Position Details


The postholder will be home based (UK) or out of our London, Harwell or Edinburgh offices with frequent UK travel.


£61,200 pa

Posted on


Application Closes


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Head of Design

Purpose of the Role

To design, co-ordinate and lead a portfolio of activities which establish IUK KTN as a leader in respect of early-stage design and innovation. Stimulating the greater use of complementary human centred design and innovation approaches by companies across markets and building the design and innovation capability across the Innovate UK family to support companies in this respect.

As a Head of programmes, you will establish and maintain key strategic relationships and develop external networks to enable fulfilment of IUK KTN’s design ambitions. The Head will additionally explore potential client income opportunities in this area.

As a Team Leader at IUK KTN you will construct and lead a portfolio of activities related to industry sectors or themes, including managing project teams to deliver knowledge transfer and company support in the defined area – growing the UK economy and successfully achieving the IUKKTN strategic commitments.

As a Senior Manager you will manage a team of highly skilled people and their development as individuals and as IUK KTN employees and ensure compliance with company deadlines and procedures.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • To develop and deliver the Design and Innovation portfolio, developing the Innovation Network and other initiatives, generating new opportunities for IUK KTN.
  • To develop IUK KTN’s recognition across the design and innovation industries as the UK’s leading catalyst for innovation.
  • To support external networks across Innovate UK and the UKRI family to develop and embed design and innovation capabilities to realise further effective programme development.
  • To support IUK KTN colleagues across the organisation to use and embed relevant design and innovation approaches within programmes to generate greater impact and benefits to the organisation and external stakeholders and companies.
  • To oversee the collation of evidence and craft narratives demonstrating the benefits of design in innovation and effective innovation practice.
  • To develop and deliver relevant parts of the annual IUK KTN Delivery Plan, to include meeting client plans, developing new areas (from within and outside the technical area) and generating new and appropriate opportunities for IUK KTN revenue.
  • To exploit synergies across sectors, seeking and exploiting cross-cutting opportunities from other sectors and technologies.
  • To contribute as a member of the senior management team provide strategic guidance and challenge to the Director and Executive on the future direction of IUK KTN promoting our values and behaviours and delivering change programmes.
  • To help set the direction of the work in collaboration with the Director and maintaining high attention to support for businesses with high growth potential
  • To develop and manage a high performing team, well engaged with IUK KTN values and to a level where they can act with (agreed) autonomy in meeting project goals.
  • To champion diversity and inclusion in all we do so that people feel supported and valued.
  • To maintain strong relationships with relevant counterparts at Innovate UK and other key stakeholders.
  • To support career development of staff, with particular emphasis on experience across communities and maintaining or enhancing technical, market or functional capability.
  • To work collegiately with colleagues to deliver best practice in areas such as knowledge transfer, innovation, events delivery, communications, project management.
  • To be responsible for good financial practice, ensuring timely input of timesheets, invoices etc. and delivering to an agreed external budget, observing team expenses claims.
  • To support KPI delivery and provide regular reporting of activity and outcomes.

Experience & Skills


  • Degree level of equivalent experience with relevant industry experience.
  • Demonstrable experience and understanding of delivering human centred design in innovation across sectors and industries.
  • Demonstrable experience of managing design / creative teams, programmes, and projects with active stakeholder engagement.
  • Demonstrable experience of leading and developing high performing teams located remotely across more than one site.
  • Demonstrable skills in working with industry, academic and government stakeholders, to co-develop and deliver projects whilst creating engaging external communications and profile raising.
  • Demonstrable experience gained in senior positions in business, across a range of design roles or functions (desirable).


  • Design acumen, a creative mindset and thorough understanding of the tools, approaches and methodologies deployed across the design and innovation sectors.
  • Thorough understanding of UK design industries and well networked across design and innovation stakeholders with strong personal connections to senior figures.
  • Well connected to key stakeholders and contribution to shaping UK strategy.
  • An understanding of knowledge transfer, innovation, and R&D.
  • Empathetic and empowering team management to deliver agreed targets on individual and team performance.
  • Demonstrable track record of managing multiple concurrent events, projects, and programmes.
  • Financially astute with experience of business development, successful bid writing and proper management of budgets.
  • Visual communicator with excellent writing and presentation skills, able to translate complex topics into engaging content for a diverse audience.
  • Proficient in Adobe creative suite.

Benefits & how to apply

  • This role has a salary of £61,200 pa
  • 28 days annual leave plus 10.5 bank and public holidays
  • Enhanced Pension Plan
  • Life Assurance
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Cycle to Work Scheme
  • Wider Wallet employee benefits high street discounts scheme
  • Opportunities for continuous professional development as part of our Talent & Development Programme

This advert will close on Friday 16th June though some circumstances may require us to close earlier, so early application is advised.

First stage interviews to be held w/c 19th June.

Second stage interviews to be held w/c 26th June and 3rd July.

Please apply by submitting a tailored cover letter outlining your suitability with specifics relating to the requirements of the role, and your CV outlining your experience.

The postholder will be home based (UK) or out of our London, Harwell or Edinburgh offices with frequent UK travel.

Applicants must have the existing and ongoing right to work in the UK without restrictions as sponsorship for visas is not provided. Unfortunately, owing to the high number of applications received, we can only provide feedback to applicants selected for interview.

Should you wish to discuss this opportunity further, please contact the Recruitment Team by email to recruitment@iuk.ktn-uk.org.

Innovate UK KTN strives to be a diverse and inclusive place where we can all be ourselves. We welcome everyone to apply, especially those individuals who are underrepresented in the industry: people of colour, LGBTQ+ community, women, disabled people, people of any age or family status. We know that diversity makes us stronger and we strive to create a working environment that is inclusive, and ensures everyone can be heard and valued for their contributions.

We do not discriminate on the basis of race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital or family status, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, or any other legally protected status. We are committed to removing barriers for individuals with conditions, illnesses or disabilities and we will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable adjustments to participate in the job application or interview process, and in their future role.

If you would like to request any reasonable adjustment, for any part of the recruitment process (including application), please let us know by emailing recruitment@iuk.ktn-uk.org.

Please submit applications by 16/06/2023


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