Portfolio Project Manager


Job Title: Portfolio Project Manager
Location: RAL Laboratory, Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire, UK (flexible working available, with at least 3 days a week on-site)
Contract Type: Up to 2 x Permanent Positions
Salary: £56,900 – £62,590 gross per annum dependent on experience 
Hours: Full-time (We understand the importance of work-life balance, and are happy to discuss the possibility of flexible working with applicants)

Due to the requirement of obtaining an enhanced security clearance for this role, we are only able to accept applications from persons who have been resident in the UK for the last 5 years. We cannot sponsor visa applications for this role.

Together, our scientists, technologists, engineers and business support team explore the unknown and turn what they find into work that changes the world around us. 

Come and discover how much you can achieve when you’re surrounded by world-leading experts, encouraged to constantly learn and empowered to explore your curiosity.

About Us

As part of the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) established the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC). This includes a commitment of £100m+ over 5 years, dedicated to technical and commercial developments in the field of Quantum Computing. The Centre is a joint initiative of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

The primary purpose of the NQCC is to fill a key gap in the research and innovation landscape addressing the challenge of scaling quantum computing. 

The NQCC operates a wide variety of projects including technology projects building quantum computers in our laboratories, software development, high-performance computing systems, community outreach and construction projects to build and enhance our facilities. Many of our projects are collaborations with industry and academia.  The NQCC will give assured and direct access to early prototype machines to developers and promote the formation of a strong UK-based quantum computing supply chain.

Our Benefits

Our benefits include a flexible working scheme (subject to business requirements), a defined benefit pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance plus 10.5 bank holiday/privilege days and several other benefits. 

The Role
We are looking for a Portfolio Project Manager who thrives on leading a team of diverse people and on managing an array of large-scale technical projects. You will be working alongside scientists, engineers, developers and experts in quantum technologies, to enhance the UK’s quantum computing capabilities.

Day-to-day, you will be responsible for ensuring the implementation of the NQCC’s project management process, coordinating operations and technical resources, tracking project performance, delivering and reporting on technical milestones, and ensuring every activity is run to time and budget. You will also identify and monitor project risks and ensure effective change management processes are in place. As the Portfolio Project Manager, you will use your STEM background or acquired STEM-related experience to provide an immediate escalation path for project managers, technical project owners, and teams of engineers. You will also directly manage projects which lead to the development and delivery of quantum computing hardware, software and services for the NQCC and our external stakeholders and partners.

Main Responsibilities

•    Effectively lead a team of project managers, ensuring their well-being at work, allocating projects and tasks fairly and according to their strengths, regularly and objectively managing their individual performance and that of their projects, and supporting their personal development.
•    Set or negotiate KPIs, objectives, schedules and resources for your team.
•    Directly manage our quantum computing-related projects and the delivery of R&D or technical outputs, ensuring that all agreed milestones meet stakeholders’ expectations.
•    Ensure the NQCC’s project management process is implemented correctly across all the projects managed by your team. Suggest ideas for continuous improvement.
•    Ensure effective risk management is in place across all projects, so that risks to NQCC and the wider STFC can be identified and led from the outset before they become issues.
•    Maintain project documentation across all your portfolio of projects (and that of the project managers you will lead) and communicate project updates to Senior Leadership and stakeholders in a timely manner, enabling decision-making.
• Support your colleagues in the Technology and R&D teams with the management and delivery of cutting-edge technology and scientific and technical infrastructure that enables the delivery of research outputs.    
• Support your colleagues in the Benefits, Monitoring and Evaluation team with any cross-project reporting requirements. 
•    Support your colleagues in the Programme Management team with monitoring and advice on performance trends including Programme Delivery achievement and manage corrective action plans where needed.
•    Help develop new processes within the Programme Delivery Team as required.

Person Specification

Whilst a STEM qualification or acquired experience is required for this role, technical expertise in quantum computing specifically is not required. Consideration will be given to a less experienced individual if there is evidence of potential and passion to grow into the role.


•    STEM qualification or acquired experience
•    Extensive experience in project management, including large-scale, complex environments, resulting in the ability to develop robust plans, assess risk, develop and drive mitigation plans, plan budget and multi-year expenditure.
•    Experience leading diverse teams, resulting in a demonstrable ability to motivate, inspire and collaborate effectively.
•    Excellent time management and outstanding organisational skills.
•    Strong desire to take ownership and accountability for the delivery of technical deliverables.
•    Strong written and verbal communication skills, resulting in the ability to communicate with and influence both technical and non-technical stakeholders.
•    Ability to manage a diverse portfolio of projects and manage a fluctuating workload and competing priorities.
•    Familiar with a range of professional tools and methods related to large-scale programmes and project delivery.
•    Eye for detail, interpreting and presenting project performance data in an evidence-based manner.
•    Working with discretion to protect project confidentiality, commercial sensitivity and personal data.


•    A project management-related certification: eg. PRINCE2 Practitioner, Agile Project Management Practitioner or Registered Project Professional (APM), Certified Project Director (CPD), Project Manager Professional (PMP), Lean Six Sigma etc. 
•    Experience of project delivery within an ISO9001 quality management system
•    Appreciation of Risk Analysis methods and Risk Mitigation techniques for complex research projects
•    Appreciation of Health, Safety and Environment
•    Understanding of high-performance computing and/or relevant related technologies

Security Clearance 

Due to the nature of the role, and the requirement to support diverse projects, the successful candidate is required to successfully complete national pre-employment control checks to the BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard) to fulfil the role.   Checks can take between 9-12 working days. Once in post, they may need to successfully complete an Enhanced Security Check (SC) clearance.

Join us and discover what’s possible!

About the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC)

As part of the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is leading a programme to establish a National Quantum Computing Centre, which includes a commitment of £93m over 5 years, dedicated to drive development in the field of Quantum Computing and to place the UK at the forefront of the field. The Centre is a joint initiative of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

A purpose-built National Quantum Computing Centre will be built and operated by UKRI at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) campus in Oxfordshire. The Centre will be open and operational by December 2022. Until then, the NQCC’s activities are taking place in other facilities on the Harwell Campus or at partnering institutions. The NQCC will sit alongside other departments within the STFC National Laboratories and will be part of the broader National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP).

The primary purpose of the NQCC is to fill a key gap in the research and innovation landscape addressing the challenge of scaling quantum computing. However, this technology is immature and extensive development work is needed to scale the fundamental science to provide usable computing systems.

The NQCC’s initial 5 years will focus on developing a Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) machine to demonstrate the technology as well as software, algorithm and applications development. The longer-term aim is to scale the technology towards an error and noise-free fault-tolerant machine capability with benchmarking and verification demonstrated in collaboration with the UK and international partners. The NQCC will give assured and direct access to early prototype machines to developers and promote the formation of a strong UK-based quantum computing supply chain.

About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we ask the biggest questions in the universe to find answers that change the world around us. We seek understanding. We’re proud of the impact we make. And we’re committed to helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy. Being part of all this means contributing to work that pushes boundaries and creates possibilities. You’ll work with, and learn from, true experts. Whatever your role, you’ll be free to question, and encouraged to share ideas. And, in a positive and supportive culture, you’ll discover just what a difference you can make when you’re equipped and inspired to excel.

We’re a place where curious minds thrive. Not bound by profit, we explore ideas that others don’t, ask questions that others won’t, and discover answers that others are not equipped to find. And, alongside Mars landings and black holes, we also explore diverse, international projects in everything from science and engineering to computing and technology. Whether it’s at the cutting edge or behind the scenes, our work is intellectually challenging. It’s very often ground-breaking.  And it’s endlessly, irresistibly fascinating.

For more information about STFC please visit https://stfc.ukri.org/

You can also visit our careers site https://www.stfccareers.co.uk/ 

About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) 

UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. 

Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation. 

More information can be found at www.ukri.org.  

Choosing to come to work at UKRI means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme, excellent holiday entitlement, access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme.  For more details, visit benefits of working for UKRI.

The role holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role.  UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’

Disability Confident Employer

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation. 

How to apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application. 

Additional Information

  • Organisation: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) – National Quantum Computing Centre
  • Contract Type: Open Ended
  • External Closing Date: Nov 26, 2023
  • Minimum Salary: Pound Sterling (GBP) 56,900
  • Hours: Full-time