commercial sectors to accelerate the adoption and spread of solutions that improve the health and economy of our region.

You will design and manage a range of projects as part of our Discovery Portfolio and Office for Life Sciences commission, working in collaboration with colleagues across our Programmes Business Function. You will be responsible for supporting the development of a pipeline of spread-ready innovations that will have the

potential to respond to the key needs and challenges in our regional health and care system.

We are looking for someone who shares our passion to improve health and generate economic growth through instigating and developing new partnerships between industry, academic and healthcare sectors.

Purpose of the role

The Programme Manager is responsible for ensuring we efficiently identify spread ready innovations aligned to the needs of our region and work with multi-disciplinary teams and various stakeholders to ensure spread and adoption that ultimately translates into improvements in the lives of patients in our region.

Reporting to one of our programme directors, you will work in a team dedicated to supporting our innovation pipeline and work across our commissioned programmes.


  • Lead the development of a pipeline of high promise innovations that have the potential to respond to the needs and challenges in our regional health and care system.

  • Proactively communicate our regional priorities to the innovator community, driving high quality potential solutions into the innovation pipeline for assessment.

  • Build partnerships between the NHS, academic and commercial sectors to accelerate the adoption and spread of relevant, validated solutions through a range of local challenges and grants-based competitions.

  • Support commercial sector, academic and NHS organisations to develop solutions to unmet needs by providing advice on commercialisation, market access and real-world validation where required.

  • Establish strong internal relationships that draw on the expertise from across the organisation in supporting the development of high quality potential solutions.

  • Work with our Communications & Engagement Business Function to engage partners in our Portfolio, communicate the impact of our work and raise our profile at a regional and national level.

  • Work with our Evaluation & Learning Business Function to build robust plans for how we will understand the impact of our support for commercial sector organisations.

  • Build strong relationships with other AHSNs that enable us to develop and adopt standard national best practice.

Key success factors

  • Passion for improving health and care through innovation in the health and life sciences sector.

  • Proven ability to build and maintain cross-sector partnerships and navigate NHS and Social Care commissioning and procurement.

  • Flexible and adaptable, comfortable with change and working in uncertain environments.

  • An accomplished communicator with the ability to influence others to problem solve, make decisions and overcome challenges.

Experience we are looking for

  • Working in or with the health and life sciences sectors – from a customer, supplier or intermediary perspective.

  • A good working knowledge of the health and care system, NHS commissioning and procurement.

  • Experience managing a pipeline of projects – assessing ideas for relevance and validity to identify high-value opportunities.

  • A track record of influencing stakeholders to change their perspectives.

  • Experience of leading the design, development and delivery of projects and programmes, including reporting impact and proactively managing risks and issues.

Experience and capabilities you will develop in the role

  • Leading large-scale, cross-system programmes to improve health.

  • Building cross-sector partnerships that deliver impact.

  • Experience of cutting-edge innovation and improvement methods and approaches.

  • Influencing health systems at regional levels.

Abilities and attributes

  • Critical thinker – creative, curious and unafraid of complexity.

  • Adaptable – able to appraise and re-prioritise tasks quickly and calmly.

  • Effective stakeholder manager – able to earn and maintain the trust of internal and external stakeholders at all levels and inspire through a shared purpose.

  • Effective communicator and presenter – able to engage a wide range of audiences by being compelling, credible and inspiring.


We are working hard to ensure we recruit great people and minimise unconscious bias in our selection process. To support us in doing so we use the Applied recruitment platform, which anonymises applicants.

Please click apply to be redirected to the Applied recruitment platform 

We will only ask for CVs if successfully shortlisted for interview.