Contracts & Grants Adviser, Technical Excellence

IRC , London, United Kingdom
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Job Summary

Job Description


Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.

The International Rescue Committee UK is part of the IRC global network, which has its offices in New York, London, Berlin, Bonn, Brussels, Stockholm, Geneva, Nairobi, Bangkok and Amman. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through over 20 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient.

The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.


IRC UK were established in London in 1997 to support the organisation’s global activities and particularly to diversify its donor base and be able to better advocate with European policy makers on behalf of the people we serve. Since its establishment IRC-UK has grown rapidly and is now acknowledged for its high-quality project management, technical expertise in governance and rights and economic recovery, and innovative thinking on early recovery and gender based violence. IRC UK comprises approximately 120 staff.

The Awards Management Unit (AMU)

Established in January 2016, the AMU is an international unit with the responsibility for identifying, securing, and handling all funding from statutory/government donors. The unit is organised into five pillars: Strategic Partnerships, Programme and Grant Support, Compliance and Policy, Programme Development, and Training.

The AMU is a bridge between donors and country programmes: providing expert technical advice to country programmes, while maintaining portfolio-level visibility to ensure consistency and compliance and manage risk. This unit ensures that donor compliance policies and procedures are implemented consistently, and supports all staff working across the grants management cycle for all restricted funding from global government sources.

Technical Excellence

At the IRC, we define and measure our success as positive changes in people’s lives in relation to five outcome areas: health, education, economic well-being, safety and power, while helping to narrow the gender gap. To achieve these outcomes – to drive our impact – our programmes must be based on the best available evidence and aligned with our theories of change; adapted to context; responsive to client needs and preferences; and continuously improved by generating evidence, measuring what we do, and acting on what we learn. The Technical Excellence team supports the delivery of this.

The Purpose of the Role

As Contracts & Grants Advisor, Technical Excellence you support the successful implementation and management of IRC’s European donor award requirements of grants led by Technical Excellence (TE). This includes the responsibility for providing advice and support for successful award management including but not limited to: quality assurance of donor deliverables and audit reports; review of new grant agreements; guidance on donor compliance rules and IRC systems including partnerships and sub-granting/sub-contracting (PEERS); review of amendments to oNGOing awards; and management of assigned donor relationships.

Also, as Contracts & Grants Advisor, Technical Excellence you support in the development of internal organisation working processes, tools and guidance for teams, along with TE and AMU colleagues.

Scope and Authority

The post-holder provides support and advice in accordance with IRC and AMU systems and policies, and facilitates two-way communications on grant and contract implementation issues, compliance, training, and donor relations to enhance organisation-wide compliance.

Key Working Relationships

  • Reports to Senior Contracts & Grants Advisor, Technical Excellence
  • Works as part of the wider AMU with close coordination with:
  • Senior/Programme Development Advisors covering same portfolio
  • Donor Compliance Officers
  • Technical Excellence teams
  • Strategic Partnerships Advisors
  • Policy and Advocacy
  • Finance departments
  • Donor focal points at FCDO, ELRHA, GIZ, and other European donors


Award management

  • Provide effective, relevant and timely advice to Technical Excellence teams on systems and processes for managing, delivering and reporting on assigned portfolio of grants.
  • Support the creation of a strong knowledge culture of sound contract and risk management practices, taking a proactive approach to mitigate against future risks.
  • Review and provide substantive feedback on reports, collaborating with and ensuring input from relevant technical and financial staff before submission to the donor.
  • Review new grant agreements, contracts, amendments to ensure compliance with IRC systems and shared understanding of deliverables.
  • Take a proactive approach to support implementation of remedies to deliver projects (targets, logframe, timeline, budget).
  • Participate in grants opening, mid-term reviews, and end of project meetings; monthly Budget versus Actuals (BvAs) meetings and by-weekly meetings with relevant teams.
  • Review, provide feedback and submit project amendments including, programmatic changes, cost extension, no cost extension, and budget realignments.
  • Support in the development of internal organisation working processes, tools and guidance for teams and AMU related to grants, as relevant.
  • Support communication and coordination processes between the AMU Programme & Grant Support, Business Development and Compliance & Policy teams to ensure input and feedback on lessons learned at design and proposal development stages is internalized.
  • Support queries on donor compliance issues, referring non-routine and high-level compliance matters to the line manager and Compliance & Policy team.
  • Advise teams on process and systems to ensure partnerships with local and international partners are aligned to internal policies (PEERS).
  • Ensure teams follow internal IRC policies and procedures (e.g. OTIS, PEERS).
  • Support the development of internal working processes, tools and guidance for teams and AMU as relevant.

Donor management

  • Manage communication and messaging with assigned donor focal points, ensuring issues and developments are escalated as required.
  • Facilitate meetings and engagement between the donor focal point and technical staff as required, representing IRC where appropriate.
  • Provide feedback to donor meetings’ agenda and support teams in preparation for the meetings.
  • Collaborate with Strategic Partnerships and Policy & Advocacy teams on specific donor engagement priorities.

Other duties

  • Travel to IRC locations around the world to undertake capacity building, training and assessment (subject to Covid-19).
  • Management of IRC’s IATI requirements.
  • Update internal systems for data management; including OTIS and grants tracker.
  • Contribute to AMU/Unit work plan and delivery of specific projects, as assigned.
  • Liaise with other IRC departments and teams.
  • Participate in/deliver information/training sessions for regional and Technical Excellence workshops.
  • Proactively disseminate the services provided by Awards Management Unit.



Skills and Knowledge

  • Understanding and practical experience of project management principles throughout the full project lifecycle (positioning to closeout).
  • Excellent communication, influencing and interpersonal skills, including the ability to effectively manage a variety of relationships in a multicultural environment.
  • Strong diplomatic skills, including the ability to tailor language to different audiences and needs.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate equally effectively with colleagues in ‘remote’ and diverse teams.
  • Strong attention to detail to ensure own work, and work of others is of a consistent high quality in a fast-paced, demanding environment.
  • Solid organisational skills; detail-oriented; ability to multi-task and prioritise tasks, and to learn quickly.
  • Ability to work autonomously and under remote management.
  • Good IT skills (Word, Excel, Outlook).
  • Ability to travel internationally.


  • Demonstrable solid experience of FCDO/DFID funding, regulations and procedures.
  • Experience of working with other European institutional donors and knowledge of their requirements, such as ECHO, Sida, KfW, GIZ, Irish Aid, etc.
  • Contractual and financial management experience with various grant and subgrant types.
  • Experience of working with and supporting technical experts in project set ups.
  • Experience of managing consortia including NGOs, for profit organisations, and academic institutions – both South & North.
  • Experience of supporting start up/inception phases of larger contracts and negotiations with donors.
  • Experience of writing, reviewing, and editing narrative and financial reports.
  • Experience of donor liaison and in providing advice and best practice on grants management, including financial management.
  • Experience in building and maintaining relationships with senior staff across different teams and functions, including those based in other countries.

The deadline for applications is midnight between Sunday 10th / Monday 11th January.

Interviews will take place on 18th /19th January.

Candidates must have the right to work in the UK.

IRC UK is committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination for all applicants and employees.

IRC-UK seeks to ensure we achieve diversity in our workforce regardless of gender, race, religious belief, nationality, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.

IRC-UK welcomes applications from all candidates, including underrepresented groups and refugees who have the right to work in the UK.

IRC UK will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable adjustments to participate in the job application and/or interview process, and for essential job functions if appointed to a role.

Please contact us if you may need such adjustments.

If you have any questions or need assistance with the online recruitment process, please contact the UK HR team at