Vacancy Details

Program Manager – Research Grants

To lead and manage the lifecycle of the research grants program (for all disciplines) ensuring that all proposals are screened, reviewed (internally and externally), approved and monitored according to the policies and procedures governing the research grants program.

Key Responsibilities & Accountabilities:


  1. Lead the formulation and implementation of the Research Grants Program strategy in line with the KFAS’s short, medium, and long term objectives.
Budgets and Financial Plans
  1. Monitor the financial performance of activities under the Research Grants Program versus allocated budgets so that areas of unsatisfactory performance are identified and rectified promptly, and potential performance improvement opportunities are capitalized upon.
Execution of Program
  1. Develop annual workplans and budgets in accordance with established KPIs under the guidance of Director – Research and in coordination with Strategy and Finance departments.
  2. Execute program activities according to approved workplans, budgets, and KPIs.
People Management
  1. Organize and supervise the activities and work of subordinates to ensure that all work within the Research Grants Program is carried out in an efficient manner which is consistent with operating procedures and departmental policy.
Program Management
  1. Implement an effective internal research management system utilizing information management systems (IMS) to enhance the ability of KFAS’ to manage all research projects across their full lifecycle.
  2. Monitor and record the performance of the Research Grants Program through the continuous tracking of the program against established program KPIs to assist the Strategic Planning & Evaluation Department in evaluating the effectiveness of the Research Grants Program.
Research Grants Process Management
  1. Initiate requests for proposals (RFP) on behalf of KFAS as requested by the Director Research.
  2. Ensure all submitted documents from researchers, i.e., proposals, progress reports, final reports are checked for completeness in alignment with the policies and procedures, before further action can be taken.
  3. Identify national, regional and/or international peer reviewers to evaluate research proposals based on key research themes/key words using the referee’s database; gain approval from the Director Research on identified peer reviewers.
  4. Assist research external advisory committees in evaluating research proposal summaries through providing the necessary information and documentation.
  5. Manage the timeliness of the assessment of research proposals under the Research Grants Program to ensure that applications are processed (including internal and international peer review) within given timeframe through follow up with the research experts/advisory committees as well as peer reviewers.
  6. Ensure the progress reports and final reports/publications are submitted to KFAS within timelines.
  7. Coordinate with the Accounting Department to ensure that grants have been released to the sponsoring research institute based on agreed upon project milestones as per the signed contract.
  8. Monitor and document any issues/delays in research projects as per the signed contract and highlight to the Director Research.
Collaboration and Engagement
  1. Maintain a working knowledge of similar regional and international research funding institutions to identify leading research management and funding practices that can be adopted by KFAS to promote the achievement of the Research Grants Program objectives.
  2. Liaise with the Partnership and International Relations function for the facilitation and development of local and international partnerships; assist in identifying international research entities (Research institutes, Universities, research funding agencies) with whom KFAS can form mutually beneficial relationships for collaboration, sharing of information etc.
Continuous Improvement
  1. Motivate subordinates and contribute to the identification of opportunities for continuous improvement of systems, processes, and practices while considering international leading practice, improvement of business processes, cost reduction, and productivity improvement.
  2. Demonstrate vision and values in work and practice, motivate and work with all members of the institution to create a shared culture and positive climate.
Policies, Systems, Processes & Procedures
  1. Implement departmental policies, systems, and procedure so that all relevant procedural/ legislative requirements are fulfilled while delivering a quality and cost-effective service.
  1. Supervise and provide inputs in the preparation of timely and accurate departmental statements and reports to meet the Research Directorate requirements, policies, and standards.
Health, Safety & Environment
  1. Comply with all relevant health, safety and environmental management policies, procedures and controls to ensure a healthy and safe work environment.

Key Interactions and Relationships


  1. Deputy Director Generals
  2. Director Research
  3. Finance
  4. Strategic Planning & Evaluation
  5. Communications & Public Relations
  6. International Relations & Strategic Partnerships


  1. Sponsoring research institutions
  2. Researchers
  3. External advisory committees/consultants
  4. Ministries
  5. Peer reviewers

Education & Qualifications

  • PhD in a scientific field with a strong focus on research
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)


  • 10-12 years experience within the research field
  • 5 years project management experience
  • Experience in a renowned research funding institute preferable

Competencies (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities):


  • Organization Building and Resourcing
  • Decision Making
  • Driving and Managing Change
  • Building Partnerships
  • Visioning and Alignment


  • Program Management
  • Research
  • Program Budget Management
  • Program Design
  • Accessing, Developing & Sharing Knowledge
  • Program Review, Monitoring & Evaluation


  • Analytical Thinking & Problem Solving
  • Communication Skills
  • Continuous Improvement and Self Development
  • Execution Excellence
  • Initiative and Enthusiasm
  • Innovative and Ideas Driven
  • Stakeholder Orientation
  • Teamwork