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Wellcome Trust

Operations Manager Germany

About Wellcome Trust

Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation established in 1936. Through their work, they support science in solving the most urgent health issues of our time.

The Wellcome Trust funds curiosity-driven research and is taking on three of humanity’s biggest health challenges – climate change, infectious diseases and mental health. Their investment gives researchers the time and resources they need to make breakthroughs.

They also work with policymakers, run advocacy campaigns, and form partnerships with other organisations to ensure everyone benefits from advances in health science.

About the Role

Wellcome Trust started operations in Germany in 2019 as a satellite office of the UK branch. Following its success, Wellcome has since established the German entity as gGmbH according to German law. To continue the German operation’s success, the organisation is looking for an experienced, hands-on Operations Manager who will strategically lead all areas of operations.

The Operations Manager will oversee financial, tax, team member career development,  benefits and payroll processes of the German legal entity (gGmbH), including the management of external providers for these services. The role is also responsible for the setup and management of all corporate governance processes of the entity in close collaboration with the executive board and external providers. 

Further, the Operations Manager will also contribute to managing the grant relationship between Wellcome Trust Germany and Wellcome UK.

Wellcome UK is supporting this recruitment of their wholly owned subsidiary – Wellcome gGmbH. The Operations Manager will be employed by Wellcome gGmbH.

Purpose of the Role

The Operations Manager oversees financial, tax, team member career development, benefits and payroll processes of the German legal entity (gGmbH), including management of external providers of these services. In addition, the Operations Manager sets up and manages the corporate governance processes of the entity, collaborating closely with the executive board and external providers. They also manage the grant relationship between Wellcome UK and Wellcome Trust Germany.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Accountable for driving the operational backbone for the German legal entity (gGmbH), overseeing, supervising and managing the relationship with external outsourced service providers, specifically:
    • Payroll and team member benefits: Oversee and ensure the quality of external service provision, assist team members with resolving queries in conjunction with relevant providers, and implement distinct office-related projects such as benefits and market benchmarking
    • HR policies and processes, such as setting up local career development policies and processes, locally managed recruitment and selection processes and performance development reviews 
    • Finance and tax: Work with external providers on bookkeeping and auditing, review financial transactions and financial statements, prepare financial reports, planning and forecasts with external providers, and ensure compliance with charitable accounting regulations
    • Legal and contracts: Manage lobby register entry, monitor Wellcome UK policies that could affect German entity, monitor and manage contractual relationships that relate to operations of Wellcome Trust Germany
    • IT: Manage relationships with external Digital and Technology (D&T) service providers. Help procure software or hardware as needed
    • Overseeing the operations of Wellcome gGmbH office space
  • Act as the first point of contact for Germany-based staff for any queries or issues related to operational processes
  • Develop, continually improve and streamline operational processes in line with best practices
  • Continually forecast and adapt plans, resources and priorities to address business challenges and ensure the smooth running and optimisation of the organisation’s operations
  • Establish gGmbH governance processes in line with German regulatory requirements and in collaboration with the board of directors, including regular reviews of gGmbH financial and other processes
  • Prepare regular updates and documents for formal board of directors sessions
  • Manage grant relationship with Wellcome UK
  • Manage the team’s operational budget, including tracking expenditures and reviewing monthly/quarterly reports. Exercise cost control and manage expenditures to work within the agreed operating budget
  • Build and maintain an effective network with relevant enabling functions within the Wellcome UK office, i.e. People, Finance, D&T
  • Contribute to the creation and development of a diverse and inclusive culture across the wider Wellcome environment (Wellcome Trust Germany and the UK), collaborating across departments
  • Ensure adherence to Wellcome Trust’s compliance policies

Skills and Experience

  • Technical knowledge and understanding of payroll, HR processes (absence management, recruitment and selection, talent management, performance development reviews, and pay reviews), legal, finance, tax,  and IT operations and processes
  • Experience managing business processes, including bookkeeping or financial accounts
  • Experience successfully managing contracts relating to third-party suppliers and supervision of others (including external providers) 
  • Office Management administration experience, with good organisation and project management skills
  • Advanced IT Skills – excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Office software, including SharePoint
  • Assertive decision-maker with the ability to influence; experience in dealing with people at all levels, as well as addressing and mitigating conflict
  • Strategic multitasker with the ability to prioritise, take the initiative and work to deadlines with very high attention to detail
  • Proven ability to deal professionally with confidential material and issues and address partners and team members in a  tactful and personable way 
  • Good written and verbal communication skills in German and English 


Wellcome strives to create a fair and healthy environment where all colleagues feel valued and able to be their authentic selves at work. The organisation aims to cultivate a culture of collaboration and respect, where people are highly engaged, and their individual contributions are celebrated. Wellcome Trust believes that future success relies on enabling people to thrive. They understand that people have commitments and personal interests outside of work and strive to build a flexible working environment where people can perform at their best. Wellcome encourages and welcomes applications from people of all backgrounds.