Assistant Director of Research, IT - University of Exeter

Competitive salary plus USS pension - Hybrid working, Exeter, Devon, South West, UK

The University of Exeter has an ambitious strategy embracing the opportunity of digital in research, key to which will be the evolution of our Research IT capability. The University is therefore seeking to bring in Research IT’s first, strategic leader who will plan the future for Research IT at Exeter. 

The new Assistant Director of Research IT will engage with our research community, then define the future strategy and roadmap for Research IT which will accelerate our progress in research impact and power.


The University of Exeter is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of top UK research universities, having been ranked 137th in the world according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023, and 13th in the UK, in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023. With around 30,000 students from more than 150 countries, we and are proud that in the National Student Survey 2022, we were ranked first amongst Russell Group universities for overall student satisfaction.

The Assistant Director of Research IT is a newly created, critical role. Reporting to the Director of IT Services, you will be responsible for ensuring that the University’s Research IT capability (service and change) is fit for purpose and able to protect, support and enhance the full breadth of research IT services that will be delivered either on-campus, purely digitally or in a blended model. The post offers the opportunity for an individual to deliver an effective future Research IT service, which will facilitate improved, efficient research at Exeter. We need a strategic thinking, scientific or research computing leader, with the ability to engage with senior research stakeholders and who can encourage a progressive, efficient Research IT service.

The Role

  • Lead and develop all aspects of Research IT provision across the University. Operate as a senior leader, gaining credibility as a trusted partner to the research community. Build positive peer-to-peer relationships with key research stakeholders. Demonstrate the ‘art of the possible’ and stimulate future demand for Research IT.
  • Craft a well-planned, Research IT strategy, technology roadmap and budget including devising an accurate and effective funding model, factoring in robust cost recovery mechanisms. 
  • Provide strategic leadership to the Research IT function. Coach and mentor the team, encouraging clarity of responsibility, collaboration, and efficiency of process. Act as a beacon of best practice and coach the adoption of contemporary IT industry disciplines.

The Candidate

  • Will have had significant exposure to information technology/ computing leadership in research-driven sectors, coupled with the ability to engage with complex research populations. You will have intellectual credibility and gravitas, plus a proven ability to build relationships with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • A strategic forward thinker, you should demonstrate previous experience crafting consensual yet innovative future plans for research IT functions. This should be backed up with a pedigree of delivery.
  • An enthusing and inspiring people leader, you will have a track record of building well-structured, cohesive teams, whilst encouraging the adoption of contemporary technology techniques and ways of working.

For a confidential discussion, contact Alex Richardson at our retained search consultants Berwick Partners on  alex.richardson@berwickpartners.co.uk or on 07736 378 614.


Initial pre-screening interviews with Berwick Partners will take place in the weeks’ commencing 06 and 13 May with University of Exeter interviews expected to take place in the week commencing 27 May 2024.

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