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FIET Programme Director (G044-18CA)

Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology, College of Sciences

We seek a Programme Director to lead and manage the Food Industries Enabling Technologies (FIET) programme in a part-time (0.5 FTE /18.75hrs p/w) role. This multi-partner programme is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and aims to develop new processing technologies for New Zealand food companies.

Location:Palmerston North
Term:Fixed Term of 3 Years
Salary:IEA (paid pro rata)
Applications close:11:45 p.m. on 11 March 2018

Position overview

Food Industry Enabling Technologies (FIET) is a six-year research programme funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) with co-funding from commercial firms. It began in June 2015. The intended outcome is material enhancement and expansion of the food industry's contribution to New Zealand's wealth, to be achieved through development and adoption of new food processing technologies. Participating research providers are Massey University (the programme host), the Universities of Otago and Auckland, The Crown Research Institutes Plant & Food Research, and AgResearch, and the Riddet Institute. The foundation document that sets out the purposes of FIET and the relationships amongst the collaborating parties is referred as "The Collaborative Agreement: Food Industry Enabling Technologies", dated 15 May 2016. It is available from Massey University (contact the office of Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh).

To support the success of the programme and deliver valuable outcomes for industry we invite applications for the role of FIET Programme Director to join us in a part-time (0.5 FTE /18.75 hrs per week) appointment.

As the FIET Programme Director you will responsible for the day to day management and operation of the FIET Programme to ensure productive and collaborative outcomes. You will liaise with the FIET partners, the Governance Board, the Industry Advisory Group, Te Roopu Maori and funders to ensure timely reporting and develop and maintain Public relations and communications materials including the FIET website and organising events to showcase FIET research, including the annual FIET symposium.

The successful candidate will have the ability and experience to manage a large multi-partner programme and to successfully interact with key stakeholders including government agencies, industry and national research institutions.

Enquiries can be directed to Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh at

Job description

Purpose statement

The FIET Programme Director is responsible for the management and operation of the FIET Programme and in particular:
• day to day management of the programme to ensure productive and collaborative outcomes;
• management and support of the research programme through liaison with the FIET Chief Technologist, the Science Management Team (SMT) and project leaders;
• liaison with the FIET partners;
• reporting to and liaison with the Governance Board, the Industry Advisory Group and Te Roopu Maori;
• reporting to and liaison with MBIE as the funder;
• developing and maintaining Public relations and communication materials including the FIET website;
• organising events to showcase FIET research, including the annual FIET symposium.

Responsible to

This is a Massey University appointment. The holder is therefore subject to Massey's staff policies and procedures and administrative systems.

At the time of this appointment, the person responsible for this position within Massey University is Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh, Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology. For day-to-day purposes in meeting the requirements of the position, the Programme Director reports to the FIET Governance Board, which in turn is appointed by Massey University in consultation with MBIE. At the time of this appointment, the FIET Board Chairman is Dr Kevin Marshall, who is the primary contact person for the Programme Director.

Parties that report to the position are:
• The Chief Technologist: This role reports to the Programme Director. Its purpose is to provide an integrating, science and technology oversight to the FIET programme. The Chief Technologist liaises with the Senior Management Team, with commercial firms, and project leaders and is the primary technical support person for the Programme Director.
• The Senior Management Team: The SMT comprises representatives of each of the research providers. The Programme Director chairs meetings of the SMT in its tasks of:
a) Reviewing science and technology progress of projects
b) Resolving any policy issues raised by research providers
• Administrative support: Massey University will provide 0.2FTE of administrative support to the Programme Director, funded by FIET. Management of this support resource is the responsibility of the Programme Director.

Non-partner Parties that do not report to the position but which the Programme Director must work with and heed the advice of:
• Industry Advisory Group: The IAG comprises persons chosen by the Board, of technical backgrounds and who work for commercial firms, who advise the Board regarding matters of relevance, potential value and practicality of FIET projects from an industrial standpoint;
• Te Roopu Maori: Each research provider has a TRM body that helps give effect to Vision Matauranga, a policy initiative of MBIE. Each project leader must communicate with its TRM body. The Programme Director must ensure that all project leaders do so and that relevant TRM/VM concerns and issues are brought to the Board's attention and resolved.

Key accountabilities

The FIET Programme Director will:
• build an engaged FIET community with common vision and values;
• ensure overall performance of the FIET programme, in particular achievement of goals and KPIs agreed with MBIE and the Board;
• develop and maintain operational plans in consultation with the Board, the Science Management Team and the Chief Technologist;
• ensure that any contractual obligations to MBIE are met including the submission of reports, plans and contract variations;
• develop and implement policies and procedures to facilitate the effective operation of the FIET programme;
• ensure that requirements and duties relating to Vision Matauranga are met, in particular that all project leaders and SMT members consult with and update their respective Te Roopu Maori colleagues about their projects;
• communicate regularly with SMT members and project leaders on compliance issues, in particular health and safety, employment law and the environment. It is the duty of individual research providers to ensure compliance with the laws and with policies but the Programme DIrector must ensure that the Board is assured that all obligations are being met and that any untoward issues are identified and resolved;
• provide clear and timely reports to the Board, including achievement of FIET programme KPIs against defined measures;
• ensure project milestones are met and that progress for each project is reported to the Board;
• ensure that scheduled and, where requested by the Board, specific, project reviews are undertaken and reported to the Board;
• promote the FIET programme to ensure it is recognised nationally, including maintenance of the FIET website;
• report FIET programme finances including expenditure against budget to the Board;
• monitor cumulative project costs against budgets and consult promptly with project leaders on resolution of any untoward or unexpected variances;
• develop and operate a system of estimating benefits to New Zealand of existing and proposed FIET projects;
• assist and where appropriate lead the process of contracting with MBIE, FIET partners, and other research sub-contractors;
• assist and where appropriate lead discussions and negotiations with prospective and actual commercial partners;
• assist the SMT to identify and ensure management of any emerging IP for commercialisation according to the FIET collaborative agreement;
• lead with other relevant national food industry projects and initiatives to ensure cooperation and complementarity;
• liaise with MBIE and other government agencies as appropriate;
• represent the FIET programme in the media or at relevant events.

Key performance indicators
• Evidence of programme collegiality and collaboration.
• Achievement of programme milestones.
• Timely delivery of high quality reports and plans to the Board, the SMT and MBIE.
• Active and effective relationships with MBIE and other relevant government agencies.
• Evidence of programme visibility to external organisations and stakeholders.
• Implementation of Vision Matauranga.
• Sound financial management and reporting.

Person specification


An appropriate tertiary qualification in business, engineering or management.


Experience in project management or programme management.

Personal attributes and behaviours

The FIET Programme Director will have the ability to:
• manage a large multi-partner programme to deliver outcomes for industry;
• articulate and impart the FIET vision and to lead a large and diverse community of researchers towards that vision;
• interact with key stakeholders including government agencies, industry, national research institutions.


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