Innovation Network Lead

Location: York or Harpenden

Salary: Attractive salary package

Crop Protection and Health (CHAP) is one of the four Agri-Tech centres that were established as a unique collaboration between government, academia and industry to drive greater efficiency, resilience and profitability across the agrifood sector.

CHAP is focused on improving crop production in a sustainable manner. CHAP acts as a catalyst for innovation and facilitates the development of new research, technologies, and solutions that will help to increase the economic performance and environmental footprint of crop production.

Job Purpose

Supporting the Innovation Director, the Innovation Network Lead key role is to work with and across CHAP partners and wider Agri-Tech community in the establishment of a successful and growing collaborative research & development (CR&D) programme at CHAP.

The post will cover the full process of CR&D pipeline from initiating networks; scoping available funding opportunities; bid development and writing; monitoring and assessing projects. The post provides the opportunity for external liaison with academia, industry, farmers, growers, innovators, stakeholder groups, government and funders.

Key responsibilities:

  • Create and develop consortium networks with CHAP partners and wider community
  • Initiate, develop and execute successful applications and bid proposals to enhance the CHAP innovation program and maximise use of current CHAP capabilities
  • Develop core foundational documentation and systems for successful application/bid and consortium applications
  • Provide accurate technical assessment of applications, bids and projects and present those findings to technical and non-technical audience including Executive Team and Board
  • Actively engage with current research and industry developments to produce periodical briefing documents for colleagues, Board and wider audience.
  • Report to the Innovation Director, Exec Team and the Board – and assist in the overall objectives of CHAP
  • Provide support to the Innovation Director and work within the senior CHAP team at York


  • Degree or higher level qualification in Biology/Agriculture/Agronomy/Soil Science or similar
  • Experience of working in academia and/or commercial environments.
  • Clear understanding and experience of U.K. and international research funding programs
  • Evidence of effective grant application/bid writing, project management or co-ordination and developing professional networks.
  • Able to think strategically, interpreting complex information, putting information in context and having a clear view of the “big picture”
  • Excellent writing skills and presentation skills – with ability to engage with stakeholders at any level.
  • Excellent planning and organisational skills, able to prioritise and manage multiple tasks, working to challenging targets and deadlines
  • Excellent analytical and complex problem solving skills, with a solution based approach
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a team
  • The ability to represent CHAP nationally or internationally as required.
  • Full UK driving licence
  • Understanding and/or experience of designing and implementing systems for CR&D across multiple sites/partners – helpful
  • An understanding of current crop protection and biosecurity legislation and best practice – helpful

To apply, please send your CV (maximum of 3 sides of A4) and covering letter to

Innovation Hub Lead

Location: York or Harpenden

Salary: Attractive Salary Package

CHAP – Crop Health and Protection – is one of four Centres for Agricultural Innovation and a key component of the government’s agri-tech strategy. CHAP are seeking an Innovation Hub Lead in the East of England to act as an important linchpin for a number of their innovation hubs. The focus of the role is to work collaboratively with a wide range of Partners and Stakeholders to seek and exploit opportunities to develop and build the local Hub capacity to promote innovation across crop production, soil science, crop health and crop protection. The Innovation Hub Lead will be the first point of contact on day to day project issues and will also drive each project through to results. This role sits at the heart of the CHAP partnership and will help deliver an ambitious agri-tech innovation programme. Other responsibilities will include identifying new opportunities for the Hubs, writing funding proposals and bids as required and managing Hub events.

Person Specification

  • Graduate calibre, with scientific background, ideally crop science, plant science, soil science, or related area.
  • Some experience of developing and managing projects in a competitive funding environment with multiple stakeholders.
  • Able to influence partners to achieve the targets and goals.
  • Influencing skills aligned with excellent communication skills – written and verbal
  • Able to exercise attention to detail in planning and implementation to get results in this fast-moving environment with tight deadlines
  • Experience of bid and proposal writing and supporting larger bid submissions is essential.
  • Exposure to and experience of commercial and business development environments.

This is a full-time position based in York or Hertfordshire, with some travel across the United Kingdom.

To apply, please send your CV (maximum of 3 sides of A4) and covering letter to