As a grants officer, you would assess applications for grants and funding from charitable trusts, government or public bodies.
Depending n the grant-making organisation you worked for, you could assess applications from individuals, charities, community groups or university research departments.
It might be your responsibility to decide to award funding, or you might refer the applications to a senior grants officer, programme director or a committee for a final decision.
Your duties would typically include:
In a full-time job you would typically work standard office hours, Monday to Friday. Part-time work may be available.
You would be office-based, but may also spend some of your time travelling to meet applicants and consultants, visit projects and give presentations.
Salaries are generally between £20,000 and £35,000 a year.
You could work for grant-making trusts and charities, the Big Lottery Fund, local and national government, arts councils, academic research foundations and large public companies.
Competition for jobs can be strong because only a small proportion of the largest grant-making trusts employ paid staff.
Jobs may be advertised in the local and national press, trusts' own websites (see the ACF website for a list of charitable trusts) and some specialist charity recruitment agencies.
You could come to grant-making from a variety of backgrounds. Whatever your background, employers will usually expect you to gave skills and experience in areas such as:
- Basic accounting and budget management
- Database administration
- Project management
- Information gathering
Some organisations will prefer you to have experience in the type of projects that they fund, for example, conservation, the arts or community work. Awarders of scientific research grants may ask for a science degree. You should check exact entry requirements with each employer.
You will also need to show an understanding of the voluntary and community sector, so you will find it helpful to have paid or unpaid work experience in these areas.
If you want to gain experience in the voluntary sector, you can find out about local opportunities from the do-it.org or, for Northern Ireland, the Volunteer Development Agency. You could also contact Working for a Charity about their short courses and work placement scheme.
You will learn on the job from experienced grants officers and trustees. Your employer may also arrange for you to take part in short courses and seminars such as the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) professional development programme.
You may find it useful to work towards a postgraduate qualification such as City University in London's part-time Postgraduate Diploma or MSc in Grantmaking Management.
Several other universities offer postgraduate courses in charity management, fundraising and voluntary sector management, which you may find useful as your career progresses. Courses are usually part-time or distance learning.
For some jobs you will also need specialist knowledge, for example in science or the arts.
Laboratory technicians carry out routine laboratory tests and perform a variety of technical support functions to help scientists, technologists and others with their work. They can work in research and development, scientific analysis and testing, education and manufacturing.
They are employed in a wide range of scientific fields which affect almost every aspect of our lives.
A grants officer needs:
With experience, you could progress to senior grants officer, become a freelance grants consultant, or move into charity management.
Working For A Charity
NCVO, Regent's Wharf
8 All Saints Street, London N1 9RL
Tel: 020 7520 2512
Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF)
Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place,
London WC1H 0AE
Tel: 020 7255 4499
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.