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Project Manager – Bids & Proposals (Grade 3)

We have a great opportunity for an experienced and enthusiastic PROJECT MANAGER with a prime responsibility to drive the bid process internally and to take full ownership from enquiry stage through to contract award. A secondary responsibility is to support the Project Management department when capacity permits.

Dual reporting to the Heads of Business Development and Project Management, the successful candidate must have a proven record of managing multiple business proposals simultaneously within limited time constraints. The successful candidate will be collaborative, proactive, with a ‘hands-on’ attitude and be able to communicate and influence across disciplines and at all levels across the business.

This is an excellent chance to influence the future success of ARA working to support our aerospace and defense clients and be part of a small friendly and motivated team.

About ARA:

We are a leading specialist in aerodynamic research providing complementary services and solutions to international aerospace and defence clients to support their aerodynamic concept development. Our origins date back to the 1950s and some of our projects have included testing pioneering aircraft designs like TSR2, Vulcan, Harrier, Tornado, Concorde, Typhoon and F35. Our clients include Airbus, Saab, Bombardier, Boeing, Turkish Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Comac and BAE Systems.

We develop industry leading tools and techniques to generate high fidelity data and provide insight to enable our clients to achieve optimal aerodynamic performance. In addition to our main Transonic Wind Tunnel services we also design and manufacture scaled instrumented models and provide aerodynamic consultancy services. ARA is a partner in many EU Clean Sky projects.

The role:

The role is based at ARA’s facility in Bedford and will involve close coordination with our subject matter experts orchestrating knowledge and information from our technical, commercial, infrastructure, project management, finance, security and export staff.  Should the successful Bid Manager be from a technical background the role could be enhanced to include technical proposal writing in coordination with the subject matter experts.   After an appropriate period, agile remote working may be possible. of the latest technologies for the advancement

This is a varied job and no day is the same, some of the main responsibilities include:

Bid Management

  • Coordinate the submission of bids & proposals to clients in response to their Request for Information (RFI) or Request for Proposal (RFP).
  • Lead and coordinate the preparation of bid packs and supporting information in line with the internal bid development process.
  • Collaborate closely with technical and commercial subject matter experts to ensure proposal responses are accurate and ensure clients’ Statement of Work (SOW) and RFP documents are fully addressed through a compliance matrix incorporating ARA’s preferred position.
  • Partner with project and resource managers in the preparation of a project schedule.
  • Resolve technical, schedule and resource conflicts and ensure alignment with Heads of Department for ARA’s proposed offering.
    • Agree the internal bid activity milestones and the proposal submission dates with clients.
    • Lead all internal stage gate reviews and maintain liaison with clients on proposal progress.
    • Assist with bid pricing to collate cost data, and present price /margin suggestions for approval in line with business goals and market conditions. Identify financial cost risks and mitigate accordingly.
      • Liaise with the bid team and Commercial Manager to support the contract negotiation process.
      • Ensure all key stakeholders are updated appropriately to ensure a smooth handover after contract award.
      • Provide ideas and inputs into the bid development process and tools in association with key stakeholders, and support the Business Development team as required.

Project Management

  • Provide support to Project Management where capacity allows.
  • Develop an understanding of client and business requirements from a Statement Of Work and support the production of work breakdown structures, resource estimates, work schedules, risk identification / assumptions with appropriate mitigation, communications, monitoring and controlling of projects.

 Essential skills and capabilities:

  • A minimum of 3 years’ experience in a similar role.
  • Previous experience within a technical environment with an ability to interpret technical information.
    • Ability to multitask, prioritise and deliver under time pressure.
    • Must be a collaborative ‘hands on’ team player with a ‘can do’ attitude.
    • Good working knowledge of pricing models.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and able to communicate and influence at all levels
  • Proven skills in coordinating and writing proposals, including document management and the recording of key business assumptions.
  • Be well organised and have effective time management.
  • Financially literate and commercially astute.
  • Proficient in MS Word, Excel & PowerPoint.

 Desirable Skills and capabilities:

  • An appreciation of aerospace contract terms & conditions.
  • A background in project management with experience of risk management.




If you are interested in applying, please send your CV with a covering letter to detailing your current salary, your suitability for this role as well as confirming your nationality and your eligibility to work in the UK.

The successful candidate must satisfy security clearance requirements – including the last 5 years continual UK residency.

Aircraft Research Association Ltd is proud to be an Equal Opportunities Employer. We recognize the value in an inclusive and diverse workforce and we welcome applications from all suitably qualified people.

Direct applicants only please.